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Federal Parties’ Positions on Arts and Culture


There are many ways to find out about a given party’s stance with regards to arts and culture. You may explore their past policies, you may scan past statements. You can also ask direct questions to parties and candidates.

The Canadian Arts Coalition has contacted all the major parties running in the 2015 Federal Election with five important questions about the future of the arts in Canada. These questions are as follows:

  1. Supporting the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is essential to the health and sustainability of the arts sector. The Canadian Arts Coalition has long advocated for increasing the Canada Council’s appropriation to $300 million. How will your party support the Canada Council over the next four years?

  1. The Arts on the International Stage

International market access is a cornerstone of the arts sector. How will your party increase international market access for Canadian artists and their works?

  1. Protecting and Disseminating Canadian Digital Content

The Canadian creative industries produce high quality content that is accessible across a range of traditional and digital media. Canada has historically had various mechanisms to foster Canadian content (regulation, copyright, etc.), some of which have become outdated in the digital age. How will your party modernize and strengthen policies supporting creation, distribution and access to Canadian content?

  1. Supporting the Canadian Broadcasting Company

The different revenue sources of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have steadily declined over the past several years. As a result, CBC’s capacity to reflect Canada’s regional and cultural diversity – two important elements of the Corporation’s mission – is compromised. What are your party’s intentions for the future of our public broadcaster and how will your party ensure that it has adequate funding levels?

  1. Other Party Support for the Arts

Are there other elements of your platforms, related to arts and culture, that your party would like to share? Please include those as well.

As of this posting, the Canadian Arts Coalition has received responses from the Green Party, the Liberal Party and the NDP. You will find below a summary, full answers, and other relevant links for each party.

Conservative Party of Canada

The Conservative Party [4] [1] released its platform on October 9. Under the headings Commemorating Canada’s Heritage and Culture [2] and Promoting Arts Culture and Sports [3], the Conservative plan presents the party’s track record with regards to arts and culture, and it affirms the party’s intention to “continue to support Canada’s arts and cultural communities and their immeasurable contributions to our country”. It also introduces a new $15 million endowment incentive fund for local musems.

The Conservative Party has not yet provided answers to the Coalition’s questions. If you talk to your Conservative candidate, consider asking him/her about the Coalition’s questions.

For more information, you may also:

Green Party of Canada

On October 4, the Green Party [8] released their plan to support Canadian arts and culture [9]. It reiterates the party’s intention to provide stable funding to Crown corporations and agencies, it opposes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it proposes to revisit Canadian content regulations, and it introduces fiscal and revenue policy for artists.

In addition, their Strong Communities platform [10] was released on September 9. Its main commitment is to reverse the $117-million cut to CBC/Radio-Canada, and to invest an additional $168-million and $315 million every year thereafter to rebuild the CBC and Radio-Canada’s local coverage and capacity. Other elements of the platform are more detailed the Green Party’s answers to the Coalition’s questionnaire.

In its answers to the Coalition, the Green Party supports all recommendations from the Coalition’s last pre-budget brief, including a gradual increase of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Parliamentary appropriation. The Green Party commits to increase the CBC budget and guarantees funding for the National Film Board and Telefilm Canada. The Green Party also proposes to explore tax measures for professional artists and to guard our cultural sovereignty in trade negotiations.

In addition to answering the Coalition’s questionnaire, the Green Party also provided a short video from their spokesperson on Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Jo-Ann Roberts.

Read the answers [8]

View the video [11]

For more information, you may also:

Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberal Party [15] promised $380 million in its cultural platform [16], released, on September 22. The Liberal Party proposes to double investment to the Canada Council for the Arts to $360 million per year from $180 million, to invest $150 million in new annual funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, to restore international cultural promotion programs, and to increase funding for Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board by $25 million per year.

In its answers to the Coalition’s questionnaire, the Liberal Party [15] proposes to exercise leadership in market development, in partnership with Canada Council for the Arts and targeted departmental programs. It proposes to undertake a review of the Broadcasting Act and the Copyright Act. The Liberal Party also has detailed plans for the CBC, including the reversal of the $115-million cuts. Other areas of interest for the Liberal Party include cultural infrastructures, fiscal measures for artists, the Copyright Board, the audiovisual sector, Library and Archives, museums, as well as a commitment to re-establish the long-form census.

Read the answers [17]

For more information, you may also:

New Democratic Party

The NDP released an arts and culture platform [20] on October 5. It promises $60 million over four years for Telefilm Canada, the National Film Board and the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as $10 million to support digital content creation. It also commits to introduce income averaging for self-employed artists and to appoint cultural attachés at Canadian embassies. The platform also reconfirms the party’s promise to reverse the $115 million in cuts to the CBC. The complete NDP plan [21], launched on October 9, reiterates these commitments.

In its answers to the Coalition’s questions, the NDP [22] says it is aware of the need to invest in the Canada Council and in market access, and intends to clarify its positions in its full platform. The NDP’s answer on the CBC is quite elaborate: it includes a commitment to cancel the $115 million cuts and iterates the party’s track record with regards to support to the CBC.

Read the answers [23]

For more information, you may also:

We will update this page as new information becomes available. If you come across any additional information that clarifies the parties’ stances, please forward them to info@canadianartscoalition.com [25].

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