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The culture wars aren’t just for the U.S.

They’ve spread to Canada, where the conservative government has enraged creatives by cutting some $44 million in funding to arts programs.

With an election slated for Oct. 14, the subject of arts funding has become a surprising hot-button topic. Thesps rallied against the cuts last week in Toronto, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper stuck to his guns.

Harper, who is ahead in the polls, knows cutting public funding for film and TV production plays well with his base. And artists won’t be voting Tory no matter how much money he throws at arts groups.

And with so few Canucks watching the homegrown pics the arts sector is worried about protecting, it looks like regular citizens have already voted at the box office.