June 25, 2004
On June 24, Saskatchewan Arts Alliance issued a Bulletin with results of the questionnaire we sent to federal election candidates in Saskatchewan. You may also have heard a story about the results on a CBC radio newscast. Since then, the New Democratic Party has sent their party response to the questions. Their answers are below. The answers of all the candidates who responded are posted on the SAA website, www.saskartsalliance.ca.
- Do you support federal investment in the arts and culture sector in Canada?
New Democratic Party: Yes, the NDP believes the arts and culture sector is fundamental to the supports federal investment in the arts and culture sector in Canada.
- If elected, would you vote to increase funding to the sector, to provide stable-adequate, multi-year funding?
New Democratic Party: Our arts and culture are vital to preserving our cultural sovereignty and independence as a nation. We would develop arts and culture policies that nurture this sector as a vital economic engine for Canada, our city and community. The NDP is committed to increasing federal funding for arts, culture and media by $240 million within one year. We would ensure long-term funding for the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records (FACTOR) to support our Canadian music industry. We would support individual Canadian visual and performing artists through project-based grants and tax credits. The NDP supports increasing and stabilizing funding for the CBC and Radio-Canada
- Would you provide access by the self-employed to social benefits programs, including Employment Insurance, and to the important training and professional development programs only accessible currently through Employment Insurance?
New Democratic Party: Yes an NDP government would provide access to the self-employed to programs such as Employment Insurance.
- Would you support an income tax exemption on artistic and copyright income for artists and creators, similar to that which already exists in Quebec and in other countries (such as Ireland)?
New Democratic Party: Yes, in fact NDP MP Wendy Lill introduced a private member?s motion in the 37th Parliament (2nd session) saying exactly that (M-293), and launched a nation-wide campaign to get artists involved in lobbying for this motion. Unfortunately the motion was ultimately defeated, but the NDP does still support this.
- Do you support a system of income back averaging on a 5 year basis, to address the unique needs of the growing numbers of self-employed individuals in Canada, both within the cultural sector and in other sectors of the economy?
New Democratic Party: Yes, the NDP supports a system of income averaging.
- What is your position on Canadians? right to free expression? Would you resist legislation that would potentially criminalize certain creative works of the imagination?
New Democratic Party: Then NDP supports Canadians? right to free expression. The NDP worked hard against a clause in Bill C-12 on child pornography which proposed to amend the ?artistic merit? defence with the ?public good? defence in determining whether the work of fiction is legal. The NDP felt that the new ?public good? defence would go a long way to criminalizing the imagination and stymie artistic expression. NDP MP Wendy Lill also hosted an anti-censorship event on Parliament Hill during Freedom to Read Week in April 2004.
- How would your government support UNESCO?s work in articulating a legally binding international agreement to support cultural diversity? What concrete steps would you take in the interim to ensure that Canada?s cultural sovereignty is not traded away prior to the ratification of an international instrument on cultural diversity?
New Democratic Party: An NDP government would strongly support UNESCO?s work towards an international agreement to support cultural diversity. In the interim, to protect Canadian culture, an NDP government would keep the same limits on foreign ownership on Canadian broadcasting, as well as provide incentives to Canadian artists for creation, such as the income tax exemption.
- Do you believe that Canadian content and ownership should be protected in our broadcasting industry? Do you extend this view more broadly to include (but be not limited to) regulation of other cultural industries, such as: book and magazine publishing; film production and exhibition; and sound recording?
New Democratic Party: Yes, the NDP firmly supports Canadian content and ownership provisions, and has lobbied to ensure that foreign ownership percentages are not increased beyond the current 49%, as well as argued against cuts to CBC and the Canadian Television Fund, which is used to create Canadian programs. The NDP?s view on Canadian content extends beyond broadcasting, and believes that more support should be given to Canadian artists.