Monday, May 23, 2011

NDP: Fast off the Mark in Waving the Arts Flag

NDP MP Charlie Angus talks about the party's position on Canada's arts and culture industry in Ottawa, May 17, 2011.

By CBC News

The NDP wants to see more funding and a better strategy to support the arts, warning that without such a commitment, a multi-billion dollar industry will be at risk.

At a news conference in Ottawa Tuesday morning, the party called for increased funding for the Canada Council for the Arts as part of a strategy to support the industry.

When Parliament resumes June 2, the House of Commons will be made up of MPs with more arts and culture experience than ever before, thanks to the NDP caucus, the party says.

The NDP's expanded caucus of 103 MPs now includes newcomers Andrew Cash, a musician and writer; Tyrone Benskin, an actor; and Pierre Nantel, a former artistic director with Cirque du Soleil. They will join re-elected MP Charlie Angus, who is also a musician.

The four MPs called the news conference to outline what they and the rest of the new Official Opposition plan to do in Parliament to promote the arts.

In its election platform, the NDP also promised to ensure Canadian networks remain Canadian-owned through foreign ownership regulations, to "re-focus the mandate" of the CRTC so it protects cultural industries better, and to invest in the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada.

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