No sex parade money for you, Montreal. (You're sexy enough already.) - Macleans.ca

No sex parade money for you, Montreal. (You’re sexy enough already.)

by

lesbianI hope to god Kady’s wrong about this one. The Conservatives can’t possibly be trying to appease the cartoonish anti-“sex parade” fringe by denying funding to Montreal’s Divers/Cité, can they? After all, as Wells points out, it’s not like they’ve otherwise been very selective about how to dole out the cash, so denying Divers/Cité’s application is, well, a little out of character.

I got in touch with Tony Clement’s office to ask about them it. Unfortunately, Clement’s spokesperson wouldn’t comment on whether the fact Divers/Cité is a gay event had anything to with the decision not to fund it. Here’s what she did have to say:

* The program is oversubscribed. It has received many more applications than available funding.

* Just because an application meets the criteria does not mean it will receive funding, because there is not enough funding to go around.


* This is a national program and we need to ensure that it benefits festivals in all parts of Canada. To date, approximately 41% of the funding has flowed to events in Ontario (with approximately 18% of total federal funding going to Toronto) and approximately 42% to Quebec (with approximately 28% or total federal funding going to Montreal).

* This program is a federal program, it is important to have regional balance.

* We strongly encourage all festivals that did not receive funding this year to apply next year.

That’s it. No confirmation the Conservatives are no longer into sex parades and no denial either. It seems like it wouldn’t have been hard to break out the boilerplate dismissals—”the Tories support gay pride festivals, blah, blah, blah… only so much money to go around…”—and yet, no one’s doing it.

The Bloc isn’t buying it and you can bet your buttless chaps they’ll be hammering away at the Conservatives with this one when the next election rolls around. In fact, they’ve already got their talking points down pat. “After the deplorable episode of a few weeks ago involving Toronto’s Gay Pride, the Conservative government’s ideology is acting up again to the detriment of our culture and our economy,” Bloc MP and culture critic Carole Lavallée said in a statement. She adds that, just like in the case of last year’s cuts to cultural funding, “this Conservative government is once again taking an axe to everything that doesn’t pass through its ideological and sanctimonious filter.”

But “regional balance,” it appears, is the government’s story—and it’s sticking to it.

[Photo courtesy of jreid]