Arts Cuts Savings to Fund Vancouver Olympics

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The Globe and Mail reports this week that the money saved from recent cuts to arts and cultural industries support programs will be used to support the Vancouver Olympics torch relay and Olympic preparedness for Canadian athletes.
More than $40-million in savings the federal government will reap from controversial cuts to arts and culture funding will be redirected to the Vancouver Olympic torch relay and two other programs, exacerbating fears that replacement initiatives are not in the cards.

The Conservative strategy is apparent in a section of the 2008 federal budget that promises to "redirect all savings" from cuts to several Department of Canadian Heritage domains to pay for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic torch relays; the Road to Excellence program, which supports Summer Olympics athletes; and the Action Plan for Official Languages, which promotes bilingualism.

According to the budget, Heritage planned $61.9-million in cuts between February, 2008, and the end of the 2010-2011 fiscal year as part of its ongoing strategic review. Those funds, which include the trimmed arts and culture spending, will instead be used to pay for the $24.5-million torch relays and to provide $48-million to the Road to Excellence over three years.
Meanwhile, friends of the cultural industries can join a facebook group protesting the recent cuts.

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