Conservative MP James Moore's appointment as heritage minister in prime minister Stephen Harper's new minority government sees "the fox running the chicken house," according to one music industry insider.

Moore, from British Columbia, is a former talk radio host and music biz insiders fear he will be over-supportive of broadcasters' rights. That is a contentious issue for the music industry, which has been seeking royalty payments for radio stations' transfer of music in the form of electronic files to be played out.

Moore replaced Quebec MP Josée Verner last month.

The Conservatives' arts cuts have been deeply unpopular in Quebec, where the regional Bloc Quebecois party took 50 seats at the election, compared to the Conservatives' 10.

Moore's appointment is widely viewed as political payback. "It is a kick in the head of Quebec for not supporting Harper," says the source.

The government recently axed two major funds benefiting the music business: the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's annual $4.7 million Canadian ($3.8 million) PromArt Program, which provided travel grants to Canadian artists, writers and musicians, and Heritage Canada's annual $9 million Canadian ($7.3 million) Trade Routes program that supported the export of artistic endeavors.

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