The sitting Canadian government has arts policies?!?!

Atwood says Tories out to ‘squash the arts’
Canadian author Margaret Atwood has torn a strip off the current Conservative government over its arts policies.
The Tories are out to “squash the arts into the dust,” she said in Montreal just ahead of the opening of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival.
She was deeply critical of the Harper government’s cuts to the arts, especially the literary arts.
“They basically just hate us,” she said in an interview with CBC Radio. “You know itís people who have never seen any arts in their own lives ó they would rather not have gardens, they would rather have parking lots. They just think itís a frill probably.”
It was particularly short-sighted to cut funding for cultural tours that allow Canadian artists to develop fans overseas, she said.
“When selling artistic things abroad, that money comes into Canada and is taxed in Canada, so itís a net gain for Canada,” she said.
“Would they like to guess how much Yann Martelís novel The Life of Pi generated abroad? Would they like to know Ö how much my foreign editions bring in? Would they like to know how much [Canadian producer] Robert LePage generates abroad?”
The arts are being neglected despite bringing economic activity and prosperity to the country, Atwood said.
Events such as the opening of the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre in Toronto bring in millions of dollars from international guests, she said, yet the centre is one of six Toronto cultural projects still awaiting a funding announcement from Ottawa.
‘Would they like to guess how much Yann Martel’s novel The Life of Pi generated abroad? Would they like to know Ö how much my foreign editions bring in?’óMargaret Atwood
“Well, it is really a great mystery for a section of the economy that supports so much. It is so that the government supports all kinds of infrastructure for hockey and sports, they support all sorts of stuff for business, so why are they being this way about the arts, a sector which contributes a great deal.”
Atwood will be awarded the $10,000 Grand Prix at the Blue Met Festival, which starts Wednesday.
The Montreal festival itself lost $150,000 in funding this year, Atwood said.
Atwood is one of three giants of Canadian literature who are in the running this year for the Man Booker International, one of the richest prizes in literature.
She will be interviewed on stage in Montreal Friday at 8 p.m. by CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi.