Monday, August 18, 2008

Industry CMF support program cut by 20%; what else is in play? Who knows?

[This post has been updated] Like buses and streetcars, budget cuts seem to come in clusters and that was certainly the case in the last couple of weeks where the minister of Canadian Heritage has confirmed total cuts to arts funding of more than $40 million. Included in that amount were: Trade Routes ($9 million); ($3.8 million); Culture Online ($5.6 million); book publishing ($1 million); arts and heritage stabilization ($3.5 million) and film and video support ($2.5 million).

One of the programs feeling the impact of the cuts is the Support for Industry Development component of the Canada Magazine Fund, which will see a cut for the 2009-10 fiscal year of $500,000, or about a 20% of this year's $2.5 million budget. The program supports industry-wide research and promotional projects run by magazine associations such as Magazines Canada and the various provincial bodies(BCAMP etc.). The main effect of this news is to reduce the overall budget for the CMF from $16 million to $15.5 million annually starting in 2009-10.

[UPDATE: The Globe and Mail reports that the total of the cuts is $44.8 million, with nine of the affected programs under the Department of Canadian Heritage. It also reports the exasperated response of the Prime Minister's \ communications director, Kory Teneycke.

"To listen to some in the arts community and the opposition, you would think that there's blood in the streets," he said.]

How these cuts otherwise augur for the current review of the Publications Assistance Program (PAP)and the Canada Magazine Fund (CMF) is an open question. We already know that the secretariat is recommending the two programs be merged into a single periodical fund; we also know that it all depends on the budget process and -- by extension -- on the decision whether or not to have an election this fall.

As we've reported before, the merged entity cannot be put into place before 2010-11. But the budget envelope for periodical funding could be adjusted anytime until early spring, by whatever government is in power. So none of the other components of CMF can be considered safe, though a vigorous lobbying effort by Magazines Canada may have mitigated the damage, for now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont forget about those cuts when it will be time to vote

4:01 pm  

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