Wednesday, October 13, 2010

campbell government: more casinos, less arts funding

Keith Higgins writes...
Governments (both the provincial government and municipalities) used to justify the expansion of for-profit gambling by trotting out the benefits to charities. Then, in 2009, the premier and Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for the Gaming Branch, announced that they did not feel bound to honour commitments made to the people of B.C. that a proportion of casino and bingo revenue had to go to charities.

Now, a massive casino expansion -- big enough that the provincial government ordered up B.C. Place staium's new roof at the request of the casino developer -- is on the books in Vancouver.

Please join the B.C. Association for Charitable Gaming in asking, again, that the government honour commitments made to the people of this province, and restore funds to charities, including charities in the arts and culture. You can also join the BCACG in asking Vancouver's City Council to oppose the expansion of Edgewater Casino. You can do both of these things by attending tomorrow's rally (11 am, Thursday October 14 at Vancouver City Hall) and by signing the BCACG's online petition.

Here are the links.

The rally and press conference

The online petition
You may also want to check out the Facebook page Organizing Against Campbell's Cuts To The Arts

And while we're talking politics, I bet you'd never guess who said the following: “Any government which says it has a plan for economic recovery and doesn’t have a plan in place for arts and culture doesn’t have a plan for economic recovery.” Keith Higgins? The NDP Arts and Culture critic? The Georgia Straight? Ron Reed? Nope. Conservative Federal Heritage minister James Moore. And it sounds like he was talking about our provincial "Liberals." Here's the story in the Times Columnist.


National average for provincial arts funding?
$26.00 per capita

BC's arts funding, *with* newly restored $7M?
$6.54 per capita

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