Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the member on his re-election. It is good to see him back in the House. I always enjoy listening to his speeches.
One of the things that surprises me about the government's Speech from the Throne is the fact that it almost completely ignores the arts and culture sector. One sentence, probably the vaguest sentence of the entire Speech from the Throne, talks about arts and culture. Given the disastrous campaign the Conservatives had when it came to arts and culture issues, I would have thought there would be a post-mortem of the campaign somewhere in the Conservative caucus which highlighted the fact that the Conservatives really needed to get their act together when it came to this important sector of our economy.
I think the Conservatives probably now know that over one million Canadians, directly or indirectly, earn their living in the arts and cultural sector, that over $85 billion is related to that sector and that 7.5% of our GDP is related to the arts sector and yet during the campaign the Prime Minister was incredibly dismissive of the work of cultural workers in this country, incredibly dismissive of that industry.
We also saw the previous government denigrate arts and culture by trying to impose censorship measures, giving the minister an opportunity to do that in Bill C-10. We saw the cancellation of important overseas cultural programs, the ProMart program and the trade routes program. We saw the government refusing to ensure that the CBC had enough money to ensure the continuation of the CBC Radio orchestra.
There was nothing in the Speech from the Throne to undo those measures. Why is the government continuing to ignore the arts and cultural sector, an important part of Canada's economy and the life of Canadians?