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February 27, 2004

Sign of the times.

Most people outside the National Capital Region will not have heard about it, but Ottawa is having a raucous debate on its municipal budget. There was an election last fall, where many promises were made not to raise taxes. And in their first budget, no taxes were raised -- but many very visible services were slashed, and the idea was raised that maybe taxes could be raised. Just a little bit. Many people suspect this budget was part of a cynical game of political extortion, and I'm one of them. (Not that any of this matters to me, since I live in Quebec.)

But others are a little more credulous, and have begun to do what you might think is insane -- campaign for more taxes. Here's a sign I saw as I walked around downtown today:

My Ottawa

includes

Culture

Raise my taxes/Support the Arts

A sign actually requesting more taxes. Unbelievable.

One of the budget items 'cut' was in handouts to the 'arts'. Evidently without government money to motivate them, nothing artistic would happen in this city. I associate Art and Culture with creativity and passion. I do not associate creativity and passion with government. Why then do so many people believe they must be intertwined? What would Ottawa's cultural life be like without a leaden bureaucracy to shape it? Why am I sure I'll never find out?

Posted by Bruce Gottfred at February 27, 2004 07:55 PM | TrackBack
Comments

I don't live in the Ottawa region either but I don't like the idea of my tax dollars going to an artist so they can sit home and paint or write poems. If being an artist is their thing, support yourself, most of the rest of the country has to do it for ourselves without the government.

Posted by: Bob at February 28, 2004 10:58 AM

When I first saw these signs, I thought they were put up by some cynical anti-tax coalition.
Turns out the arts moochers really think they have the moral right to raise "my" taxes to support their lifestyle choices.

Posted by: Jay at March 1, 2004 07:24 AM
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