The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.Most lobbyists know better than to look for detail in a Speech from the Throne. But it is useful for outlining the government’s spending priorities, and even a passing mention is viewed as a positive thing.  While R&D were no doubt the stars of the speech, broadband and culture did receive prominent supporting roles. The Liberal’s love affair with broadband doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, with speculation rife that CANARIE will receive funding for its next generation national backbone network – CA*net 4. Public money will also be forthcoming to ensure rural communities are connected to the world via broadband. As the Statistics Canada survey on page 1 of this issue shows, federal and provincial support for cultural industries is growing, but it has a long way to climb before it returns to even 1993 levels. The dark days of "program review" resulted in the federal government making serious cuts to culture. It also slashed R&D spending; now the Liberals are promising to double their investment in R&D by 2010. The financial commitments to the cultural industry aren’t as clear cut. The Throne Speech says the focus of future cultural policies must be on "excellence in the creative process, diverse Canadian content, and access to the arts and heritage for all Canadians." Increased "support" (read: money?) will be forthcoming for the CBC, and for book publishers and sound-recording sectors to move into the "new economy". Continuing support for digital content is also committed. But the feds have a long way to go before culture is given the same attention, respect and money as other industrial sectors. Canadian Heritage is still Industry Canada’s poor cousin, and its voice has little clout among those who control the purse strings at Finance. Admittedly, those attitudes have been changing in recent years. But when it comes to the dollars, the lion’s share are still going to Brian Tobin’s new charge. Heritage, and the industries it oversees, must work harder to convince the government’s power elite that culture is an equal player in Canada’s new economy.