maple leaf

Canada New Media Fund Scrapped

From September 13, 2008

When the Conservative Government cancelled a number of grants for Canadian culture and art in the summer of 2008, Canadian Heritage Minister Josee Verner had claimed that the programs needed to be replaced because they were outdated. (Never mind that when those programs were cancelled, no new updated grants were put in place, leaving cultural groups scrambling.) So, it was with some disbelief a week later that news came of the Conservative Government's killing of the Canada New Media Fund.

Acclaimed and award-winning Canadian companies, such as GlassBOX and Marble Media, have relied in part on the support provided by the CNMF to produce the innovative websites, films, and applications they have been recognized for. The CNMF is the embodiment of up-to-date and pioneering. Without a question, the Conservative cuts jeopardize the future of Canada's new media.

No doubt, given the opportunity, the Conservative government will plan to reinstitute some portion of funding - this way they get to put their stamp of ownership on the new fund, whatever it is they end up naming it. By cancelling the program first, and leaving all the subscribers to hang in the wind, Harper will be happy to receive all the credit and gratitude for bringing it back.

Unfortunately for us, Harper's erratic and capricious policies are exactly the sorts of policies that serve to stunt the growth of Canadian industry. As much as any factor, uncertainty - be it in the stock market or in the marketplace for ideas - can cripple an economy. He needs to stop.