A summary forwarded to me just this morning, clearly listing what Party is intending what policies for the arts.
A useful site to see what is going down in your riding can be found on the '' web site. Although intended to rally the Eco Vote, it will give you the most recent polling numbers for your area.
Liberal Arts Platform
The Liberal Party has put out An Action Plan for the 21st Century, which lays out all their policies and positions. Section seven is devoted to Supporting Canadian Culture, and the introductory paragraph says that “Canada’s diverse arts and cultural community plays a vital role in our national identity. Cultural activity fosters vibrant, liveable cities and communities, and supports innovation, helps us understand our past and imagine our future, and stimulates our economy.”
The Liberals hi-light the following commitments in their platform:
A Liberal government will reverse recent cuts to arts and cultural programs.
We will increase the Canadian Film and Video Production Tax Credit to 30 percent.
A Liberal government will double the annual funding to the Canada Council for the Arts.
A Liberal government will provide income averaging for artists, an important tool for helping this country’s writers, artists and musicians continue to excel.
The Liberals have been promising to restore the cuts to Public Diplomacy Programs at DFAIT since the first cuts were made to that program in 2006, and their current promise to reverse the recent arts funding cuts includes funding that was eliminated from DFAIT as well. In addition, they commit to increasing funding for international arts promotion and the Museums Assistance Program, and the creation of a Canadian Digital Media Strategy.
You can find the entire Liberal Party Platform on their website
Conservative Arts Platform
There is no mention of arts or culture in the official Conservative Platform documents. However, the Conservative Party has made some recent announcement that may have positive outcomes for the arts sector:
1. The extension of maternity benefits to include independent contractors, which will enable some artists to take maternity leave.
2. The creation of a Tax Credit of up to $500 similar to the Child Fitness Tax Credit, which will include some arts activities for children under the age of 16. A committee will be convened to determine which arts activities are eligible.
3. The Conservative Party will not revive Bill C-10 in the session. Bill C-10, which was introduced by the Conservative Party is the last session, would have allowed the government to revoke tax credits given to films that government deemed to be contrary to the public interest.
Copies of the press releases with more information about the above can be found on their web site
Green Party Arts Platform
The Green Party has laid out their commitment to Arts and Culture in great detail. The document begins “While the major contributions made by Arts and Culture to Canada’s economy are clearly quantifiable and beneficial, the Green Party of Canada recognizes that the qualitative impact of Arts and Culture to Canadian Society is priceless.”
The document goes on to describe impact of the arts the economy, social well-being, employment, tourism, Canadian identity and youth.
The Green Party makes the following commitment:
1. Increase funding to all of Canada’s Arts and Culture organizations including The Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada, orchestras, theatres and publishers. The goal will be to make increases in this sector commensurate with increases in support over the years for other sectors of the economy such as transport, the auto industry, health care, and the oil and gas industry.
2. Provide stable base-funding for the CBC so it can continue to provide quality Canadian content television and radio programming in both official languages to all Canadians.
3. Ensure that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) reserves more bandwidth for independent and non-profit stations.
4. Enact legislation that requires cinemas and video chains to have at least 20 % Canadian content.
5. Restore and improve arm’s length principles in the governance of arts and cultural institutions and agencies under the federal jurisdiction. In keeping with such a position, we believe that the heads of Canada’s cultural organizations such as the CRTC, Canada Council, CBC and Telefilm Canada should not be appointed by the political party in power but by an arm’s length committee made up of competent people representative of the various diverse stakeholders in Canadian society.
6. Eliminate current legislation before the Senate that would give politically-appointed censors the right to deprive films of the right to a tax credit if their content is deemed “unfit.” In such a context films by some of Canada’s most internationally celebrated film-makers-- including Egoyan, Cronenburg, and Arcand--would likely never have been made.
7. Increase support for community arts programs and facilities across Canada by establishing stable base-funding at a set percentage of the federal budget.
8. Equalize federal funding for Arts and Culture among provinces, territories and municipalities to make it consistent with the provinces and municipalities that have the highest current standards.
9. Provide incentives to all provinces and territories to restore and improve Arts and Culture components to schools and extra-curricular activities not only in urban but also in rural areas.
10. Extend income tax relief and incentives to artists (on the very successful models established by Ireland and the city of Berlin). Doing so will:
• encourage artists to settle in Canada and build businesses here
• result in other (usually) white collar “clean” industries that follow the arts jobs and dollars
• help to provide meaningful jobs to university and college graduates
• enrich schools and their offerings thereby attracting immigrants to settle in rural areas
• revitalize and discover talent in communities where traditional industries are declining and young people are leaving
11. Follow and implement recommendations of Canadian Conference of the Arts in order to enable artists to access various social programs including Employment Insurance, Worker’s Compensation and Canada Pension Plan.
12. Change the Canada Revenue Act to allow arts and culture workers to benefit from a tax averaging plan that will take into account the fact that lean years often precede and follow the good year when a show is produced, a book is published and a grant or a prize is won.
13. Protect Canada’s cultural identity during trade negotiations.
14. Restore the government provided transport service (eliminated by the
Harper government) to allow the transport of exhibitions between museums and galleries;
15. Protect the copyright for artists such that they are not surrendered to museums and galleries in the process of permitting exhibits.
The complete Arts and Culture policy of the Green Party can be found at their web site
NDP Arts Platform
The NDP has not made a commitment to Arts and Culture in their policy documents. However, Jack Layton has made commitments on behalf of his party at various events, and in a press release issued from his office on September 23, 2008.
The NDP has promised to:
Introduce income-averaging for artists, modeled directly on the long-standing practice in the province of Quebec.
Provide an annual federal tax exemption of $20,000 for income earned from copyright and residuals income.
Reform the CRTC to ensure that prime television in French and English is written, directed, starts, and it about Canada and Canadians.
Prove Radio-Canada and CBC with stable, secure and adequate funding.
Protect and properly fund Telefilm and the Canadian Television Fund.
Protect and properly fund the Canada Council.
Reverse Mr. Harper’s $45 million cutback to culture.
The press release is posted on the at the
NDP web site
And just out of interest …..
Bloc Québécois Arts Platform
The Bloc Québécois have released their Party Platform. As usually the majority of arts and culture initiatives proposed by the Bloc pertain only to Quebec. But some, such as the proposed increase to the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts, have potential benefits for the national arts sector.
Will submit once again its law/bill project on the recognition of a national québécois cinema.
Will ask for the transfer of all responsibilities in the field of culture. Till then, it will keep defending the cultural sector against all attacks by the federal government and it will exhort the federal government not to abolish the cultural programmes, wildly cut down by the Conservatives.
Intends to submit a proposal to allow income-averaging over a five year period.
Will keep asking the government to create a framework for the extension of employment insurance benefits to independent contractors, many of which are artists and culture workers.
Will increase the Canada Council for the Arts budget until it reaches an annual envelope of $300 million.
Has been asking since 2007 the creation of a $30 million programme to support festivals. It has also been asking that the sums allocated to Quebec be transferred to the québécois government.
Will increase by $50 million the Telefilm budget, including $20 million for the québécois cinema.
Is seeking the creation of a documentary film and IMAX film fund, and that sums allocated to québécois cinema reflect the cultural consumption of québécois habits.
Will abolish the federal sales tax on books.
Will make sure that the new Copyright Law will be equitable and will not disadvantage either the creators or the consumers.
Will ask the federal government to present a new museum policy that incorporates the current needs of québécois and Canadians museums.
Proposes the implementation of incentives favouring the distribution and recognition of cultural regional works as well as the emergence of new talents. The Bloc Québécois believes that these measures will guarantee access to regional artists to a minimum of 10% of the media space dedicated to culture.
The Bloc Québécois party platform can be found (in French only) on their web site