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Smitherman to Cambridge: Healthcare or Art!

April 3rd, 2009

This is what happens when you want the government, when you want other people, to do everything. You don’t get it.

Ontario’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and Deputy Premier, George Smitherman told the city of Cambridge this week that priorities must be made, and they need to chose between a hospital or a theatre:

When asked about funding for Cambridge Memorial Hospital and the new arts centre in Cambridge for Drayton Theatre, George Smitherman told The Record, quote, “you’ve got to have priorities and sometimes one has to give way to the other.”

Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig, in a fit of sensibility, told Smitherman, expand the hospital. He’s dead right.

It’s time the arts community stepped up and sang for their supper. This is one community, and I can’t imagine the cantankerous caterwauling if a minister in Stephen Harper’s government had said the same thing, that has the capability to raise funds. The city is committed to $6M – arts community, find the other six.

Back in Brampton in the 80’s, I had some friends who played on an album that local musicians put together to raise funds for the Peel Memorial Hospital expansion. It is much easier, and cheaper to do now. There are festivals, plays, concerts all over town all year. Some benefit shows, some passing the bucket at the larger festivals – how about Shakespeare in the Park this summer and you can ask for donations. More than any other, the arts community have the capability to raise money: Cambridge arts, it’s time to step up.


  1. david
    April 3rd, 2009 at 23:08 | #1

    remember when Smitherman was health Minister he took away funding from CMH (i think $70m)

    The Feds have already committed to fed funding for the Drayton arts funding and it will fall thro if Smitherman doesnt giv eprovincial money fro it. its a great projectthat will creat 100’s of jobs and he wont support it.. Politics at its worst. thats what you get when you elect a back bench tory that spends 3 months in florida..

    Goodyear got the Feds to committ to fed funding and provincially we get nothing

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