Taxpayers pay to produce Horse-Canada so that the people who do read Horse-Canada don’t have to? Sigh.



The Government of Canada Invests in Horse-Canada Magazine

AURORA, ONTARIO – On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Lois Brown, Member of Parliament (Newmarket–Aurora) today announced funding for Horse-Canada magazine.

Horse-Canada magazine celebrates the joy of owning and caring for horses by contributing to the improvement of horse care and horse management in Canada. The magazine is published five times a year and is distributed across the country. The funds will contribute to the creation of Horse-Canada magazine’s content through Canadian writing, designing, editing, and photography services.

“Our Government is proud to help magazines that speak to Canadians’ interests and passions,” said Minister Moore. “Horse-Canada magazine is an excellent source of information for horse-lovers throughout Canada.”

“I am proud to recognize Canadian Horse Publications as a superb example of a Canadian publisher that produces many high-quality publications serving Canada’s large equestrian industry and enthusiast population,” said Ms. Brown.

“We’re very pleased to receive financial support from the Government of Canada in recognition of Horse Publications Group’s commitment to producing top-class magazines by and for Canadians,” said Jennifer Anstey, Publisher.

[h/t Eye on the Hill – Feds invest in Horse-Canada Magazine]

So the people who don’t read Horse-Canada, which would be almost everyone, will pay to produce five issues a year of Horse-Canada so that the people who do read Horse-Canada don’t have to. This achieves the important public policy goal of … diddlysquat. The people who don’t read Horse Canada get no benefit because others do. The people who do read Horse-Canada are perfectly capable of paying for it themselves. There is no public good argument for subsidy. (Oh, I know: We’re telling ourselves our own stories. About horses.)

Repeat this exercise hundreds of thousands of times and you have the Public Accounts of Canada. Now repeat several hundred thousand more times for the provinces. And again for the municipalities — three levels of government furiously passing money from one group of taxpayers to another and back again, at all points pretending that the money does not come from taxpayers, but from themselves (“The Government of Canada invests in…”)

This particular installment is brought to you by three things:

1) The willingness of publishers such as Jennifer Anstey to take other people’s money — and to say nice things about the government that gave it to her.

2) The willingness of MPs like Lois Brown to take part in this charade, rather than to do her job as a Member of Parliament — as a watchdog on government spending, not a distributor of it — which is precisely to blow the whistle on this kind of thing.

3) The utter shamelessness of ministers like James Moore, who make their living dishing out money that isn’t theirs to people who aren’t entitled to it, in return for thanks they don’t deserve.

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  1. Andrew,

    Would agree wholeheartedly with you except I would like to know:

    Does Macleans's (or Rogers) partake in the new Canada Periodical Fund?

    Are you paid by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for your weekly input?

    Not that these questions have anything to do with the price of fish but just thought I would ask.


    • Macleans gets $1.5 million, and this doesn't bother me in the slightest.

      • That amount is only as a result of recrent changes. Maclean's previous public dole was about 3 million a year…10 million for all Rogers publications.

        It bothers me, because this magazine isn't that good (It's no Saturday Night, thats for sure). And it won't get any better if it just becomes a halfway house for CanWest derelicts.

        • It doesn't bother me either, and I love this Maclean's !

          • I think smaller, not-for-profit publications are more deserving of public support.

    • I'm not trying to answer for Coyne, but here are me thoughts.

      First, I hope Coyne gets paid by the CBC. Why? Because that segment is one of the most-watched on the network, and in fact, the CBC actually packages it as a separate show on their 24-hour network and sells commercials on it. If Don Cherry, the biggest blowhard of all time, can make 700,000 plus for his "opinions," surely Coyne deserves to make something.

      Second, whatever amount Macleans gets from the CPF, I'm sure is a rounding error for the parent company, Rogers. And to Coyne's point, nobody can ever accuse Macleans of being a toadie for the Harper government. In fact, even Brother Wells, long an admirer of the strategic genius that is Harper and Muttart and Brodie et al, seem to be longing for the days of his hero, Paul Martin Jr., to return to Parliament Hall on his shiny white horse and set the country right.

      So, CAPS, I'm not sure what your point is, but I'd think it would be lost on Coyne, and deservedly so.

    • To all who have replied to my comment:

      I agree with the gist of Mr. Coyne's blog entry and yet I do have sympathy for the idea that this country can help some publications find a stable financial model to help Canadian writers, designers etc. ply their trade within this country.

      I was trying, however inelegantly to do a little Matthew 7:3, http://bible.cc/matthew/7-3.htm, on him.

      With regard to Mr. Coyne's participation in the At Issue panel and his remuneration for such I agree that it is well deserved but it is once again a case of a media company receiving public funds (which I support btw) which must in some part filter into his payment.

      How he feels with regard to that given what he states in this blog entry is, I think, germane to the debate.

      Thank you one and all.

  2. The government can'ter really expect that this is somehow a pressing common good. The part that's particularly likely to stirrup trouble is that they're acting as though this is somehow magnanimous – when it's our money they're spending in unbridled fashion!

    • Your horsing around makes me wonder how stable your analysis is, or if you are saddled with ideological blinders.

      • I think it behoofs us all to trot out a bit of nonsense in response to government snafus like this.

    • Neigh-sayer! You can make puns until you're horse, but I suggest you quit whinnying about something so insignificant.

      I understand why spending taxpayer's money on stuff like this leaves you colt, but this minor subsidy really isn't the night mare you make it out to be. Perhaps you're just feeling your oats.

      Bottom line, I agree that we should rein in government expenditures, but if you focus on the trivial stuff you're just beating a dead… never mind.

      • You may call it foalish, but the principle is the mane thing wither the a-mount is palfrey or not.

        • LMAO.. Thankyou …was having a really horrid day till I read what I thought was going to be a boring piece on horses… boy was I wrong!!! Thank you for the chuckles….heheheh….

        • I trust you guys are gonna clean this mess up?

      • Well played! No glue factory for you all!

  3. Of course it is ridiculous to start subsidizing more within the publishing industry, specially now with the internet being most popular. Anyone could post stoires about horses onto that one, and read them too!

    Just a question to Mr.Coyne: which one of the subsidies available for the publishing industry (mentioned within the government announcement), is Macleans magazine using?

  4. They're cornering the Sherman Potter appreciation vote.

  5. Hate to say it, but in the context of $250,000,000,000 in federal expenditures, $24,900 isn't even a rounding error. It's utterly insignificant, and not even worth discussing.

    Let the Canadian horse lovers have their subsidized magazine. I really don't care.

    • That's the type of logic that leads to a $250,000,000,000 federal budget in the first place.

      • Yup! Here's that sugar cube for you, stallion Emmet. Best horse in the barn so far!

    • BUT, it's only $5,100 less than the now famous three $10,000 grants made by R&D!!! Committee hearings resume tomorrow.

    • I don't like your argument. They're not sending 25 grand my way and I'm equally deserving. 25 grand sent out in numerous directions soon adds up.

  6. Merelt serednipity I suppose Mr. Coyne – that Ms. Brown – who stridency is often referred to as "horsey" – presides over a riding that includes (somewhere along Davis Drive East) one of the largest Equestrian Centres in Canada – and has – down in Aurora – next to Frank Stronach's World HQ of Magna – some resplendent stabling and the northern training establishment of Magna Entertainment (well – Frank's anyway) – though I confess – I have rarely seen horses there – I think Frank keeps all the flesh down in his propertys in Kentucky…

  7. Apparently the person taking notes made an error.

    They wanted to hose Canadians more, not horse them.

  8. Do we get a free copy? If he really wanted maximum bang for the buck he would of funded a cat or dog publication

  9. I assume Maclean's/Rogers will be returning all the subsidies they are receiving soon, like yesterday. We are awaiting the news release, Andrew.

    Rogers is also allowed a monopoly in its cable service, by government fiat. And Canadian wireless rates are obscene because of foreign ownership limitations in the wireless industry.

    Rogers is a government coddled company.

    The elites want their culture subsidized and protected by government, but when it comes to rural culture, the elites call it horses$%#.

    I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

    • As if horses are anything but elite.

    • "I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. "

      Come around more often……Mr Coyne, et al serve it up almost daily!

    • Ah, now I get it… it is a development scheme for new Senators.

  10. $25,000 is all it takes for a subsidy and you've got a horse magazine? How can we NOT fund that? That isn't even a proofreader at a major publishing house!

  11. I read this magazine (which I typically pick up for free at the Royal Winter Fair every November – now I know why it's free!) and although the money is insignificant, I don't know really know where I stand. And since Macleans (appears) to be funded also, I really think Coyne should be careful about where he directs his criticism.

    I think the government should be encouraging media that present the Canadian perspective, but most of what is in this magazine is summaries of competition placings, with a few articles. At least Macleans has content (quality TBD). And really, a good portion of people in the horse industry have enough money to pay for this magazine. I'm a student and I subscribe to 2 US magazines, but not this one because content is lacking. Maybe that will improve now…

    • Um, sorry Guilty, you got the wrong magazine. There are no show results in Horse-Canada – just advice on keeping horses healthy and saving money so you can afford to keep feeding them. And if you think all the other Canadian magazines you might read aren't subsidized, you would be wrong.

  12. I'm a bit perplexed.

    What I don't quite understand, and forgive me for not being up to speed, but what's the difference between subsidies recieved by Macleans or subsidies recieved by this new Horse Magazine?

    Is Mr.Coyne trying to flush out someone else's hidden agenda?

    • I am with you, let the readers of the horse magazine enjoy it!

      • Well, what I'm saying is that if subsidies are doled out we should not make distinctions between their lot. Personally I would like for all subsidies to be stopped cause they're all hayburners as far as I'm concerned.

        But, sure, some people enjoy reading and writing about horses while others enjoy reading and writing about politics. In the end, it doesn't seem to make a difference, one way or the other……. : (

        • I am not against subsidies, sometimes they are necessary, and I believe that they should be fair and even.

  13. On a serious note – isn't Magna headquartered in Aurora? Hasn't Frank Stronach taken a bunch of Magna money and squandered it on race tracks etc? Didn't he at one time set someone up in the magazine business (VISTA )? Why isn't he being tapped tor the $25k?


    • Oh yeah, cause he's just handing out cash to the average small businesses in the area lol! Nor do I blame him. His racing business has precisely nothing to do with the small farmers and rural hobbyists that read this magazine (yes, I am one of them.) Also, should a business for all Canadians who love horses accept money from an individual? Wouldn't they end up toeing that individual's line just to keep the cash flowing? Macleans readers would be the first to cry foul.

  14. Yesterday I learned that there are inter-sex horses. Mares with hidden testes. There is something about horses that inspires our imaginations to nobly honour them. That is, I feel empathy as much for the hermaphrodic racing filly as for the hermaphrodic olypian. And the thought of one horse rendered into glue equals a thousand slaughtered cows. Horse Magizine deserves all our support because it’s about horses! Horses are mythical creatures even today, in Canada, according to…conservatives.

  15. Ah, come on Andrew. It's only $24,920. Don't be such a wet blanket.

  16. Well said Andrew, and for you odd posters out there, it's not about money, it's about horse manure and should be left in the fields where it belongs.

  17. Come on folks, we all know that $25 large is, in and of itself, a meaningless pissant contribution.

    However Mr. Coyne is exactly right that the attitude reflected in such a contribution is what slowly, over decades and successive governments rots the integrity of our government, elected Members and ultimately even the public service. Each comes to believe that this sort of grease is what they do and what allows them to continue doing it.

    Turing a blind eye just bring us more of the same.

  18. I thought the horse crowd had enough money. Yup, hosed again by these hores.

  19. On Mr. Coyne's point number one: Can you blame the publisher for taking the money? They run a business and they'd be crazy not to take any funding that's available.

  20. Here is the program, worthy of taxpayer help imo.
    Would hate to see periodicals and local papers go under because of the recession:

    "This industry needs stability in the levels of financial support it receives from the Government to weather the current economic slowdown,
    and that support should be flexible, targeted, and relevant.
    Our goal is clear: to offer Canadian publishers a simple and effective program so that they can continue to provide readers with a broad range of quality Canadian periodicals." (Minister Moore)


    • Our goal is clear: to offer Canadian publishers a simple and effective program so that they can continue to provide readers with a broad range of quality Canadian periodicals." (Minister Moore)

      Pass the barf bag.

    • 25 grand eh?

      I should start up a magazine.. I'll pay all of my subscribers a buck to read my rantings.. I ought have a good 24k left at least.

      • Ha ha ha ha! If you think you can start up a magazine with a piddly sum of $25G good luck! That wouldn't even put out one issue. ALL paid subscriber magazines in Canada receive government funding or they would die. Macleans itself soaks up nearly $400,000 annually to service southern Ontario with innuendo.

        • ..sigh.. you'd think I'd know by now than to try humor over the internet..

          That's why I generally stick to snark.. at least people seem to be able to recognize that.

          • Hay, I laughed! (wink)

  21. Mr Coyne, how dare you criticise Canadian government support of the arts.

  22. I just posted this under Well's post on Coyne's post: One thing that really sticks in my craw is the LCBO's Food and Drink magazine. It's essentially owned by the Ontario government and it's directly stealing ad dollars from private publications!

    • Yes, they should scotch the whole thing. The government shouldn't be ginning up competition against the very businesses that beer the tax burden.

      • Well, I didn't want to wine too much about it but I thought with this problem, if try we can liquor and it'll be done.

  23. Ha! Ha! Coyne just got served by Wells.
    Now are you going to take that?
    He's laughing at you….. LAUGHING!!!!!

    But seriously – is this a oldnew routine?
    Coyne VS Wells – All the time!!!!
    Bring it…..

    • needs more mama jokes

  24. Let the Canadian horse lovers have their subsidized magazine. I really don't care.

    "For all the garbage they are wasting my money on, at least they have the sense to [insert personally favoured garbage here]." Rinse. Repeat. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And here we are.

  25. The same Lois Brown, barking seal of the CPC, stood in the House and demanded an apology from Carolyn Bennett for this statement: "Women of Canada want to hear about early learning and child care; that is the key to their economic independence, to be able to get back to school, to get a real job, to be able to go to work."

    To shameless hacks like the women who serve as TV props for Harper during QP, such a statement was interpreted as "The Liberals don't think raising children is a real job." How dare they insult "motherhood."

    Lois Brown a lightweight and should not, under any circumstances, be placed anywhere near taxpayers' money, authority or the innocent horses of Aurora, Ontario.

  26. Dear Andrew,

    Your comments on Horse Canada well noted. We just started our publishing company last fall, writing about our prime ministers as tweens to help kids connect to Canadian history — subsidy free.

    So instead of the Horse Canada press release you linked to, we actually have to do things like this:


    (The above link was from a few weeks ago — a national contest for students to write a book about a tween Paul Martin circa 1952, Windsor, Ontario.)

    We call it being entrepreneurial.

    And here's the real 'kicker'….we actually own a horse! Sigh.

    Roderick Benns
    Owner, Fireside Publishing House

  27. I can't think of a single industry in Canada that doesn't receive some sort of handout from the government, whether it be in the form of direct grants, indirect subsidies, tax breaks. Patronage and feeding at the government trough behind artificial trade barriers: it's the Canadian way.

    That being said, personally, I don't read any Rogers publications. So using Andrew Coyne's logic, i shouldn't have to subsidize them either.

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