Tuesday, March 11, 2008

John Steffler Speaks Out Against Bill C-10

John Steffler, Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate, has weighed in on the controversial issue of Bill C-10. See his letter to Cross Country Checkup below.

from CBC's Cross Country Checkup website

Everyone in the country who values freedom of political and artistic expression should speak out against Bill C-10 which is now in the hands of the Senate. In giving the Heritage Minister the power to deny tax credits to films and TV shows he/she finds offensive, this bill introduces a covert form of censorship and undermines the principle of arm's-length funding for the arts. Pornography is already ineligible for tax credits. What is the bill designed to weed out? As a society we tend to be fearful of authority, self-concealing and politically passive. We need to encourage people to exercise their imaginations in public ways, to question conventional thinking, to be innovative, adventurous and outspoken. We do not need to increase our government's power to censor and silence us.

John Steffler
Parliamentary Poet Laureate