The arts in Canada have become overly dependent on government subsidies. Currently the regulatory bodies that oversee support and funding seemingly favour art that promotes the lowest common denominator of decency and reject applications that promote good morals and family values.
The CHP’S Better Solution:
Art in all its forms is a vital means for a country to reveal its identity. However, like everything else, it needs to be administered according to clear and acceptable standards.
In assessing art and cultural venues the CHP would address three primary concerns in evaluating its worth and involvement:
- How much—and in what ways—should government be a patron of the arts and to what degree should it be involved as a financial benefactor?
- How and when is it appropriate for government to determine content in the arts?
- What is the proper role of government regulators in media?
- A CHP government would help create infrastructure—theatres and concert-halls, museums and galleries—that make the arts accessible to all the public at reasonable prices.
Direct cash grants to specific performers, companies and creative artists, however, are not appropriate; such artists should earn their support from patrons (individuals, corporate sponsors, and foundations) and from the public.
- Government should not use public funds to subsidize only perspectives with which it agrees; however, it is legitimate for government to curtail so-called “artistic” expressions that are degrading or harmful to public morality, such as child pornography. In the entertainment media and digital media especially, much being purveyed is from unprincipled producers, whose only goal is to profit by exploiting sexuality and violence.
- Regulatory agencies like the CRTC should only be involved in content monitoring when it concerns programming that is a threat to national security, openly show hatred toward a specific group or religion, or cause harm as in child pornography. The cherished liberty of “freedom of speech” must never become subject to “politically correct dogma.” Their primary role should be to administer frequencies on the public air-waves, to maximize public access with minimal conflicts.
CBC and RADIO CANADA
Publicly-owned broadcasting must set the highest possible standard in upholding Canada’s rich heritage of patriotism, freedom, prosperity, moral uprightness, and courage. Some provision for a national voice on short-wave radio frequencies should be retained for our international audience as an outreach of Canada’s current affairs and culture. Provision should also be made for rural areas that require the services of CBC to retain contact with events happening in Canada. Tax dollars must not be used to subsidize the CBC in outbidding private broadcasters for broadcast rights to popular programs. Neither should our public broadcasting corporation lead the charge to redefine our Canadian heritage.
NATIONAL FILM BOARD
The National Film Board should be reduced to an archival facility with a limited budget to purchase Canadian-made productions, which document Canada’s historic culture, national history, and natural history. The N.F.B. should not be used to promote political ideology. Films should be made available to educational institutions and airtime purchased on private and educational networks for public exposure.