QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Culture Critic MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s) released the following statement in response to cuts at the Ontario Arts Council
“This week, the NDP learned that Doug Ford has made a callous $5 million cut to base funding at the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Ford has also suspended the agency’s Indigenous Culture Fund, a $2.25 million cut, effective this year.
Mr. Ford’s cuts are a disturbing attack on both the arts, and on reconciliation efforts in Ontario. This is another example of how the Ford government continues to drag Ontario backwards, especially targeting marginalized communities.
Doug Ford’s cuts will cause the layoff of Indigenous staff, immediate cuts to granting budgets, and a significant cut to arts and cultural programming.
The arts are a vital part of Ontario’s economy, tourism and culture. The NDP committed to provide stable annual funding to the Ontario Arts Council and ensure it meets the needs of both new and established artists.
Funding Indigenous cultural activities is an important step in supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The cuts at the Ontario Arts Council come as part of Mr. Ford’s broader claw backs in Indigenous education and cultural programming and funding in Ontario, such as the cancellation of the Indigenous curriculum writing session earlier this summer. These shameful cuts impact the lives of Indigenous children, youth and elders.
Arts communities and Indigenous people deserve better. That’s why the NDP is calling on the government to restore funding to the Ontario Arts Council and support important programs like the Indigenous Culture Fund.”