June 29, 2011

Canadian Astroturfing at Play?

SDA regular Gord Tulk has pointed out what appears to be a very well coordinated letter writing campaign to the CRTC CBSC. It's concerning this interview: Part 1 & Part 2.

Was Krista Erickson's behaviour really that egregious?!? The Reasonable Person Test suggests not. Therefore, why the thousands of "complaints" to the CRTC? Could it be that the members of don't want the rot of corruption within public arts funding to be exposed to the Canadian public?!

Might it be that a tiny minority of well connected "artists" have had their proverbial snouts in the public trough for a LONG TIME and don't want the tap to be shut off? Might it be that this portion of the interview hit just a little too close to the bone in the hearts & minds of Canada's Left?

Update: Blogger A Dog Named Kyoto has discovered a key component of the Astroturfing Coordination.

Some of the comments on the Facebook page of Margie Gillis are truly despicable. One of the most repugnant comes from "Professor" Colleen Franklin of Sudbury's Laurentian University:


What an embarrassing, entirely un-Canadian thing to say by any citizen of our country, let alone a professor. Why is it that so many supporters of totalitarianism occupy the once esteemed halls of academia?

Incidentally, it should be no surprise that Ms. Franklin also supports the destruction of the Canadian economy. I wonder if that includes her own salary?

Posted by Robert at June 29, 2011 4:29 AM

Letter to the CRTC:

I think Kristina did a fabulous job interviewing Ms Gillis. Kristina was fair in exposing that I am by forced to pay through taxes to fund an art so unappealing that it can't attract enough paying customers to survive. 

Candidly, Ms. Gillis looked foolish as she simply could not respond rationally, or persuasively to Kristines very fair question " why should I have to pay Gillis's salary? 

Kristine asked fair questions. That there is a campaign afoot to complain about Kristines conduct in the interview is evidence that supporters of Gillis's art simply cannot answer persuasively Ericksons questions either, so they change the subject to criticizing Kristine and Sun News for, wait for it.... being mean. 

Bull. These arts are the privilege any citizen to perform. These arts do not have the priviledge of making me pay for it. That's not mean, that's fair comment.

Bravo Kristina Erickson for speaking on my behalf. Ms. Gillis and her supporters can find the solution for world peace on their own dime, not mine. 

Posted by: RCGZ at June 29, 2011 6:37 AM

There is a story that Robert Bateman (a painter) is not considered an "artist" by the "Arts Council" because he's commercially viable. I say, all artists should be commercially viable. Therefore, there would be no requirement for an "Arts Council" to determine who is an artist and who is not.

Posted by: favill at June 29, 2011 6:57 AM

A classic Tax Parasite under the microscope. CBC next. Classic....

Posted by: RFB at June 29, 2011 7:24 AM

If we wake up tomorrow and there is no more "Voice of Fire" paintings, no more flitting of lightfooted folks on stages, no more "Family Brown" country songs or Living on Lions "music", we will all live, but if there is no more food at the supermarket, or no fuel at the gas station, or no job, because govt's kept shoving money at the useless of society until there was Greece, well we have a problem. Shut down all funding of all this garbage, and the cream will rise to the top, buskers will go back to busking instead of some CBC sound stage with pockets full of taxpayers cash while degrading the religions of those who donated to their sorry existences. If we were finally lucky enough to shut down the CBC, we would get rid of The Nature of Things, that would be worth it alone, seeing a documentary on Sun News, hosted by Krista, about when parisites (Suzuki) can find no hosts.

Posted by: bartinsky at June 29, 2011 8:48 AM

I'd like to see her take over as the head of the CBC or at least get the job of deciding how much Arts Funding should be cut from the teat-sucking rent seekers like Ms. Gillis.

Now that would be justice for such a cheap publicity stunt like this scam.

Posted by: Fred at June 29, 2011 9:00 AM

The only thing that dance has ever done for the human condition is create eating disorders among girls/women, destroyed joints, extremely insecure self images, drug addictions, pathetically low income and colossal egos among the elitists who feed off of all of it.

If you want to find peace, read a book and mediate in the park, both of which are free.

Posted by: The Champ at June 29, 2011 9:01 AM

Oh,I see. Interpretive dance is the same as medical research and will bring about world peace through plasticity of the mind.

Got it. Don't understand it, but then I'm probably the only Canadian who didn't "get" the famous "Voice of Fire" art work that cost us a million bucks back in the '80's.

Give her a couple million more,it's only government money.

Posted by: dmorris at June 29, 2011 9:02 AM

For fairness sake, I would complain too much about the Left organizing letter writing campaigns. We too have our campaigns (one running right now) based entirely on our worldview, so it's par for the game.

Have you written to your MP to scrap Firearms Act yet, by the way? Or are you assuming it will be just handed to us in the basket?

If you have spare paper and access to a printer, please head to Canadian Gunnutz web site, Action centre forum and print out a letter posted in the thread called something like 'Scrap C-68 CPC majority version'. Thank you!

Posted by: Aaron at June 29, 2011 9:03 AM

How the bugs run for cover when exposed to the light. Good job, Ms. Erikson.

Posted by: Mark at June 29, 2011 9:13 AM

Once again the left has inverted the definition of a word.

Compassion (archaic) "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune."

Compassion (artistic) "a feeling of deep sympathy for one's own who must be given a fortune."

Government spending is not a measure of compassion.

Posted by: WalterF at June 29, 2011 9:15 AM

Margie Gillis is interested in world peace. Who could have a problem with that?

"Then we'll be able to change the plasticity in the mind and the mind can then hunter-gather, if you will, for a solution ... we're looking at ways to tease out these problems experientially so that the mind will then grow new plasticities and new ways for people to create new solutions to their own problems"

Margie may have once been a talented dancer, but she clearly is unable to defend her work without blabbering out a stream of meaningless gobbly-gook.

It seems to me that teasing out the problem of world peace "experientially" would involve going to a war zone and experiencing the fact that merely chatting with the combatants won't keep the mortar shells from flying. I'm sure taking some shrapnel in the gut is a profound learning experience.

Posted by: Sadistic Eristic at June 29, 2011 9:20 AM

Put the elitist snob in a burka and drop her off in Yemen or some such place.

See how she handles that conflict resolution through taxpayer funded 'dance'.

Maybe we could drop some ceebeeceers off with her, you know, for the documentary.

When they find the tapes i'm sure aljazeera will air them in their comedy hour.

"Cultural exchange" win, way better than sending her to a posh venue in switzerland on our dime.

Posted by: nobody at June 29, 2011 9:23 AM

Aaron @ 9:03 is right.

Conservatives need to engage or else the voices from the fringe left win. There is no substitute for action. Write a letter or make a phone call. Start something.

Posted by: jeff at June 29, 2011 9:25 AM

For far too long the right has sat back and yelled at the tv, now it is time for the other side to do some yelling. The CRTC should be disbanded since it serves no national interest in this county but is only there to carry out the wishes of Bell and the CBC.

Posted by: D Krupski at June 29, 2011 9:32 AM

Yes, it's coordinated.

Posted by: A Dog Named Kyoto at June 29, 2011 9:32 AM

Nothing stopping us from filing complaints against the CRTC for accepting mass complaints that are bogus and serve to harass and persecute someone for daring to have an opinion not sanctioned by the radical left. Frankly the CRTC is past it's prime, like the HRC this organization is state censorship nothing less nothing more.

Posted by: Rose at June 29, 2011 9:38 AM

What puzzles me is the massive and closed self-referentiality of the art fiefdom community - and it is a fiefdom - made up of a clique of people.

First, they self-define themselves as 'X', in this case, 'artists'. This definition is closed to the observer; it is self-defined within the clique.

Then, they define 'art' as a superior form of existence. As such, it too is beyond the realm of we ordinary citizens. We must, we are told, acknowledge its superior existentiality - without liking or wanting it.

Indeed, these 'artists' tell us that what THEY produce is 'culture' and without it, we would be 'uncultured'. The fact that these definitions are entirely self-referential escapes them.

Then, they define this superior form of existence as beyond the realm of any commercial results; that is, their 'art' must not be desired by others and purchased. Such a mercantile exchange, according to this Set of Definitions, defines the work as 'not-art'.

Then, having totally self-defined themselves as a Superior Being, they insist that they must, as their 'human right' (ahh, how they fling this term around)..receive A Salary. Where does it come from?

Why..from The Government. But, the Government is not a person. The money it has comes from...those citizens. From people who work and pay taxes (unlike most of these artists).

So - essentially these 'artists' insist that the taxpayer pay, without their free will, for whatever these 'artists' choose to do..even though these 'products' of the 'artists' are not asked for, not wanted, not even liked.

The comparison with a mafia gang, who insist that you must pay for 'protection' seems valid.
In this case, these people declare that they alone are 'cultured' and if we want to 'be cultured', then we must pay them. heh.

Posted by: ET at June 29, 2011 9:58 AM

Here's something I posted here at SDA a couple of years ago. It still applies.

"There is absolutely no need for governments to fund the arts. Art has existed since long before anyone conceived of the idea of either government or money. When we find caves that our ancestors lived in, we find paintings on the walls. Dig up a long lost village and find decorative art work and pottery etc.

So why do we. After 20 plus years of working in close proximity to arts groups, I have come to conclude that the reason politicians give money to them is in order to buy their services when the need arises.

They are a very handy group to have on your side when you want to run a political campaign. They can take nice pictures of you and your family to slip under doors. They can make lawn signs that are need in the thousands etc. They man phone banks for politicians in order to raise money or for get out the vote efforts. They help fill up the street with protestors when a Mike Harris comes along to amalgamate your city and threatens politicians jobs.

And that is why we have funding for the arts.

Posted by: bob c at June 19, 2009 1:10 PM"

Posted by: bob c at June 29, 2011 10:10 AM

The milking of the Taxpayer is incredible. Its at Criminal Levels of Taxation in Canada now. Taxes now consume more of the average Canadian Families Budget than Food, Clothing and Housing combined. Parasites like Suzuki are masters at milking and bilking. The Taxpayer funds the CBC 1.3B, CBC has a director on David Suzuki's Board. CBC runs Nature of Things endlessly, and funnels Millions of Taxdollars to Suzuki. TaxDollars that he can't get except through the CBC. Demand deep cuts in spending, especially in the cultural industries. This includes the Billion Dollar Multicult Scams and the endless cultural festivals from Caribana to Gay Pride. Let them appeal to their base for funding and get these parasites out of the pockets of the overtaxed citizens of Canada. Let The F*rting and TapDancing Ethnic and Cultural Groups follow a Crow's A*s from dumpster to dumpster for their next meal for all I care. A POX on them all.

Posted by: RFB at June 29, 2011 10:20 AM

Yes There's a reason it's "not profitable" sweetie, - it sucks! The public thinks your lame narcissistic exhibitions suck so no sale babe!

If there is a lack of compassion it is with empty headed artsies who think their myopic little self interests take priority over shorter waiting times and a new MRI for Grandma.

Posted by: Occam at June 29, 2011 10:21 AM

Arts funding riles taxpayers more than most publicly funded endeavors because their work often lacks reason. The reality, however, is there exists a hugh segment of society that makes their living off taxpayer handouts. Case in point is the postal strike. Tens of thousands of letter carriers make their living from deliviering junk mail to homes. The fact that many could be replaced by community mail boxes is irrelvent. Their wages could be redirected to health care budgets where heaven forbid lives might be saved.

This sceanario is repeated throughout our society. Will this CPC majority actually tackle this situation or simply 'manage' it more effectively than the Libels. A process of education has to occur where citizens are forced to make 'real' choices about how tax money is spent. Unfortunately courageous politicans who voluntarily give up tax revenue are few. More common are MP Moore who find reasons to increase spending on the CBC.

Posted by: CT at June 29, 2011 10:32 AM

Artists sell art...'artists' expect the government to pay them for making things they can't sell simply because they call it 'art'...and sometimes, just sometimes, an artist will change their mind on what they called art....

Lennon was a closet Republican: Assistant

First posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 6:35:03 EDT PM

John Lennon was a closet Republican, who felt a little embarrassed by his former radicalism, at the time of his death - according to the tragic Beatles star's last personal assistant.

Fred Seaman worked alongside the music legend from 1979 to Lennon's death at the end of 1980 and he reveals the star was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.

In new documentary Beatles Stories, Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn't the peace-loving militant fans thought he was while he was his assistant.

He says, "John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on (Democrat) Jimmy Carter.

"He'd met Reagan back, I think, in the 70s at some sporting event... Reagan was the guy who had ordered the National Guard, I believe, to go after the young (peace) demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that... He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me.

"I also saw John embark in some really brutal arguments with my uncle, who's an old-time communist... He enjoyed really provoking my uncle... Maybe he was being provocative... but it was pretty obvious to me he had moved away from his earlier radicalism.

"He was a very different person back in 1979 and 80 than he'd been when he wrote Imagine. By 1979 he looked back on that guy and was embarrassed by that guy's naivete."

Posted by: Bemused at June 29, 2011 10:38 AM

D Krupski: "For far too long the right has sat back and yelled at the tv, now it is time for the other side to do some yelling."

Here's Ezra Levant interviewing his own intern. Who's dressed as a chicken. For five minutes. Seriously.

There might be some yelling from "the other side", but mostly it's laughter.

Posted by: Davenport at June 29, 2011 10:45 AM

While we're on the topic of funding ‘artists' how about setting an example by drastically cutting corporate welfare?

Both, after all, purport to be businesses.

So, why should the taxpayer support something that would not otherwise survive?

Such as GM and Chrysler; various economic development agencies, etc.

Posted by: set you free at June 29, 2011 10:57 AM

In regards to the CRTC, not only will they side with the lefties on this just look at what they did with there CBC consultation, as soon as they noticed the comments were anti cbc they changed it up so you could not comment anymore, I know I tried many many times.

I am sending letters to both the PMO and The heritage ministry demanding something be done, I'm not gonna hold my breath.

Posted by: FREE at June 29, 2011 11:15 AM

Ha ha ha like these leftards can afford to buy any products from that boycott page anyway! If heads are exploding on the left about Sun News you know they're doing something right.

Posted by: james at June 29, 2011 11:24 AM

The youtube comments were very one-sided. I think I'm going to get pummelled for my comment. It's just more evidence that no one knows, or cares, who this woman is.

Posted by: coach at June 29, 2011 11:25 AM

Just watched the interview. Yay for the internet, I didn't have to support Sun TV by paying for that channel. The interview completely confirmed my decision to not have cable/satelite/whatever. Life is too short to listen to crap like that. It is also too short to listen to how compassionate interpretive dance will bring about world peace.

Neither woman impressed me. The interviewer was obviously intent on achieving a combative interview and too fake. All that congratulations with such a snarky voice, "I know that award means a lot in the arts community." etc. irritated me. She had valid points, but most were lost in her confrontational style and her unfair jabs. And the slip of $1.2 mil per year was inexcusable.

The dancer got points for knowing what she was heading in for and showing up. I found her also not to my liking but at least she was genuine. She genuinely believes what she is doing. She should have been better prepared with numbers, though. She knew that was the theme of the interview and was unprepared. If she wants to change the mind of some members of that demographic, she must learn to guide them from numbers, to outcomes, not just talk about outcomes. Lead your audience from where they are to where you want to them to go.

The interviewer comparing compassion of our troops to dancers was mind-boggling. Troops are government funded as well. If we are complaining about $100K per year for dance, she left herself open to discussion about the return on investment of our military. Luckily, the dancer wasn't quick enough to question whether we should cease to fund the military and let the market support it if we think it is worthwhile.

A point the interviewer missed was that churches do a lot of the airy-fairy, helping to make people feel better about themselves stuff the dance program is supposed to achieve and manage to do it relatively self-funded (aside from the tax-free and charitable status.) Perhaps we could look into funding arts the same way. Some of that exists already but if we moved from funding grants (except where it assists in government goals, just as government supports some church-run social programs in partnership) to a self-financed but financed through tax-free status perhaps that would stop the belly-aching from the right.

If there was to be a real interest in sharing ideas/goals/coming to understanding, that won't happen with this interviewer. Ever.

The dancer did more to help me understand her thinking than the interviewer did. So, in my view, she 'won' the exchange. But since when are interviews supposed to be a win/lose sport?

As for the interviewer, she did nothing to interest me in watching Sun TV and everything to make me glad I don't get the channel because I'd hate to accidentally tune in to this person. If I was in charge of Sun, I'd fire her. But then again, perhaps she fits into the corporate goals (this is the first clip I've watched from Sun so she may be just what they think is needed.) If so, I'll let the market take care of her and the channel.

I was hoping Sun TV would offer sanity and thoughtful response to the charge that we are all knuckle-draggers. After watching that clip, I'd say Sun TV is doing everything in its power to reinforce that stereotype put forth by the left.

Posted by: CanadianKate at June 29, 2011 11:26 AM

BTW do these terrorists really think they will succeed in shutting us up? And also is that really what they seek? They actually want to live in a world where debate and asking questions is outlawed? Why do they live in this country? Why not move to China or Iran. They can dance there way over there on the terror boat to Gaza.

Posted by: james at June 29, 2011 11:29 AM

I can't login to the CRTC website to leave my comments. Are they purposely trying to only get comments from the youth?

Posted by: grok at June 29, 2011 11:30 AM

I cannot beleive that the face book page will not allow any more comment's , typical leftist crap!!!

Anyway my t.v. stay on sun news all day and night !!1 so yeah babay!!

Posted by: paul in calgary at June 29, 2011 11:31 AM

Robert: "Therefore, why the thousands of "complaints" to the CRTC?"

RCGZ: "Letter to the CRTC..."

Rose: "Nothing stopping us from filing complaints against the CRTC for accepting mass complaints that are bogus...

D Krupski: "The CRTC should be disbanded..."

FREE: "In regards to the CRTC, not only will they side with the lefties on this just look at what they did with there CBC consultation..."

grok: "I can't login to the CRTC website to leave my comments. Are they purposely trying to only get comments from the youth?"

Sigh. Can't even get basic facts right.

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) doesn't regulate TV content. You are thinking of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), which is a separate organization entirely:

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) is an independent, non-governmental organization created by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) to administer standards established by its members, Canada's private broadcasters. The Council's membership includes more than 730 private sector radio and television stations, specialty services and networks from across Canada, programming in English, French and third languages.


Many similar bodies have been statutorily created in other parts of the world and some even function on a quasi-judicial basis. Not so the CBSC, which is a creature of the private broadcasters and plays an intermediate role in the regulatory process. With the support of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) and the approval of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), but without the heavy club or formalities of government sanctions, the Council promotes self-regulation in programming matters by Canada's private sector broadcasters.

Posted by: Davenport at June 29, 2011 11:37 AM

Hey, wake up this morning everyone and actually read the link Gold Tulk kindly provided.

It is NOT the CRTC that is getting the complaints, it is the CBSC or Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. It is an industry association that "self regulates".

We should support Sun TV, but at least lets send it to the right people (have to admit, watching an "artist" squirm provided my morning chuckle)!

Posted by: crotchrocketcowboy at June 29, 2011 11:38 AM

Don't forget to follow Gillis's facebook link and thank all the sponsors of Sun News which she listed there for us.

Posted by: grok at June 29, 2011 11:45 AM

Thank goodness we have dedicated dancing martyrs who sacrifice themselves for the collective common good of the community...

I once dated a younger foreign version of Gillis. They really do believe that they are changing the world by channeling spiritual energy through interpretive dance, or something. It's a special kind of crazy. They are much lower on the threat-o-meter than, say, union execs, bureaucrats or ngo actors. But after watching the second part of the interview, Gillis is evidently intertwined with the 'conflict resolution' ngo industry. Maybe she's onto something. There's only one way to find out - air drop thousands of interpretive dancers into Syria and Libya. Maybe it's time for JTF2 to build an interpretive dance unit.

Krista is doing an outstanding job. She's flushed out thousands of jackasses who believe they have a duty to censor private television broadcasters because they don't approve of an interview's tone. Tee hee..

Posted by: max at June 29, 2011 11:50 AM

Fortunately, SNN does not appear to be a member of the CBSC. When I checked there membership list quebecor and sun news were not there.

So sending them a complaint does what?

Posted by: FREE at June 29, 2011 12:01 PM

"While we're on the topic of funding ‘artists' how about setting an example by drastically cutting corporate welfare?"

Good point! Let's get rid of CO2 burial subsidies to coal-fired power producers who refuse to "clean up their acts".

While we are at it, ditch wind and solar subsidies, bcause really, they are not "efficient" or in any way going to replace base load power - ever.

Posted by: Po'ed in AB at June 29, 2011 12:01 PM

Gillis really seems to be pushing art as a religion? I'm sure the left would be against a state funded religion.

Posted by: Knacker at June 29, 2011 12:09 PM

FREE: "Fortunately, SNN does not appear to be a member of the CBSC. When I checked there membership list quebecor and sun news were not there."

CKXT-TV--Sun TV--Toronto is listed.

Posted by: Davenport at June 29, 2011 12:17 PM

Sun TV, is not SNN.

Posted by: Knacker at June 29, 2011 12:19 PM

first time I've seen the interview. What I could gather from it is this: a hippie preaching about the "collective and the common good". In fact, she said that several times. Gillis' wide-eyed shock that these questions were even being asked of her is proof that she lives in her own artsy fartsy bubble and has no idea about real ordinary everyday Canadians...

I'd like to see an artist such as our wonderful Kate, debate Gillis....

Kudos to Krista for challenging her. We should not be subsidizing this stuff.

Posted by: Soccermom at June 29, 2011 12:25 PM

@Knacker: Click the "CKXT-TV" link on the CBSC site -- it goes to SNN. As for the specialty services listing, one suspects the website simply hasn't updated its membership list.

Or you could just keep hoping that SNN isn't a CBSC member...

Posted by: Davenport at June 29, 2011 12:32 PM

Max: "Krista is doing an outstanding job."

Well, let's not get carried away.

Posted by: mj at June 29, 2011 12:35 PM

Hey Davenport I hate to burst your bubble (ok maybe I don't hate it), but SNN isn't going to adjust themselves for the CBSC. You're completely missing the point .. an SNN segment resulting in a frothy moonbat mailing campaign is a resounding success for SNN.

Posted by: max at June 29, 2011 12:40 PM

@ Davenport. I was going off the fact that when SNN first came out, I would google Sun TV and an Indian news company called Sun TV would come up. Not Sun News Network, so I was assuming it could have been referring to the Indian program.

Regardless of ones criticisms to how Erickson conducted the interview, the important part of the discussion has been lost like usual. We are back to a divisive argument which is very frustrating.

I believe most Canadians love art in the many forms, but the issue of whether or not "art" is the governments responsibility has been kicked down the road; and the discussion on how tax payers dollars are spent to condone a particular art form or a particular artist is also lost.

People say that Sun News Networks piece is a form of propaganda, yet they clearly do not understand that government funded art is also propaganda.

Posted by: Knacker at June 29, 2011 1:25 PM

I sent as many thank you notes as possible to the list that Margie Gillis provided. I told them that as long as they advertise with SNN I would continue to spend money with them.

Oh and Margie thanks for the list.

Posted by: FREE at June 29, 2011 1:26 PM

'The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) is an independent, non-governmental organization created by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) to administer standards established by its members, Canada's private broadcasters'
(Davenport at June 29, 2011 11:37 AM)

So does this mean that Krista Erikson and Sun TV will be found in 'contempt' just as the CPC was in Parliament...does that mean we'll have another election to prove we don't care what the opposition think?...will Margie Gillis (mother of Dobie?)run for office in Quebec?

Its truly 'artistically inspiring' to live in such an advanced democracy as is Canada whereby my tax dollars are so 'artistically lifted' from my ever gasping wallet.

Posted by: old duffer at June 29, 2011 1:28 PM

While I don't think she should be funded either, Sun didn't cover themselves in glory with that interview. And for heaven's sake, could the ladies please dress more like they actually have an important job to do, and aren't out at the farmer's market on a Saturday morning? That style is ok for the "Corn Flakes" morning shows, but move it up a notch after 9 am, maybe a nice blouse, jacket, and plain skirt. If you still want to stay sexy, keep it notched up A BIT higher.

Posted by: Kriilin Namek at June 29, 2011 1:33 PM

"Ars longa, vita brevis".

H/T Mayor Peter Kelly of Halifax.

Get your cash 'fore you cash in.

This arts scam was coordinated by public servants/elected politicians.



"Halifax concert cash"

"How did we get from the Rolling Stones concert to the resignation of a senior Halifax official and calls for a police investigation? Follow the key developments in the concert cash scandal.

Sept. 23, 2006 - Rolling Stones concert on the Halifax Common."


"June 28, 2011 - About 100 people rally in Halifax to demand Kelly's resignation. They say he should be held accountable for his role in the concert scandal."

Posted by: macd at June 29, 2011 1:56 PM

Given how passionately Krista Erikson questioned the $1.2 million in arts grants that Margie Gillis's company received over 13 years, I wonder when she'll be conducting the exact same interview with her own boss, Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor Inc, which owns Sun News Network, to find out why Quebecor has been receiving $2 million per year from Canadian Heritage's Publications Assistance Program for its celebrity gossip magazines.

Posted by: Davenport at June 29, 2011 2:02 PM

Well Davenport it's pretty hard to compete against other subsidized magazines unless you take the subsidies yourself. Same deal with tv shows, movies etc etc. The attention this is getting Sun News will only help their already stellar ratings. This is like putting gas on the fire baby. Loving it.

Posted by: james at June 29, 2011 2:23 PM

james: "Well Davenport it's pretty hard to compete against other subsidized magazines unless you take the subsidies yourself. Same deal with tv shows, movies etc etc."

Sure, fine, whatever. I have no problem with public subsidies for the arts -- whether they go to Margie Gillis's company or Quebecor's magazines. What I do have is a problem with hypocrisy, like Quebecor criticising others for receiving art grants while simultaneously accepting arts grants for themselves, or blog writers/readers who attack arts organizations they don't like for same while giving their favoured institutions a pass.

So pick a stance and stick with it -- if $1.2M over 13 years for a dance company is outrageous to you, then demonstrate equal outrage for millions in grants annually for a media company that happens to own your favourite news channel.

Posted by: Davenport at June 29, 2011 2:43 PM

Totally agree, Davenport. End subsidies, period.

Posted by: Mark at June 29, 2011 2:52 PM

By that standard the CBC should quit reporting about anything the government does right? Since you know it's part of it after all.

Posted by: james at June 29, 2011 2:56 PM

Ms. Gillis is quite the artist. Here's a short clip of her work that may inspire you.

I could feel the plasticity between my ears oozing while I watched.

Posted by: wallyj at June 29, 2011 3:03 PM

As he has proven in times past, Davenport is a DISINGENOUS LIAR!!!

No true conservative believes in unending welfare ... of any sort, be in individual or corporate. The notion repeated in the Leftist Bubble Chamber (where Davenport is a chief Grand Poo-Bah) continues to repeat the LIE that folks on the right support more corporate welfare.

Furthermore, when we get to brass tacks, all Leftards like Davenport believe in Redistribution of Wealth to "less fortunate" individuals like Margie Gill... oh wait.

Another Leftard theory ripped to shreds. Shocker!

Posted by: Robert W. (Vancouver) at June 29, 2011 3:35 PM

Somebody needs a hug...

Oh, and Davenport +1

Posted by: Kriilin Namek at June 29, 2011 3:50 PM

I think what is being lost in the trivia of CRTC vs CBSC is a basic question: Why should taxpayers fund 'the arts'?

I don't see why they should. As I noted above, 'art' is by definition, self-defined; it's not objective. Furthermore, because so much of Canadian 'culture' is government funded, the arts community has become a clique, a cabal of cronyism, self-serving, self-defining..and living off, not the acceptance of the taxpayer, but forced taxation of that taxpayer.

We citizens don't get to vote on their funding; indeed, for much of the 'art' so funded, a majority of Canadians are disinterested and even hostile (eg, to the CBC).

So, why should this small cabal of self-defined people who call themselves artists, live off the taxpayer? Cut their funding.

Posted by: ET at June 29, 2011 3:52 PM

thanks for the link. I think it shows that Gillis plagiarizes the works of others as I'm sure when I was at university I saw another student perform most of the same dance moves after ingesting 'shrooms.

Posted by: Sadistic Eristic at June 29, 2011 3:55 PM

Robert W. (Vancouver): "No true conservative believes in unending welfare ... of any sort, be in individual or corporate. The notion repeated in the Leftist Bubble Chamber (where Davenport is a chief Grand Poo-Bah) continues to repeat the LIE that folks on the right support more corporate welfare."

Then, by all means, insist that SDA to go after corporate welfare as intensely and unwaveringly as it goes after individual welfare or grants and subsidies for organizations it doesn't like. After all, if all welfare is bad, then oil company subsidies, and Big Agriculture subsidies, and banking sector tax breaks, and economic incentives for tech and engineering firms, etc etc. are bad. I see folks here spending a lot of time griping about arts grants and green energy subsidies -- "lefty causes", in a word -- but where are they on stuff like this or this?

Posted by: Davenport at June 29, 2011 4:20 PM

Tax breaks are not a subsidies! Not having revenue or income confiscated by the government is not the same thing at all as having the government *give* you a fat cheque. Subsidies are about taking money from someone (through taxes) to give to someone else. We oppose that.

If these "interpretive dancers" actually made money and the government didn't tax them on that income I'd be the first person to applaud that ok. That'd be great. I hate the dancing but whatever.

Posted by: james at June 29, 2011 4:37 PM

Is not art a natural human talent? Than why are we the people giving money to support said artists? If in fact they have one artistic bone in their bodies?
Trust me, those with real talent don't need to be carried.
Only the lazy need fear.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at June 29, 2011 5:03 PM

Well now, I'm pretty much convinced that Swan-hands must be indulging in way to many psychedelic drugs.

Posted by: greig at June 29, 2011 5:10 PM

Hey couchpotato, oops davenport, when did the washington post and new york times become Canadian newspapers?

Posted by: FREE at June 29, 2011 6:24 PM

I wonder if any of the loons complaining about Krista Erickson (who can be a bit irritating) complained about Avi Lewis's treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali?
Didn't think so.

Posted by: DrD at June 29, 2011 8:01 PM

To be fair, 3,956 of those complaints came from Margaret Attwoods' cottage on Georgian Bay.

Posted by: richfisher at June 29, 2011 8:49 PM

Regulations and subsidies are not the same.

davenport - a lot of people have complained about the regulations that, for example, give Quebec dairy farmers the 'cream' rights (not subsidies) that give Quebec the majority of dairy farm rights (over 10,000 in Quebec, 7,000 in Ontario, and only 1,000 in Alberta)...with Quebec allowed almost 40% of dairy produce sales in Canada.

Then, there's the CWB - yet another govt regulatory interference.

I think that regulations should be reduced. What about subsidies? Here, I'm conflicted.

Farmers in Canada receive, compared to the European and USA markets, the lowest subsidies of all.

The problem is: should the agricultural sector receive subsidies to enable/encourage farming? I'm of the opinion: Quite possibly: Yes.

Sounds strange, but, I'm looking at it from an ecological perspective. The ecological reality is that our environment (climate, rainfall, temperature, sunlight, soil type) means that we have a short growing season in comparison to, for example, the southern parts of the US or Europe.

So- to expect our farmers to be able to compete for food production when other areas of the world are, agriculturally, more productive - is naive.

We can produce a lot of wheat but fresh produce? No. And - wheat can't be grown in massive amounts everywhere. Some areas are more suited to dairy, or to fresh produce..Only a few areas can produce grapes.

So, I think that the government has to encourage agriculture everywhere; We can't import everything! - and this can be in encouraging greenhouse for year round fresh produce.

In 2000, farm revenue was 38.3 billion and operating expenses were 33.2 billion. Not much profit. Not much incentive to go into farming.

I'm all for getting the regulations out of farming but I think that our climate requires subsidies - or we'll end up having to import everything.

Posted by: ET at June 29, 2011 9:10 PM

File this under the 'Nice work if you can get it' heading?
Your tax dollars at work:

" CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - So this is art -- for seven days Mexican performance artist Israel Mora ejaculated, in private, into seven glass vials.

After this and presumably after Mora, 33, had rested, the vials of semen were put in a white, refrigerated box, and strung up for exhibit between two trees at the Banff Centre, a cultural institution in the Rocky Mountain resort of Banff.

Titled "Level 7", the exhibit has been on display for the past six days. Thursday is the seventh, and last, day.

Banff Centre spokeswoman Connie MacDonald said the performance is part of Mora's seven-week residency. The cost, about C$4,000 (1,800 pounds), is being picked up by the centre and the Mexican government. The residency, called "SloMo", has time as its theme and a number of artists are involved.

Mora's cooler bears the label: "Warning: Contains 6 ml of semen extracted through masturbation, distributed among seven glass tubes."

MacDonald said the exhibit had gone mobile one day as Mora "did an walk downtown with his cooler as part of the performance. (The temperature) was about minus 25, and a group of artists from the centre went along with him, and he was fairly discreet and he wasn't trying to make a big show."

The vials represent the cycle of life in Mora's family.

"'Level 7' aims to examine the concepts of privacy and intimacy within contemporary society," the centre says. "


Here's a thought; cut all arts funding, give the money BACK to the taxpayers, and let us decide if we want to fund this.
I'll go out on a limb and suggest this wouldn't be funded if we had a choice in the matter.

Or is this part of our culture that must be protected and nourished with our tax dollars because otherwise it would become a lost art?

Posted by: Stan at June 29, 2011 10:29 PM

The "artiste", on her facebook page sez this:

Notify its advertisers (you’ll find a list and contact info below) that if they support the channel, you will BOYCOTT their business. This is particularly effective with profit-driven entities such as Quebecor, owner of Sun News TV.

This person who devours taxpayers money to do her own thing that few care about, is telling other people to damage a money making free enterprise that supplies the money she freely takes.

Actually the whole post of compaints is quite stupid for such a sophist.

Thing is, have many people here ever hear of this woman?

Have anybody had any desire to see what she does?

How would this freeloader feel if somebody started a campaign aganist her, in the same way that she just undertook.

Of course nobody will, normal people don't do that, only socialsts/fascits types.

As for the professor, don't nobody know that the professors have acquired all the knowledge and that there is none left for anyone else?

Quite a socialist/fascist, the professor.

Posted by: Lev at June 29, 2011 11:24 PM

ET, well said @ 9:10.

Posted by: Ken (Kulak) at June 30, 2011 12:02 AM

If Ms. Gillis could get each of the nice people who complained on her behalf to send her $10.00, then would she need her grant/subsidy/whatever from us?
Conversely, if she can't get her supporters to support her, then why should I through my tax dollars?

Posted by: Another Sean at June 30, 2011 12:40 AM

parasite- good word.

Posted by: eastern paul at June 30, 2011 1:35 AM

I notice Ms. Gillis is wearing a sleeveless top, alert the storm troopers at the CBC!

Posted by: Stan at June 30, 2011 9:55 AM