Justin Trudeau promises increased funding for the arts, CBC/Radio-Canada

A Liberal government would invest $380 million in new money in the country's cultural and creative industries, leader Justin Trudeau said today.

Conservative cuts to arts and culture programs became major election issue in 2008

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made a pledge to boost funding for the arts in downtown Montreal, a city with strong tries to the artistic community. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

A Liberal government would invest $380 million in new money into the country's cultural and creative industries, leader Justin Trudeau said today. 

During a campaign stop in downtown Montreal, Trudeau told supporters and members of the Quebec arts community that culture and creative industries generate jobs and help to strengthen the economy. 

He was introduced by his wife Sophie Gregoire, a former broadcaster and television host.

Trudeau said that if the Grits form government following the Oct. 19 vote, they would:

  • Invest $150 million in new annual funding for CBC/Radio-Canada.
  • Double investment in the Canada Council for the Arts to $360 million per year.
  • Restore the Promart and Trade Routes international cultural promotion programs that the Conservative government has cut.
  • Increase funding for Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board. 
  • Increase funding for the Young Canada Works program to help young people prepare to work in the heritage sector as part of the Liberals'​ investment in social infrastructure of nearly $6 billion over the next four years.
  • It's not a coincidence Trudeau made the announcement in Quebec, a province with strong ties to its artistic communities. 

    Funding for the arts quickly became a critical campaign issue, especially in Quebec, during the 2008 federal election after the Conservatives made nearly $45 million in cuts to arts and culture funding. Many high-profile Canadians actors decried the cuts at a pre-election event in Toronto organized to drum up support for renewed arts funding. 

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    With files from CBC's Margo McDiarmid


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