REALITY CHECK: B.C. Liberals justify interference in art grants with spin

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Embarrassed by the fallout from the resignation of the former chair of the B.C. Arts Council, the B.C. Liberal arts minister went on the radio to spread misinformation about why she resigned.

The minister told the CBC Early Edition that Jane Danzo resigned because of pressure from people in the arts community, even though the former chair has repeatedly stated that she resigned because of government interference with the B.C. Arts Council.

What Kevin Krueger said about Danzo’s resignation:

“I know that there are some people in the arts and culture community that are actually quite vicious, and they have been grinding on her really hard and on me and on the government and on their MLAs. …She finally reached the point where she is saying if what the arts community really expects from me is full-on advocacy, she'd never attack people like that group did, but she had had enough of that, so she stepped aside to say what she said.” (CBC Early Edition, Aug. 26, 2010)

What Danzo said about her resignation:

“Basically I had to resign in order to speak out, and what I wanted to speak out about was a process and the lack of process that was used with respect to the arts funding in B.C.” (Jane Danzo, CKNW World Today Weekend, Aug. 21)

“I felt obliged to resign in order to have a voice. In my opinion, the work of The B.C. Arts Council Board, has not been supported by government on a number of different levels…”  (Jane Danzo, Letter to Minister Krueger, Aug. 16, 2010)

“The Act also specifies that the Board support arts and culture through advocacy. This responsibility is virtually impossible to accomplish because the Board’s relationship to government is not at-arms–length. It has neither its own funding nor its own staff. It is dependent upon budget allocation for funds and ministry employees for human resources, both managed by a government employee. Furthermore, it has recently been made clear that the Board does not have a voice independent of government. The only independence the Board has from government is defined by the granting process…”  (Jane Danzo, Letter to Minister Krueger, Aug.16, 2010)