Showbiz Trimmed In Canada’s Tough Budget

The Canadian entertainment industry gave a cautious thumbs-up to the liberal government’s harsh, deficit-busting budget, which was unveiled in the House of Commons in Ottawa last week.

It was the toughest budget in years, with wide across-the-board cuts, but finance minister Paul Martin seemed to treat the publicly funded cultural agencies with kid gloves, and that had Canadian film and TV executives applauding the government’s spending plans.

“We were quite pleased with what we saw,” said Alliance Communications Corp. chief operating officer Gord Haines.

The budget was designed to trim the growing deficit, but the cuts to the main cultural agencies weren’t nearly as harsh as predicted.

The budget, made public Feb. 27, includes a whopping $C25 billion ($18 billion) worth of expenditure slashes over the next three years, with 45,000 jobs to be eliminated in the federal civil service.

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