Artists Maligned by Conservative Government

TORONTO, May 31, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian Actors' Equity Association condemns the Minister of Canadian Heritage's savage personal attack on NDP MP Tyrone Benskin. James Moore's unprovoked comments in the House of Commons were clearly made in order to deflect scrutiny away from questions regarding the Prime Minister's Office and ongoing Senate issues.

"The undisguised contempt displayed by Minister Moore and the members of his Conservative caucus was disrespectful to the entire Canadian arts and culture community." stated Arden R. Ryshpan, Executive Director.

"Regardless of Mr. Benskin's personal situation, his Private Members Bill to institute income averaging for artists is a needed change to the Canadian tax system and one for which the arts and culture community has been advocating for many years." continued Ryshpan.

Income tax averaging, already available to other professions, would allow artists whose incomes vary tremendously from year to year, to be able to average their income over a longer period and pay fair taxes accordingly.

Ryshpan continues "To suggest that this Bill was cooked up by an MP solely to avoid paying his own taxes ignores years of lobbying and the contributions of many artists on this issue."

Recipients of the 2013 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards were in the visitor's gallery of the House of Commons, and were witness to Minister Moore's unwarranted outburst. As the Conservative Government should have expressed on May 30, Equity acknowledges and values the contributions that Andrew Dawes, Daniel Lanois, Jean Pierre Lefebvre, Viola Léger, Eric Peterson, Menaka Thakkar, Jean Pierre Desrosiers and Sarah Polley have made to our country.

Canadian Actors' Equity Association is the voice of professional artists working in live performance in English Canada. It is a national artists' association representing almost 6,000 performers, directors, choreographers, fight directors and stage managers working in theatre, opera and dance from coast to coast.

SOURCE: Canadian Actors' Equity Association

For further information:

Lynn McQueen, Communications Director
416-867-9165 ext. 243 or 416-476-7037 (m), commdir@caea.com

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Canadian Actors' Equity Association

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