MLA and NDP Arts Critic has sent this release, below, regarding the unexplained milliions mysteriously missing from Minister of Commmunity, Sport and Cultural Develpment Ida Chong’s budget. We have sent the following e-mail to Minister Chong asking for an explanation.
Dear Minister Chong:
We have recently received a press release http://bit.ly/HIN2Px from Arts & Culture Critic MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert noting that the fund of over $3 million appears to have been distributed through your ministry without explanation. According to Mister Herbert “The government announced a portion of the fund for community anniversary celebrations last month. However, most of the money remains unaccounted for.”
As advocates for the arts, we represent hundreds of British Columbians—artists, audiences, patrons, and subscribers—who are keen to know how funding for arts and culture is distributed, especially when that distribution takes place outside of the BC Arts Council, the provincially recognized agency for arms-length funding.
With this in mind, we respectfully request an explanation and accounting for how and where this substantial amount of money was allocated.
Arts Advocacy British Columba
For Immediate Release
April 3, 2012
Minister won’t say where arts funding went
VANCOUVER– With the deadline for the remainder of the $3.2 million Sport and Arts Legacy Fundallocation come and gone, the B.C. Liberals are refusing to release details and have left the arts community out of the process, says New Democrat arts and culture critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.
“’The Liberals are awarding over 3 million of British Columbians’ dollars meant to support arts with no application process, no criteria, and no consultation with the arts community,” said Chandra Herbert, the MLA for Vancouver – West End.
The government announced a portion of the fund for community anniversary celebrations last month. However, most of the money remains unaccounted for.
The Minister for Arts and Culture has stated publicly that while all of the remaining funds have been distributed to various organizations, there will be no announcement of where the money went or what the process was for choosing the recipients.
“The money is being awarded completely at Minister Chong’s whim, and now the full list of recipients is hidden until June when government is forced to be transparent through public accounts documents,” said Chandra Herbert. “B.C.’s arts community deserves better.”
“Christy Clark and the Liberals run forward to take credit for everything, but now when they are spending money meant for arts they refuse to say where. What’s the big secret?”
Traditionally, arts funds are given out in an arms-length fashion to ensure integrity in the process.
Chandra Herbert said this money was not only awarded quietly at the minister’s discretion, but also without input and participation from experts like the B.C. Arts Council.
Adrian Dix and the New Democrats believe that the creative economy is vital for our future, and are committed to working with the community to ensure its success.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA