Creative Writing in Ontario

The subject of my magazine clmn this week is the hugely disappointing (and expensive) study, Ontario in the Creative Age, prepared for the Ontario government by Roger Martin and Richard Florida. The column speaks for itself, but two points worth adding:

1. It bears all the marks of having been conceived and prepared in a time when the economy was going ticky-boo and everyone thought that things would keep going upupup for the foreseeable future. To that extent, the study was on its way to obsolescence by the end of last summer. The authors made a bit of an attempt in the intro at making it relevant to the current economic climate, but it doesn’t work, and the report is a total period piece. It reminds me of the ending to Hunt for Red October that they had to film after the Soviet Union fell during post-production.

2. The fact that Martin and Florida were commissioned to do this bears all the marks of McGuinty’s utter dopeyness on the economic file. Read this piece and you’ll understand why.

The upshot: This study, and the $2.2 million it cost, is not the solution to Ontario’s problems — it is a symptom of them.