NewsThu Aug 31, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Why is the Conservative Government Wasting Taxpayer Dollars on “Queer” Film Festival?
By John-Henry Westen and Gudrun Schultz
VANCOUVER, August 29, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Conservative Government is supportive of fiscal restraint.Â Yet, LifeSiteNews.com has learned that the Conservative Government nonetheless funded the 2006 Vancouver Queer Film Festival, which ran from August 17-27.
The festival’s sponsorship page lists the Department of Canadian Heritage as the offending federal government branch. (See the sponsorship page here: http://www.outonscreen.com/festival/2006/content/Sponsors/27/10 )
Dominique Collin, spokesperson for Canadian Heritage Minister Beverley Oda, told LifeSiteNews.com the Vancouver regional branch of the Heritage department conducted the funding allocation which consisted of $23,000.
Ginette Montreuil, regional manager with the Vancouver office, confirmed that the Conservative Government approved the Arts Presentation Canada funding for the 2006 Festival on March 27, 2006.
The festival line-up included films with titles such as “Deconstructing Crack Ho”, “Dyke After Dyke”, “I cum I”, “Lesbians On Ecstasy”, “Post-Porn & New Technologies Of Pleasure”, and “Toilet Sex In Canadian Cinema.”
Ms. Montreuil defended the decision to fund the festival, in an email response to LifeSiteNews, saying:
“The Vancouver Out on Screen Film and Video Society promotes the production and exhibition of media art which in some way relates to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered (LGBT) communities…Through their Festival, the Society presents a wide range of culturally diverse media arts and attempts to bring the issues and experiences of the LGBT communities into the mainstream, fostering acceptance and understanding.”
Ms. Montreuil said the Vancouver Out Society festival drew 8,008 attendants in 2005, and has “developed strong, meaningful ties” within the media arts community.
Gwen Landolt, national vice president of REAL Women of Canada, questioned whether most Canadians, even those supportive of homosexual marriage, would want to support such a fringe selection of film offerings.
“What you see here is the government trying to be all things to all people, but would even the homosexual community find that level of film uplifting?” said Ms. Landolt. “The films are simply degenerate and degrading to humanity.
“There is no artistry there, the films are used as a political statement against established social mores, a way of showing contempt, of saying ‘we don’t have to be held to normal standards of behaviour.’”
Landolt criticized the Canadian Heritage department, saying the federal branch has a history of granting indiscriminate funding to organizations.
“In the public accounts of 2004-2005, the department issued $112,800 in funding to EGALE [Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere], for the purpose of “furthering participation in Canadian society”. Was that really necessary?”
“The Heritage department is filled with problems. The department has got to be examined; it’s a disgrace. I think the government is trying to show how wide-open they are to all diversity, but surely there is a limit to tolerance.”
Carolyn Stewart Olsen, press secretary with the Prime Minister’s Office, told LifeSiteNews.com the PMO was not aware of the funding allocation, as the decision to grant funds was made by the Canadian Heritage department. The PMO had no official response on the issue.
To express concerns contact:
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
Minister of Canadian Heritage Beverley Oda: