Mr. Speaker, once again the Conservative government has demonstrated its contempt for culture. The Festival International des Rythmes du Monde, which attracts more than 250,000 visitors to Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, has just had its funding under the marquee tourism events program cut.
This festival, which is a showcase for hundreds of artists from dozens of countries, results in economic spinoffs of approximately $20 million for my region.
With only two months left until the event, this news is devastating for the organizers. Year after year we have to fight for funding for cultural activities and this leaves us wondering about the future of many marquee festivals in the region.
By refusing to help fund the Festival International des Rythmes du Monde and ending the marquee tourism events program as of next year, the Conservative government has made a purely ideological decision, driving yet another nail into the coffin of culture.