Friday, July 13, 2007

Funding cuts and censorship

I came across this rather late ... which just goes to show how the government can get away with slashing funding to multicultural groups.

The Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) published a press release by a Liberal politicial objecting to the funding cuts, and on their blog asked for members to protest.

I don't know if they got much of a response to their campaign, but there is not one comment on their blog post. They could have had at least one, had their moderator seen fit to publish mine.

Maybe it was the point I tried to make. Which is that since this item didn't make it on the radar of the mainstream media, it was a very safe bet for the Conservatives. And which runs contrary to the CEMA president's suggestion that one of the items on the Conservative government's "hidden agenda" may be the abolition of official multiculturalism policy.

IMO it would be politically inexpedient for the Conservatives to do that. Maybe that's not a viewpoint the CEMA wants circulating out there. (Can't have people thinking for themselves, eh?)

If that is indeed the case, that kind of censorship doesn't speak well for such an association, nor for its approach to media freedom in Canada. Of course, it's possible they just haven't got around to approving it yet ... but given it was several days ago now, that doesn't speak well to their efficiency.

Well whatever. Here's what I wrote, FWIW:

They won’t likely abolish the program … it would cost them too many “ethnic” votes.

However, funding cuts have great appeal to those Canadians who object to their taxes going to fund ethnic cultural groups. So for the Conservatives, it’s a win-win.

Something very similar happened under the Mulroney government. I recall when Gerry Weiner, the then-minister for multiculturalism, announced that the government was getting away from what he called “3-D Multiculturalism,” the D’s being “diet, dress and dance.”

That made it very clear that Ukrainian cultural groups would soon be shut out of funding, which did in fact happen.

The end result is that Trudeau’s original vision of multiculturalism as advocated by (and unveiled to) the Ukrainian community is dead and gone. It’s just morphed into an effective tax-payer funded vote-buying program for incumbent governments.

Since many ethnic groups are content enough with lip-service from the government as long as it’s accompanied by a cheque, and since we don’t cross-promote and support each other particularly well, this funding cut was, unfortunately, inevitable… and a savvy political move for the Conservatives.


pumpernickel said...

Please consider yourself tagged - 8 random facts

Pawlina said...

OK... I'm swamped right now but I'll take up the challenge soon as I dig out a bit!

pumpernickel said...

Thanks. It was my first time tagged.