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Volume 14 - Issue 2 - October 2008

ENCOREWill Your Vote

ENCOREWill Your Vote Support the Arts?by Matthew Tran-AdamsIt seems that the number one issue for both Canadian and American voters this year is the economy, but have you thought of the arts? Beinga musician, artist or patron of the arts there is something you should keep in mind. According to the Conference Board of Canada, anindependent not-for-profit research organization, arts and culture makes up . 6 billion dollars or 7 .4 % of Canada's total GDP (GrossDomestic Product). So, where do our leaders stand when it comes to that sector of our economy?Stephen Harper, Conservative- A pianist with a grade 9 RCM certificate. Plays with a rock bandcalled Stephen and the Firewalls. Enjoys The Beatles and BlueRodeo.- Believes government should play a "fundamental role" inpromoting and encouraging the arts but must not have producersand creators who are "entirely cut off from public need ordemand." Funding should go to arts that show a public need.- Says that he has increased funding for the Ministry of CanadianHeritage by 8 % .Stephane Dion, Liberal- Not a musician, favourite artist is Jacques Brei.- Believes that arts play a vital role in shaping our national identity."We are committed to helping revitalize a vital sector of theCanadian economy that is under threat by Prime Minister StephenHarper's ideologically driven mismanagement."- Wants to reverse million in cuts to the arts that Conservativesimposed and double the budget of the Canada Council for the Artsto 0 million annually.Jack Layton, NDP- A guitarist, vocalist and piano player- Wants to introduce a system of tax averaging to provide "fairand equitable tax treatment to Canadian artists," provideincreased funding for Canada Council of the Arts, and ensureany new copyright legislation fairly addresses compensation forartists.Elizabeth May, Green- Admits she has "zero musical talent" but has many musicianfriends.- Acknowledges in policy documents that the arts makes for"engaged communities, and it happens to be an area of sustainableeconomic activity."- Policies look at not only the GDP but the GPI (General ProgressIndicator) which lets policy makers know how people are doingsocially, as well as economically. Policies take into account thewell-being of artists and their families because, "steady paid workis hard to secure ... for any number of reasons."62WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM

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