Monday, March 03, 2008

Canada's New Government stifles free speech: Bill C-10

Dear Reader,

The proposed bill C-10 will be a huge detriment to the entertainment industry in Canada. This industry is currently seeing an increase unlike it has ever seen before. With a great deal of television – like “Sophie” on CBC – finally gaining American interest it seems that Canadian television and film is starting to gain its own worldwide audience.

However – if Bill C-10 goes into play there will be an extreme decrease in the amount ofwork being produced. The industry will shut down because funding is no longer guaranteed. With funding that could be pulled away from a project, banks will not fund and the industry will collapse under insecurity.

If funding that is difficult to get already (there is a very specific and long application process already) can be taken away from projects anything that is nationally relevant to heritage may be non-funded by other sources in fears that the Canadian government funding that had been promised might be taken away at a moments notice.

As well, the terminology of the bill itself is vague. Terms like “offensive” leave much to be desired in the description. As “offensive” could mean – to the government – “something I don't personally like” which is subjective and problematic. Especially when discussing conceptualizations like “art” which can exist in public consciousness to create a dialogue one what the government and people do that is construed.

As well – concepts like “publics best interest” is even more problematic. As soon as someone determines “best interest” there exists an increasing pressure for “best interest” to be defined. This is often defined by dominant groups which effectively leaves those without a voice increasingly voiceless.

If you have any interest in increasing the amount of good and socially conscious art that Canada has been known for – please do not support this bill.

-Protest letter taken from Facebook group Against Bill C-10.

Please feel free to copy it and send it to the appropriate Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister or the Prime Minister. While I'm ambivalent about public arts funding, this bill is an attack on freedom of speech. It amounts to the Government stifling what people want to say.

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster