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Author Topic: Heritage Minister Heléne Scherrer
Performance Anxiety
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3474

posted 02 February 2004 12:53 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Paul Martin's Quebec lieutenant, Heritage Minister Heléne Scherrer, has already worried Canada's culture sector by not attending the Canadian Forum on Cultural Enterprise, which the Heritage Minister was scheduled to co-chair.

This from a recent rabble feature. Any idea where I can get more on this story? I am presently out of the country. Cheers!


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
rabble-rouser
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posted 02 February 2004 08:25 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Found it HERE.

quote:
Martinites snub culture

By LYSIANE GAGNON
Monday, January 19, 2004 - Page A15

This was somewhat unexpected, but in the art world, people already miss Sheila Copps. In Quebec, Ms. Copps was occasionally ridiculed for her girl-scout approach to Canadian nationalism (remember Sheila's flags?), but she loved the arts and she embraced her job with gusto. Eventually, even the Quebec sovereigntists who dominate the francophone arts scene came to admit that she was a fine minister.

Her successor as Heritage Minister, Hélène Scherrer, is undoubtedly an energetic person, too; so much so that she was the first Liberal MP to plunge the knife into Mr. Chrétien's back and publicly call for his resignation -- which precisely seems to be the main reason why she was chosen to be part of Paul Martin's cabinet.

It may be too soon to judge, but Ms. Scherrer has had a disappointing start. A reporter asked her what was her favourite cultural activity. "Sports," she replied bluntly. This might mean that she will be an excellent minister for amateur sports (which comes under the Department of Canadian Heritage) but it did nothing to reassure the arts industry, which craves attention and tender loving care as much as it does money.

Before running for the Liberal Party in the riding of Louis-Hébert, Ms. Scherrer worked briefly as a social worker and later was involved in city politics in the middle-class Quebec suburb of Sillery. Her nomination to the sensitive heritage department surprised everyone, because it was widely assumed that Liza Frulla, who's had a stellar career as a provincial minister for culture, was the obvious choice. Another possibility was John Godfrey, a well-read MP already familiar with cultural issues.

Last week, Sheila Copps was especially missed in Paris, as guests at the Canadian Forum on Cultural Enterprise were faced with the empty chair of the Canadian heritage minister. The forum was a Canadian initiative aimed at fostering cultural diversity and increasing Canadian cultural exports outside the United States, which now buys 94 per cent of all of our cultural products.

Ms. Copps, a strong proponent of cultural diversity, was the driving force behind the forum, which was attended by as many as 600 guests representing various cultural enterprises from Canada, Europe and Africa. Even though the forum was a Canadian initiative paid for by Canada, the Heritage Minister, who was supposed to co-chair the event with France's Minister of Culture, was nowhere to be seen. Ms. Scherrer, according to an aide, was too busy studying her new files. She sent an assistant-deputy minister to represent Canada. French Culture Minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon, left with no political counterpart, had to cancel his presence too. The absence of the ministers deprived the event of a great deal of clout.

Until now, there's been little indication that Mr. Martin and his cohort of long-time handlers are sensitive to cultural matters, especially those with a link to the francophone world. Maybe the real reason for Ms. Scherrer's no-show is that anything having to do with Paris is seen, in some small-minded Ottawa circles, as futile.

As if a working trip to Paris were just an excuse for great dining and shopping. As if there were no business to do in France, a country of 66 million consumers with a historical and linguistic connection with Canada. As if France, which is the most forceful advocate of a strong Europe as a counterbalancing force to the United States, were not the best ally of the Canadian nationalists.

These are issues that Sheila Copps, for one, understood -- and that the Martin cabinet has yet to learn.

[email protected]


What do you all think of that?


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
rabble-rouser
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posted 04 February 2004 11:43 AM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I found her bio.

quote:
Riding : Louis-Hébert

Hélene Scherrer is a member of several regional and national committees which organize sports events in her region. She is, for example, vice-president for development with Challenge Bell and in 1999-2000, she was president of the Quebec 2000 world junior alpine competition.

She has also worked as a social worker at the Notre-Dame-de-Montréal hospital, in a social reintegration centre for former psychiatric patients (1978-1979), with an emergency psychiatric service at Rosemont hospital (1976-1977) and also with the Quebec social servicescentre.

She is active with the Quebec Cancer Foundation and was director for the Quebec region (1997-1999) and in charge of public relations (1995-1997). She served as municipal councillor for the town of Sillery from 1990 to 1994 and sat on a number of committees dealing with culture, leisure and family issues. She is president of the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes and Saint-Charles Foundation for housing centres, and was also a board member of the Bagatelle Foundation for several years.

Ms. Scherrer obtained a Bachelor's degree in social services from Laval University in 1972 , having graduated in 1969 from the College Jésus-Marie inSillery.

Hélene Chalifour-Scherrer was born in 1950. She is married and the mother of two children aged 17 and 20.


This is a corporate toady. The Challenge Bell??? What next? The Pepsi Challenge?

We need a REAL minister of culture & heritage, not someone who would appear to fit better into a psych ward or co-opted sporting contest. The Minister of Culture is meant to take on the likes of the US Culture Industry, and stand up for Canadians and the expressions we create. This is truly disastrous.


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3474

posted 04 February 2004 12:03 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Canadian Heritage Minister by Sandra Abma
Source : CBC Radio


January 16, 2004

JUDY MADDREN (Anchor): Canada's new Minister of Canadian Heritage says she is going to do things differently from her predecessor. Hélène Scherrer has been in the job for thirty-five days but not much has been heard about her priorities. Scherrer is a former social worker and events organizer. She is close to Prime Minister Paul Martin and a key player in planning his election campaign. As Sandra Abma reports, one of Scherrer’s first challenges will be the issue of foreign ownership in the media.

SANDRA ABMA (Reporter): Hélène Scherrer says she may not have a background in the arts, but Paul Martin made her the new culture minister because of her attitude

HÉLÈNE SCHERRER (Heritage Minister): It’s most of the way I am going to do things. I think he trusted me with a new way of doing things more than exactly what was my expertise.

ABMA: Arts groups will be watching to see how Scherrer deals with the thorny issue foreign ownership in the media. Under former Heritage Minister Sheila Copps, the heritage department was locked in a battle with the department of industry over the issue. Industry wants to open the doors to foreign investment in telecommunications. Because some companies own both telecommunications and media outlets, broadcasting could be affected as well. Sheila Copps was firmly against loosening ownership limits, but the new heritage minister says she is more flexible and she’s already in discussions with the new industry minister Lucienne Robillard.

HÉLÈNE SCHERRER: We are working at it, the officials are working on that and this may go to a compromise.

ABMA: Scherrer says she is still learning about the huge heritage portfolio. This week she began visiting arts groups in Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton with plans to visit other provinces.


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 04 February 2004 12:08 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
December 17, 2003
By KATE TAYLOR

And the cry went up in Ottawa: "Hélène who?"

Arts lobbyists and culturecrats have been busy trying to assess Hélène Chalifour Scherrer, a Paul Martin loyalist from Quebec City with zero profile in the cultural community, since she was sworn in as Minister of Canadian Heritage on Friday. Publicly, they welcome the new minister and look forward to the opportunity of working with . . . etc., etc. Privately, there's a lot of questions surrounding her appointment.

"We have been reading tea leaves," said one observer, interrupted in that very task.

Many had been expecting Liza Frulla, a former Quebec minister of culture and Radio-Canada host, who has been appointed the new federal Minister of Social Development, whatever that will mean, to get the job for which she had been lobbying none too quietly. The choice of Scherrer, whose chief claim to fame was that she was one of five Liberal MPs who publicly called for Jean Chrétien's retirement back in 2002, came as a not-all-together-pleasant surprise.

In her favour, the former social worker has strong community experience and a first-hand knowledge of how non-profits operate from working in a Montreal psychiatric hospital, in municipal politics in the Quebec City suburb of Sillery and serving on the board of a small art museum there.

On the other hand, for a cultural community that often suffers at the hands of politicians who just don't get the arts, there are some warning signs that she may not be the best fit for the job. Her very specific interest in amateur sport and the cries of rapture with which the Canadian Olympic Committee greeted her appointment to the portfolio, which does includesport, suggests she may lack the broad vision needed to tackle the large range of regulatory and funding issues that lie at the core of the Canadian Heritage mandate. Comments made to the CBC by her spokesman immediately after her swearing-in about running a "tighter ship" at a ministry that wasn't going to be a "bank" any more didn't help.

The skepticism about Scherrer may also simply flow from sympathy for outgoing Heritage Minister Sheila Copps. There's a very justifiable sense of outrage over Martin's treatment of Copps, the Liberal leadership candidate who dared to believe she was living in a democracy in which even an unwinnable challenge against an unbeatable opponent was a worthy undertaking. Allan Rock bowed out of the race early enough to earn a nice diplomatic posting; John Manley exits to the private sector with his head held high, but Copps not only gets booted out of cabinet, she will also have to fight for the Liberal nomination in her own riding because redistribution has her up against an incumbent there.

Perhaps Martin learned a lesson about power from all his years as the thorn in Chrétien's side: Don't let your former leadership rivals anywhere near the cabinet.

Copps, Heritage Minister since 1996 of the omnibus portfolio Chrétien created by amalgamating culture and communications with citizenship and multiculturalism when he came to power in 1993, has been an enthusiastic and high-profile advocate for a bailiwick that includes not only the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the CBC, the Canada Council, Telefilm Canada and all the national museums, but also the national parks, sport and multicultural programming, and she is generally respected by the arts community.

She's something of a cultural nationalist: Recently she has been lending her weight to UNESCO's attempts to establish some cultural protectionism in the face of the American onslaught, which is about the only way a culture minister can create any kind of legacy.

Heritage is split between its regulatory functions -- overseeing the CRTC or rewriting copyright law -- and its funding of the cultural agencies, and Copps has often succeeded in balancing this mix of hardware and software. If in recent months, the department has seemed bogged down in the minutiae of initiatives such as copyright legislation, Copps has also secured $500-million in extra funding since 2001, and placed much-needed restrictions on development inside Banff National Park.

The latest from the Ottawa rumour mill is that the sprawling Heritage Canada portfolio is going to be severed again, following the example Martin has set by breaking up the cumbersome and controversial Human Resources Development Canada into the Social Development portfolio he handed to Frulla, and the Human Resources and Skills Development department that Joe Volpe will lead. With Martin now promising expenditure review and a spring election looming while Parks Canada has already been quietly shifted to Environment Canada, the cultural bureaucracy is predicting a split that might also hive offmulticulturalism and sport but would, more importantly, send regulatory and industry functions such as copyright, the CRTC and Telefilm over to Industry Canada. That was a move dismissed by most as ignoring the technological future when it was attempted by the briefly lived Kim Campbell Tories back in 1993, and while it might provide a more easily managed mix, it could leave culture in a political backwater. Whatever shape these hypothetical departments take, Scherrer may find she is not Minister of Canadian Heritage for very long.

[email protected]


SOURCE

C'mon Babblers, what are we going to do about this?????


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Albireo
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posted 04 February 2004 12:49 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*crickets*
From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 04 February 2004 01:24 PM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmmm. crickets, eh? I guess Babblers care more about whats-her-face having her boobie exposed at the American Super Bowl than they do about who is in charge of Canadian culture, and will be for the next several years. Should alarm bells be ringing? Yes. Are they? No. What is wrong with this picture???


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Timebandit
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posted 05 February 2004 12:39 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's true that we'll miss Sheila Copps. In spite of being a Liberal, I have to admit that she did a fairly good job with the Culture portfolio.

Not that she didn't preside over some fairly wonky decisions -- like the year they had first-come-first-sered CTF applications, resulting in producers punching each other out in line-ups for submission.

I was in a Telefilm info session yesterday, and at an Independent Media Arts Alliance (national association of media arts cooperatives) regional meeting last month, and both Telefilm and Canada Council are waiting for the other shoe to drop. We don't know how radically things will change, or just how insecure the funding is. With the downturn in commercial media, that leaves a lot of people hanging.


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Mandos
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posted 05 February 2004 12:58 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Giving copyright law over to Industry Canada would be utterly disastrous. That alarms me more than whom the meat puppet is at the head of the ministry. I would take patent law out of the hands of Industry Canada...and give it to Heritage Canada, not give copyright to Industry.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 07 February 2004 03:26 AM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Check out Dutch author Joost Smiers new book ARTS UNDER PRESSURE. I got it on the net, but feel other "artistes" should check it out too.


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Russell McOrmond
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posted 11 February 2004 03:12 PM      Profile for Russell McOrmond   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just a quick note about the perception that Copps was always "for the artists". I came face-to-face with her big-business "content industries" promoting with my involvement in digital copyright reform. I recently authored an article which I posted to the rabble features section on my perspective of Sheila Copps.

Those who label Sheila as a left-leaning Liberal may be surprised with the conclusions I drew from my interaction with her on copyright policy.


From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Russell McOrmond
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posted 11 February 2004 03:38 PM      Profile for Russell McOrmond   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mandos:
Giving copyright law over to Industry Canada would be utterly disastrous. That alarms me more than whom the meat puppet is at the head of the ministry. I would take patent law out of the hands of Industry Canada...and give it to Heritage Canada, not give copyright to Industry.

I believe the mix that currently exists is appropriate. Copyright is the legislative expression of the delicate balance between creators' rights and citizens' rights (communications rights, etc). Since there are 3 major categories of constituencies (creators, intermediaries including non-creator copyright holders, citizens/audiences) it makes sense to have at least two departments involved in ensuring that the constituencies are heard.

See: Perspective of a digital copyright reformer.

Patents are appropriately understood as Industrial property. In fact, part of the problem with patent policy is that it is being expanded so far out of an industrial context that it is bleeding on other policy. The correction here is to ensure that patents only apply to industrial manufacturers and keep patents and other Industrial property policy in Industry Canada.

See: Patent Protection - Who should it serve?

Part of the problem I have used is the use of the term "Intellectual Property" which Industry Canada and others use. This causes people to make nonsense conclusions about areas of policy that are far more different than they are similar. I've long since suggested that it is nearly impossible to put a sensible sentence together talking about public policy or law that uses the term "Intellectual Property".

See my personal homepage for thoughts on that word..


From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
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posted 12 February 2004 12:12 AM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey Russ!

Have you read Dutch author Joost Smiers new book ARTS UNDER PRESSURE yet? I'd be keen on your opinion about it. Cheers!


From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Performance Anxiety
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3474

posted 12 March 2004 04:35 AM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, it's a good book anyways for people who want to think critically about our "culture" and how most of it is controlled by corporate forces. My point is that the NDP needs Copps just as much as the rest of Canadians do. Nobody is protecting our culture now, or looking out for other endangered cultures, which means that our life is going to get a lot worse.

It's time for Canada to take a strong stand on the world stage - we must champion cultural diversity and democracy in the arts and media.

It's a no-brainer - get Copps.


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Sine Ziegler
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posted 12 March 2004 10:12 AM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I heard a rumour they were going to get rid of the Ministry of Heritage.
From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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