Canada 150 Petition supporters started receiving an email letter from Thomas Mulcair's office today stating that the government's spec logo contest for the Canada 150th anniversary celebrations "...risks taking advantage of students by undermining the value of their design work.". This is a strong show of support for the efforts of thousands of Canadians who have signed the GDC's petition at canada150.gdc.net. "Hearing from the official opposition in support of this important issue is inspiring and confirms that our elected officilas are listening, and in the case of the NDP, are willing to take up this important cause." says Adrian Jean CGD, President of Graphic Designers of Canada.
Read the full letter here:
Thank you for writing in support of having a better design process for Canada's 150th anniversary logo.
Please know that I appreciate your constructive comments on this matter. I agree that the current contest process risks taking advantage of students by undermining the value of their design work. This is certainly not the legacy Canadians would want for such a joyous and historical event.
While we welcome the incentive to involve youth in the celebration of our country's 150th anniversary, we felt from the beginning that the process was flawed. If the Department of Heritage is offering design students "a chance to be part of Canadian history”, then they need to do better. Students should not be asked to work for free nor should they be expected to give up the creative and intellectual property rights of their submissions. Furthermore, the initial selection process took on a very partisan flavour and ultimately wasted $40,000. Read more about the concerns we raised here: http://o.canada.com/news/national/canadas-150th-birthday-will-be-partisan-bash-without-anniversary-agency-ndp
The Conservatives continue to ignore the call for a better contest process. If they can find millions of tax dollars for political advertising, they should be able to offer a better deal for Canada's talented design students. Instead of supporting the questionable practice of unpaid internships, they should properly award students for their creative work.
Going forward, the NDP will continue to pressure the Conservative government to make the selection process fairer and more inclusive. We join with all Canadians in the hope that we will have a 150th anniversary celebration worthy of our great country.
Again, I appreciate hearing from you.
All the best,
Tom Mulcair, M.P. (Outremont)
Leader of the Official Opposition
New Democratic Party of Canada