“That's silly.”

What would you blow $30.2 million on? Who would you blow for $30.2 million? These games are fun. That amount of millions is something I can’t actually conceive of. If I were the government during this past recession, what would I spend $30.2 million on? Perhaps on a new film building for Capilano Univeristy, as our federal regime decided on. In the spirit of the recession at the time, it would apparently “create as many as 192 jobs”, so says a Canadian government website. However, I just don’t see this investment helping the economy of very many Canadians or British Columbians. The MP for North Vancouver has tried to justify it by saying that it’s important to invest in infrastructure for colleges and universities to help support the economy. Now, I love film and I like our school and I like money. Most wouldn’t bat an eyelash at the idea of spending tax money on schools. Schools make a lot of money for the city, province, and country. I don’t think that a new film building is a bad idea.

I’m just not sure that our school should get $30.2 million tax dollars to create 192 jobs. For one, this was all done in lieu of a recession, and (supposedly) we aren’t in a recession anymore. I saw that shit on discovery channel. It’s officially done getting worse, but not officially better yet. Officially or not, I’m personally fine with a recession when it comes to the film industry. As Louis Rastelli explains in his book, A Fine Ending, “The funny thing about the economic crisis is that a lot of artists and writers don’t notice it. Their life is always the same – they’re really poor. If there’s one thing we learned in the 90s recession, it’s that there’s certainly no less underground publishing, writing, music or film ... when times get that tough that fast, that’s when people have the time and motive to sit down and make something themselves. DIY gets a big boost. There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of time.” Film is one of those things that does not directly benefit from awesome fancy buildings and high-tech bullshit. Make my tuition lower and lower my taxes instead.

I do understand that having a new film building would be awesome – I've heard that the existing one has basement trolls and walls with holes. I’m sure it’s going to look really great, and I assume the construction workers who build it will be appreciative of the work, but the justification for the project is that it is supposed to be of getting us out of a “recession” is ridiculous. As mentioned previously, we are no longer in a recession. 

Oh, but the money is going into educational infrastructure and will boost the film scene in Vancouver! Dr. Greg Lee, president and vice-chancellor of Capilano University stood up and said so. That’s silly. Lots of great films don't need film centres to be great. Divide that provincial and federal tax money more intelligently, spread it out more, giving more benefit to those of us who are going into film at Capilano University.

//Shaun McPherson

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