I was born in Canada and have lived here most of my life. As far as I am aware we are not a homogenous group of people. Though the agents of socialization have an image that they like to portray to the world, it excludes large groups of people. If you are poor, or are of colour, or lean away from traditional "conservative values" your Canadian identity is constantly questioned.
To see my government discipline identity is something that I find incredibly disturbing. According to the CBC, "The Conservative government has announced it will no longer fund a federal program that subsidizes international promotional tours of Canadian artists." Apparently these groups are subversive and do not present an image that Canadians would agree as representative of our national identity.
While I will admit that unfortunately the Tories are our elected government, they should not be able to decide exactly what "Canadian values" are without consulting the people. Yeah, you know the public whom you claim to represent...Let's face it, the Tories represent certain bodies and ignore others. From their anti-woman, anti-labour, stance it is safe to declare that they do not act on behalf of all Canadians, and therefore should not be entrusted to decide what is and isn't Canadian. Once again they are allowing their constituents to establish the agenda without realizing that they are supposed to represent all Canadians.
I am not one of those dupes that votes PC against my class interest, and I demand that my government represent me, and others that are like me. These artist that they are refusing to fund are Canadian, and therefore their work is a reflection of Canadian ideals whether or not it makes the government uncomfortable. This is nothing more than political pandering and censorship. We claim live in a free society that encourages difference and dissent but clearly unless you reflect PC values you will be disciplined into submission.
Harper seems to forget that he does not have a majority government and therefore has no real mandate to speak on behalf of all the people. There may be an election in the winds Mr. Prime Minister, keep alienating people and you might find yourself on the other side of the aisle. A true leader does not fear when someone challenges social norms. Art is meant to be disturbing at times. It is meant to evoke emotions and when we stifle art we reduce social progress. You may be content with a nation of automatons but I would like to live in a country that is diverse and open to change.