2015 Platform

Investing in Canadian culture and middle class jobs

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Canada’s cultural and creative industries are a vibrant part of our economy and our national identity. Our artists, producers, composers, and technicians are world leaders in their fields and are undeniable Canadian assets. The Conference Board estimates that culture drives more than $84 billion worth of economic benefits each year and provides employment to over one million Canadians.

With rapidly evolving media and digital technologies, consumers benefit from a wealth of content to choose from, in multiple formats, and from all over the world. Our cultural and creative industries have been gaining increased access to platforms on which to share – amongst ourselves and with the whole world – our country’s great cultural assets and productions.

To benefit from this time of great opportunity for our cultural and creative industries, we now need a government that understands the importance of investing in these industries.

Targeted government investment will stimulate economic activity, create jobs, grow the middle class, and help Canadian artists share Canadian stories, here in Canada and around the world.

As the anchor of our cultural and creative industries, CBC/Radio-Canada is a vital national institution that brings Canadians together, promotes and defends our two official languages, and supports our shared culture. Our public broadcaster reflects minority communities and is a vital voice throughout the country. CBC/Radio-Canada creates a shared space where we can collectively celebrate what it means to be Canadian, highlighting and sharing our geographic and cultural differences, and reinforcing what binds us together.

Unfortunately, during the Harper decade, our cultural and creative industries have been under attack. Harper has cut $115 million from CBC/Radio-Canada’s annual budget, jeopardizing our public broadcaster’s ability to fulfill its mandate, and damaging a critical institution that showcases our accomplishments and brings Canadians together. Harper has also cut funding for Telefilm Canada and programs that promote our cultural industries abroad. He has even attacked investments in Canadian culture, shamefully arguing that “ordinary people” are against them. We need real change.

A new Liberal government will reinvest in our cultural and creative industries, to create jobs, grow the economy and the middle class, and strengthen our rich Canadian identity.

  • We will invest $150 million in new annual funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, a commitment that reverses Harp- er’s cuts and goes even further to ensure that our nation- al broadcaster is able to prosper in today’s media environ- ment. We will work with CBC/Radio-Canada, and in consultation with the Canadian cultural community, on a new strategic plan that incorporates this renewed funding. In line with our Open Government plan, the process for CBC/Radio-Canada Board of Directors appointments must be reviewed, to ensure merit-based and independent appointments.
  • We will double investment in the Canada Council for the Arts to $360 million per year from $180 million. We will also increase funding to Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board, with a new investment totalling $25 million per year. These actions will create new jobs in our cultural and creative industries, enable greater artistic activity across the country, enhance the quality of life in our communities, and ensure that artistic creation remains an important part of our economy in the years ahead.
  • We will restore the Promart and Trade Routes international cultural promotion programs, cut by Harper, increase the funding to $25 million per year, and reinstate culture as part of our foreign diplomacy. This investment will promote Canadian culture and creativity on the world stage, making our artists an even more important export.
  • We will increase funding for the Young Canada Works program to help the heritage sector prepare the next generation of museum staff. This investment is part of a Liberal government’s commitment to create 40,000 youth jobs each year as part of a renewed Youth Employ- ment Strategy.
  • As part of our historic new investment in social infrastructure of nearly $6 billion over the next four years and almost $20 billion over ten years, we will invest significantly more in cultural infrastructure. Through bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories, we will invest in projects that create jobs, help build more creative communities, and preserve our heritage facilities. These investments will include facilities used by communities to express and promote their culture.

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