10.4.12

sigh.

so sad to hear of the cuts at the nfb.

73 jobs lost, mediatheques closing. all to save less than $7 million, less than a rounding error on the cost of the unnecessary fighter jets we're so keen to purchase.

i worked at the nfb about a decade ago, albeit briefly. due to cost-cutting measures they had not at that time hired anyone on a full-time permanent basis in years - everyone was on contract. the terms of many contracts stipulated that they could only be renewed after a 1-month gap of service (i suppose to prevent any attempt by a contractor to argue that they were a proper employee and deserving of a measure of job security), so although my boss wanted me to stay, and wanted to re-hire me after my gap, i couldn't realistically afford to stay in such a shaky position.

it was a very frugal place to work. i remember once needing a floppy disc (remember those? worth maybe a dollar?), and having to justify my use of it to the office manager before she was willing to unlock the small supplies cabinet. our holiday party was a far cry from the lavish events i attended in the private sector - we all chipped in for pizza and boxed wine, then went out to karaoke at a dive bar. i don't think the nfb contributed a cent. we had a great time though.

i also remember the reactions i got from americans when i tried to explain where i worked. a government agency to produce documentaries and animated shorts? amazing! the universal reaction was that the nfb was one of those things that made canada truly awesome. the dozens of international awards and nominations demonstrate that that view is widely held.

a widely-respected organization that's fiscally prudent - what's not to love? apparently nothing is too good for the flaherty chopping block.

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