Open the Arts!

It’s unfair to say Doug Ford doesn’t like Margaret Atwood. Ten years ago he said he wouldn’t even recognize her on the street. But he was busy cutting funds to libraries when he said it. So maybe he was distracted. Then again, anyone can see she’s tiny and he’s not.

It is fair to say that what Doug Ford doesn’t like is the arts.

He prefers ferris wheels and casinos to museums and film festivals. That’s fine. It’s why restaurants have menus. But when you have a record of setting ‘downtowners’ against your supporters and white-wine liberals against red-meat conservatives; when you keep concert venues and bookstores closed, while opening WalMarts by calling them grocery stores;  when you use your golf buddies as scientific experts and Carnac the Magnificent as your captain to get 15 million Ontarians safely through the epidemic, that’s not fine.

It’s no wonder arts groups are screaming at him to let them open up. Not promiscuously or completely. But by allowing, say, 250 people to fill the 1,000 seats for concerts in Koerner Hall, or shows at Stratford, movies at Cineplex, and readings at Harbourfront.

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