A day after Stephen Harper complained that the arts community is "a bunch of people at a rich gala..."
But is that exactly what he said?
Tuesday, also at Canada.com
Stephen Harper took a swipe... at members of the arts community...
"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see . . . a bunch of people at a rich gala . . . all subsidized by the taxpayers - claiming their subsidies aren't high enough when they know those subsidies have gone up - I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people," Harper told reporters.
There was a little more to it than just "rich people at a gala."
And by the way, Harper is right. Swanky, tax-payer funded galas do not impress the average Canadian citizen, especially when some of us have to work hard to get by. Tolerance for swanky government galas is even limited, even though most people would argue that those things are more important than arts' galas.
The arts are important. I would not suggest otherwise. There is definitely a place for sculpture, music, paintings, architecture, literature and the like. But, during economic hard times, is funding these art projects the best use of tax payer money? What about when the art is particularly controversial?
I would argue that the government's first duty is to its citizens. People need to have their basic needs taken care of first. Crime, health care, and employment ought to be priorities.