Apologies to all our readers in the US who may not be as interested in this issue, but up here in Canuckland, Bill C-10 and its implications are big news and Art Threat is committed to providing steady updates as they come in. Now a word from the NDP’s Jack Layton:
Thank you for contacting me about Bill C-10 and the Harper government’s plans to censor film in Canada that it finds “offensive”. I agree that expanding the criteria used for denying tax credits to artists amounts to censorship and will have devastating consequences for the film and television industry.
New Democrats are standing up in Parliament to protect freedom of artistic expression in Canada. NDP House Leader Libby Davies was the first to raise the issue in Question Period and NDP Industry Critic Peggy Nash has made a formal statement in the House of Commons. NDP Culture and Heritage Critic Bill Siksay pushed this matter at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and in related media interviews. I invite you to support our petition to rescind any provisions of Bill C-10 which allow the government to censor film and video production. Please find below copies of our House interventions and the petition.
We believe that to be successful in its goal of encouraging Canadian film and video production, the tax credit system must be transparent and objective. We strongly object to having either the Minister of Canadian Heritage or nameless bureaucrats as the arbiters of what stories should be told or how they should be portrayed. Calls for subjective decision-making amount to censorship and have no place in a free and democratic society. I am sure you will agree that we must never confuse controversy for inappropriateness in a diverse country like Canada.
Again, I appreciate your efforts to protect artistic expression in Canada. I encourage you to pass along my response to all who may be interested. All the best.
Jack Layton, MP (Toronto-Danforth)
Leader, Canada’s New Democrats
(Photo credit: http://johngushue.typepad.com/blog/2006/01/index.html)