Thursday, June 29, 2006

Canadian Taxpayers Demand Accountability!

Some citizen's of Canada are upset watching their goverment spend recklessly on a war that failed, and may even have been doomed from the start.

Yes, the Dark Lord Sauron and his Orc army proved too much for our Frodo, as the Lord of the Rings musical, fought ferociously against commercial influences and the laser-guided observations of critics, but will now close, taking its guidon to the West End.

Of course, their change of address won't get the Wringwraiths who are seeking payment off their back. And it appears that the their little Hobbit legs may have trouble outrunning the Canadian Government, who fronted our little hairy-footed friends and their producers, the Mirvishes, to the tune of 3 Million Dollars (US).

The provincial government still expects to be repaid its $3 million loan to The Lord Of The Rings, Gary Wheeler, a spokesman for Ontario Tourism Minister Jim Bradley, said yesterday.

You know things are a little stressful when the spokesman for the Tourism Minister fields the calls. Well, the conservative party is sweating the loan a little bit, but apparently the Canadian Government is still a stakeholder in the production when it travels to the West End.

Of course, things like this are a perfect opportunity for tax watchdogs to sharpen the knives, and the Toronto Sun's Christina Blizzard obliges in her attack on the failed project.

Why would the province throw money at one of the most successful theatrical producers in the country -- the Mirvishes --to put on such a $23-million production?

Look, I'm a big fan of the Mirvish family. They've done more for arts and culture in this city than any other family I can think of. Not just that, they give away free turkeys to the poor at Christmas. (I guess we should look on Lord of the Rings as a turkey giveaway for the well-heeled.)

Well, government subsidy for theatre will be always be debated, but after this I am not so sure that subsidy for blockbuster musicals will be able to put up much of a fight.

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