City’s arts plan costs too much

The NEDC should be using our dough to bring bona-fide employers to the area.

To the Editor,

Re: Study charts arts economic impact, Nov. 12.

The taxpayer-funded reports into arts and culture in the city are out. And gee, golly, wizikers they say taxpayers must shell out even more money which we do not have. No surprise.

When the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation announced its study in July it threw out trumped-up figures citing the report was necessary, alleging the arts here employ more people than transportation and manufacturing and wrongfully stating artists make more money than the blue collar workers; both totally erroneous statements according to 2011 Statistics Canada figures.

Now, four months later, its $19,000 contracted-out piece says the arts produce a $154 million impact on the area but face challenges because of reduced funding and resources.

And our municipality’s big cultural plan suggests a new city commission be set up to roll out arts and culture projects annually with our bucks and that there be new tax incentives for cultural businesses downtown.

Hasn’t Nanaimo Centre Stage taught us not to sink public dollars into endless black holes just because some feel it’s a good use of your and my hard-earned bucks?

Instead of our so-called economic savior, the NEDC, handing out money for studies, the corporation should be using our dough to bring bona-fide employers to the area with guaranteed jobs. It should not be spoon-feeding us a lot of stakeholder propaganda.

Kevan ShawNanaimo