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Federal Election 2008 – What to ask candidates when they solicit your vote?

In order to assist all those who are preoccupied with the place arts and culture occupy in the current electoral campaign, the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) has identified seven broad areas of prime importance for artists, creators, cultural institutions and industries. The CCA has developed a set of questions for each issue: these questions can be asked to all candidates when they come knocking at the door or participate in an all party debate.
These questions are divided in three series. Extremely detailed and well documented, they present issues and the context very precisely. Each set of suggested questions is preceded by a short backgrounder on the issue. We encourage you to disseminate as much as possible the replies you may get, either in writing or in a public forum.
The first section proposes questions to ask of all local candidates in your riding. They touch on three important current issues for the arts and culture sector in Canada. Topics raised in this section question the role of the federal government in cultural funding and policy, the role of culture and arts in international diplomacy, and the growth of Canada’s creative economy.
Section 2 of the Federal Election Doorstep Kit examines two key Bills which have been proposed by the Conservative government as well as the role each party sees civil society play in policy making. Bill C-10, which has caused a lot of controversy, proposes to revise the Income Tax Act, while granting what many consider to be undue discretionary and retroactive power to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Bill C-61 would amend the Copyright Act and bring it in line with the World Trade Organization Internet treaty. The third issue discusses the role of civil society in developing public policy, while questioning the evolving status of advocacy and lobbying in this process.
The final section of the 2008 Federal Election Doorstep Kit is devoted to the evolution of broadcasting and telecommunications policy and regulation. The next government will likely have to address the need for a new approach to Broadcasting Act and of the Telecommunications Act, acknowledging the new technologies available to Canadians. This legislation will call into question the cultural objectives included in the Broadcasting Act, which defines the requirements for Canadian investment in the development of Canadian programming content, while still establishing a competitive marketplace for these services.
The Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) is the national forum for the arts
and cultural community in Canada. It provides research, analysis and
consultations on public policies affecting the arts and the Canadian
cultural institutions and industries. The CCA fosters informed public debate
on policy issues and seeks to advance the cultural rights of Canadians.

All the details at http://www.ccarts.ca/en/advocacy/bulletins/
Bulletins number: 36/08, 37/08 and 38/08

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