Le Blogue Broadbent

No love - or money - for the CBC

There’s no hidden agenda in this policy proposal about the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, up for debate at the Conservative Party convention: eliminate “all public funding of the corporation” because it “creates unfair competitive advantage with privately owned and operated networks and stations.”

This idea, pushed by the riding of Saint Boniface, may be a bit awkward for their MP, Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover.

According to polling, a majority of Canadians oppose cuts to the CBC.

There's great value in having a strong public broadcaster in such a diverse and vast country, but the 2012 federal budget took a sharp knife to CBC’s budget, cutting it by more than 10 per cent, more than double most departments. Even before that round of cuts, Canada ranked in the bottom three out of 18 major Western countries when it came to public funding of their public broadcaster (on a per-capita basis).

The government has also taken additional steps to undermine CBC’s independence. The latest budget implementation bill, passed in June, includes a clause that allows the federal Cabinet to approve salaries, working conditions and collective bargaining positions for the CBC.

Photo: rickchung. Used under a Creative Commons BY-2.0 licence.