The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. As someone who grew up listening to independent Canadian music – acts like 54-40, The Northern Pikes, Chalk Circle – I confess I felt some sadness when writing about the dire straits the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records, or FACTOR, finds itself in. It’s all the more puzzling that an agency devoted to helping Canadian musicians record their work should find itself threatened at a time when home-grown talent is taking the world by storm. Pierre Lalonde, at Heritage Canada’s Canada Music Fund, agrees that Canadian music has offered "a pretty good return on investment": according to the fund’s 2004 report on the Canadian music industry, the top 10 Canadian acts have grossed roughly $5.4 billion in music sales south of the border over the past decade. It’s important to remember that most of these big-name, multi-platinum acts, such as Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies and Our Lady Peace, were once independent artists with cloudy futures. The federal government funds other potentially revenue-generating initiatives from public money, such as the National Research Council Canada, which provides money for studying everything from optical networking to more efficient speaker designs. If nothing else, perhaps our new national leadership can earmark funds to top up the loss a pull-out by private radio would mean for FACTOR. It’s no secret that the Conservative Party’s power base has viewed funding for the arts in Canada as a somewhat questionable expense – they’re certainly not alone in that regard. But the economics of the situation should be enough to win over even the most hardened naysayer.