BC Liberals axing funding for the arts: NDP
After a summer of cuts to health, housing and education, the NDP says the arts community is the latest sector to face the BC Liberal chopping block.
At a rally held Sunday morning at NDP arts critic Spencer Herbert's constituency office, artists and performers were furious to hear the B.C. government would cease to fund arts programs with gaming revenues.
"The government is stealing money from charities, that's the only way we can see this," Herbert said.
Many organizations that were promised years of funding suddenly found they were without any funding at all.
"For some of us, our fiscal years start in a couple of days," Janna Crown, general manager of Music Intima, said. "How do you make up $23,000, $40,000, $60,000 in a day or two?"
To make matters worse, creative workers in B.C. rely on dollar-for-dollar matching grants from the Federal government -- grants they'll lose if B.C. doesn't support them first.
Housing and social development minister Rich Coleman defended the cuts on Sunday, saying the arts sector can't be spared when other sectors are getting cut.
"If they're only relying on grants that are annual, and they take to treating it like an entitlement, it really goes to the fact that they need to also find other ways to building within their communities to raise money to be able to survive," he said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger