Tuesday, November 30, 2021

What a Liberal Minority Government Means for Arts & Culture

Following a thirty-six day campaign period, Canada’s Liberal party won 158 seats in Tuesday’s election and will form a minority government.

As part of their platform, the Liberals released a number of campaign promises. Of note are the investments promised to assist the tourism sector (which often spills over into the arts and heritage sector) in COVID-19 recovery, including a $1.9 billion investment in recovery support.

Here’s a reminder of what the party pledged to support the arts and culture sector:

  • Hold a summit, within the first one hundred days of taking office, on plans to restart the industry.
  • To extend the “Canada Recovery Hiring Program” that covers up to half of the wages of rehired workers.
  • Provide $300 million over two years to the “Recovery Fund for Heritage, Arts, Culture and Sports Sectors” plus $70 million over three years for the Canada Music Fund, $25 million to Canada Council core-funded organizations and $15 million for arts and heritage institutions to meet public health guidelines. Note that some of these measures were already announced in the 2021 federal budget.
  • Provide $43 million per year to support Canadian authors and book publishers by increasing funding for the Canada Book Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Public Lending Right Program.
  • Provide $400 million over four years to CBC/Radio-Canada to minimize its reliance on advertising.
  • To provide the country’s tourism industry with temporary wage and rent support of up to 75% of expenses to assist through the winter months
  • To amend the Canadian Copyright Act to allow artists to have resale rights.
  • To amend the Broadcasting Act to include streaming services (such as Netflix, Disney+, etc.) and modernize federal media organizations such as Telefilm, the National Film Board and the Canada Media Fund and their funding tools to better support video games and other traditionally underrepresented storytellers.
  • Create the “Arts and Culture Recovery Program” that will match ticket sales for performing arts, live theatres and other cultural venue to compensate for pandemic restrictions on venue capacity.

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