Friday, August 29, 2008

Ontario Minister of Culture, Letter defending value of culture

Minister Aileen Carroll

Letter to the Editor


I am deeply concerned about the Harper government’s decision to cut programs that support Canada's cultural sector.

The entertainment and creative cluster is one of Canada's fastest growing economic sectors. According to Statistics Canada, Ontario now generates more than half of Canada’s total cultural Gross Domestic Product and accounts for nearly $20 billion of our provincial GDP.

Spin-off benefits to a strong cultural sector include growth and diversification in tourism and in local economies; skills development for the knowledge economy; and stronger planning for growth.

The McGuinty government has the right plan for the times – one that is strengthening our economy by investing in the people and businesses that make up our cultural industry.

Investing in our home-grown talent on the international stage encourages foreign investment, opens up new markets for export, and promotes Ontario as a cultural tourism destination.

It is one thing to review programs to make sure funding is there for those who need it, but it is quite another to scrap an entire program because of an ideological aversion to a handful of ideas. By doing so, the federal government has put many worthy organizations and initiatives at risk and is damaging our economic diversity and future prosperity.

Aileen Carroll

Ontario Minister of Culture, Barrie


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