Mr. Andrew Cash (Davenport, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the minister likes to sing a pretty tune; too bad he does not like to pay the Canadian artists who write the songs.
The Conservatives’ notion of promoting Canadian culture is to rob it from Canadians. They have mugged musicians to the tune of $20 million. They have kneecapped the CBC and Telefilm. They are closing CineRobotheque in Montreal and the NFB studios in Toronto.
How can the minister claim to support Canadian culture when he constantly takes a sledgehammer to its very foundations?
Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Heather Ostertag, the former CEO of FACTOR, said that what is offered to Canadian artists is the envy of the world.
We have increased our funding to the Canada Council for the Arts by 20%, and protected that. CBC has enough money to deliver on its mandate in the Broadcasting Act and to deliver on its 2015 plan.
The hon. member opposite said that we are taking money away from artists. What utter nonsense. What he is talking about is the NDP proposal to amend our Copyright Act to impose a new tax on iPods, cellphones and BlackBerrys, punishing consumers, treating them like criminals and forcing them to pay higher taxes. It is utterly out of line and not in the interests of consumers or artists.