Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fact checking the Liberal fact checker.

Fact checking the Liberal fact checker. Alternate title: How many lies and distortions can we squeeze into a web page.

A couple from the LPC's Just the Facts: ( my comments in parenthesis)

Liberals vs. Conservatives on culture:
- The Conservatives slashed $45 million from the culture sector. ( yes they did but why the convenient leave out of this :spending on cultural programs in the second year of Stephen Harper's Conservative government will be $509-million or 15.2 per cent more than it was in in fiscal 2006, the last year of Paul Martin's Liberal government.)
- Liberals defend culture and artists. We have promised to restore the funding cut by the Conservatives in 2008. While the Liberals were in power, this key sector’s budget was a high priority. ( Paul Martin priority #2,467 I guess. How can you restore funding to a sector that is getting more money now than it was in 2007? So unless you are planning on making massive cuts to the arts, as Martin did in the early 1990's, it would be impossible to 'restore' funding to 2007 levels.)
- The Conservatives have left Radio-Canada to fend for itself while the Liberal Party wants to ensure its long-term financial stability. (the CBC gets 1.1 Billion dollars from the federal government, not exactly fending for themselves is it.)
- The Conservatives introduced Bill C-10 giving the government the discretionary power to censor films while refusing to subsidize productions considered contrary to “public order”. The Liberal Party, on the other hand, has fought tooth and nail against this censorship law. ( Note quote of the words “public order”. November, 2003, when Paul Martin was about to take over from Jean Chrétien as Liberal Prime Minister, and after what they described as a long period of industry consultation, Deputy Prime Minister John Manley and Minster of Heritage Sheila Copps proposed that Canadian film and video productions will receive tax credits provided that "public financial support of the production would not be contrary to public policy." So you have fought tooth and nail against a policy that it turns out was basically written by the Liberal Party have you? Considering that John McCallum called the bill "sensible" and not a peep was heard from ANY Liberal MP when the bill was before Parliament, I would hardly call that or even the re-write of history on the origins of the bill, fighting tooth and nail against it.)

Liberals vs. Conservatives on EI:
- While Liberals believe that all Canadians have the right to the same EI coverage, regardless of where they live, Conservatives rejected this proposal and failed to present anything constructive as part of this summer’s EI working group. ( but yet we have the government introducing improvements to EI and now we have the very same Liberals trying to fast track this non constructive and apparently non existent legislation through both houses of Parliament. Lies and political games with this one, a double bonus)

I wonder what a Liberal fact checker makes now a days? It looks like easy money to me; just distort or make stuff up, re-write history, hit enter and collect your brown paper bag of cash at the end of the week for services rendered.

h/t Christian Conservative.


Rich said...

It was the Liberals in the 1994 - 2005 that revised the EI which at the time was called Unemployment insurance. It was the libs at that time that increased the hours required to work before qualifying for Unemployment insurance to 720 hours; it was the libs that set the parameters for collecting EI in the different regions, and lastly it was the libs that gutted the EI fund (52 billion dollars ) I believe this was the HRDC boondoggle,that went into their general fund for use in whatever scheme the libs saw fit. It was the Libs under Paul Martin that increased EI contributions from employers and employees to try and rebuild EI. Anything that the libs rage against that the Conservatives have done or not done is a hollow ploy.

Ardvark said...

I guess Ignatieff was not familiar with that Rich,with him being out of the country during that time.

Re-writing history is about the only thing that these guys are good at.

Anonymous said...

“from June 2nd to September 4th,(2008) the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) tracked 293 pre-election spending announcements totaling $8.8-billion made by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. That is roughly $94-million a day or about $3.9-million every hour” Canadian Taxpayer's Federation

Yet somehow, amidst all this wonton spending the Harper Finance team managed to don their "conservative" hats to find fault with two programs vital to arts abroad and cut them flat out alluding to ideological objections. The following year during a Standing Committee for Canadian Heritage Review of said cuts, the reasons behind the decision to cut Trade Routes and Prom Arts were undefended by the Minister of Heritage and said to be "sacrosanct" by his staff. Go ahead Ardark. Check your facts - read up on your Parliamentary Committee meetings.

BTW what happened to Tony Gagliano and David Pecaut's Canada Arts Prize? Is it still on the books? What happened to the National Portrait Gallery this past year or the National Photography Gallery this past year? What happened to funding for countless small Canadian magazines and independent films? You are all about facts so let's have some.
Start here.

Ardvark said...

Who is arguing with you? They did cut some programs but increased the overall budget.

paulsstuff said...

When providing a link to bolster your argument one might want to raed through the website contents beforehand.

Quite a bit of praise in there for the conservative government, no?

paulsstuff said...

There has been effusive praise for the new money given to the National Arts Training Contribution Program, which funds the country's most prominent national training schools such as the National Ballet School and the Royal Conservatory of Music. The Conservative pledge of $20-million in extra funding spread over two years followed by $13-million in permanent increases is part new money and part renewal, as $6-million of the $16-million program was set to expire at the end of this year. Nevertheless, the program will still see a net increase of $7-million – or more than 40 per cent – in perpetuity.

And the permanent extension of the Canada New Media Fund at its current level of $14.3-million each year has been widely welcomed.

Anonymous said...

From Bradshaw's article which was written admittedly almost a year ago:

Although there is some truth to the government's claims, they derive their force from a vague definition of “culture” – which can comprise everything from piano recitals to ESL classes.

In an exclusive interview with The Globe last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that his government “has increased funding for the arts” – and he cited a rise in the Canadian Heritage budget as an example.

His claim is valid in a broad sense: The overall cultural budget, combining funding for the Department of Canadian Heritage and its agencies and Crown corporations (such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Arts Centre), has increased since the Conservatives took power in early 2006. In 2004-05, the Liberals spent a combined $3-billion overall – compared to about $3.3-billion that the Conservatives planned to spend this fiscal year.

Anonymous said...

Paul Stuff, what else does the article you quote from say, mm like in the title and then again in the first paragraph?

Ardvark said...

What struck me about the Lib fact check was the use of Paul Martin and the word priority. The man decimated the arts budget along with almost everything else and rode to so called glory on the coattails of the GST and EI overpayments.

Ardvark said...

That should read the use of the word priority associated with the last Liberal government of which he was PM.

Anonymous said...

How much of the 15% increase in funding that you cite will go towards unknown and inflationary costs building, staffing, and acuiring the collection for the Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

And why with the increases you suggest does Canada still not have a physical gallery for its historical portrait collection?

paulsstuff said...

"Arts groups pleased but Canada Council snubbed
James Bradshaw
Globe and Mail

The injections of cultural cash in Tuesday's federal budget are being hailed by many in the arts community as a landmark moment showing national politicians' heightened attention to the arts. But complaints about what was left out remain widespread.

Arts leaders have been virtually unanimous in saying the budget – which, according to the Conservative government, offers $276-million in new funds – brings generally good news, taking culture's prominent profile as a sign of a strengthening relationship with the Tories.

“We're really thrilled that there's a strong minister and that there were [two] pages in the budget devoted to the arts, which is a first in my history,” said Kevin Garland, general director of the National Ballet of Canada."

Anonymous said...

Sigh, Also from your link:

But two potential recipients that were snubbed continue to feature prominently in most reactions, namely the Canada Council for the Arts and initiatives concerning Canada's cultural presence abroad.

Anne-Marie Jean, general director of Culture Montréal, described the Canada Council as lean and efficient, arguing that it should be handed new tools with which to promote Canada's arts beyond its borders.

“There are interesting things in the budget and we're happy to see that. But we were all deceived by some of it because we thought there would be more money for the Canada Council,” she said.

Jean also argued that the council is uniquely positioned to help maximize the effects of the $60-million in infrastructure spending earmarked for the next two years.

“Although you do have money for infrastructure, you have to have something to present. You have to encourage creation,” she said.

Robert Sirman, the director of the Canada Council, said his organization is still celebrating the $30-million permanent increase to its budget given by the Tories last year. But he added that the council is eager to help provide artists with the touring capacity they lost with the demise of the PromArt and Trade Routes programs last fall.

“We'd like to be a part of some kind of solution that provides greater opportunity to Canadian artists to access international markets. This seems to be what the arts community is most conscious of and is telling us is their No. 1 priority,” he said.

He also expressed concern that the rise in infrastructure money will increase pressure on operating budgets for a number of arts organizations in the years to come, with the burden falling on the council's shoulders.

Garland will join Jean in making the case to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore that the Canada Council deserves a boost, and she said she has not yet given up on lobbying for increased funding for foreign projects, echoing the spirit of many arts leaders that the conversation is just beginning.

“I think we re-established a relationship with the minister in the past month. … I think we have to have many meetings, we have to have a regular dialogue, which means we have a lot of work ahead of us,” Jean said.

Also absent was any pledge of support for Project Niagara, the collaborative effort by the National Arts Centre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to launch a summer music festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake. But a pledge of $75-million to Parks Canada for upgrades to sites linked to the War of 1812 could provide some aid, as the festival is slated to open on the 200th anniversary of the war, and be built on a famous landing site.

The announcement of the wide-ranging new Canada Prizes for the Arts and Creativity has generated considerable buzz, though most observers are eager to see how the prizes will be administered.

Anonymous said...

Also from your link:

But many of the measures, including the $100-million-per-year renewal of the Canadian Television Fund, are limited to two years, leaving some nervous that the government's generosity has a time limit. Sirman attributed the two-year time frame to Conservative attempts to avoid plunging the country into permanent structural deficits.

paulsstuff said...

Because all previous and current government use exhibitions to allow Canadians and tourists to view the collection all across Canada as well as abroad:

"The Portrait Gallery of Canada is a program of Library and Archives Canada which has gathered the largest group of national portraits in the country: more than 20,000 paintings, drawings and prints, 4 million photographs, several thousand caricatures, and ten thousand medals and philatelic items. The collection contains works by well-known professional artists as well as images made by ordinary people, and includes portraits by both Canadian and international artists.

Some of the collection's most significant portraits record the earliest European contact with Aboriginal peoples. One unique treasure is a small painting of a Beothuk woman, Desmasduit, the only portrait made from life of a now-extinct people. Other highlights are 19th-century Canadian portraits and 20th-century photographs such as Yousuf Karsh. Caricature, that marvellous counterpart to honorific portraiture, also forms an important part of the collection.

The collection has grown through the generous donations of private individuals and judicious purchases made in Canada and abroad. Long a resource for researchers, the collection shows its public face through exhibitions.

And there are permanent physical locations to view:

"Library and Archives Canada collects and preserves Canada's documentary heritage, and makes it accessible to all Canadians. This heritage includes publications, archival records, sound and audio-visual materials, photographs, artworks, and electronic documents such as websites. As part of our mandate, we work closely with other archives and libraries to acquire and share these materials as widely as possible.

Anonymous said...

Because all previous and current government use exhibitions to allow Canadians and tourists to view the collection all across Canada as well as abroad?

You mean in the stacks?

Anonymous said...

Do you happen to know about any recent programming undertaken by the current government that "allowed" Canadians and tourists to view the collection all across Canada as well as abroad?

Anonymous said...

"And there are permanent physical locations to view"

Really, where?

paulsstuff said...

395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

Google Portrait Gallery of Canada to see current exhibitions, or Library and Archives Canada for info on the collection. ALL governments over the years deserve credit for amassing and displaying this part of our history.

Rich said...

MYSTERIOSO: The Conservatives cut 45 million dollars from arts program, because that particular section was not returning any benefits. By the way they also increase funding to arts to 2 billion dollars, so your argument just shows your bias.

Anonymous said...

Do you think the collection is on view at 395 Wellington St.?

Anonymous said...

Re: "The Conservatives cut 45 million dollars from arts program, because that particular section was not returning any benefits."

You can't even name the programs that were cut. There's always google.

Ardvark said...

Sigh. Sidetracked again.

Ok conservatives bad, even though there is more money overall to the arts/culture than ever before, and Liberals good because 'we can do better' says the chosen one who has come back to lead us all in-spite of our historical record.

It can't ALL be funded; someone/group is always left out and they will cry out to anyone who will listen to their grievances. The arts community just knows how to do it better than others, and get more press.

Enough already. Take it somewhere else please.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful debate. You guys have a tremendous grasp of the issues surrounding arts funding in Canada.