Source : Canadian Press
TORONTO - The vast majority of Canadians -- although not those who consider themselves Conservatives - want the federal government to work to maintain a national identity and culture distinct from the United States, suggests a new HarrisDecima poll commissioned by the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
Eighty-two per cent of Canadians feel the government should make serious efforts to sustain a Canadian culture that's separate from the U.S. Among those surveyed who associate themselves with the country's political parties, only 46 per cent of Tories agreed.
The survey of more than 2,000 Canadians, conducted between Nov. 15 and Nov. 25, also suggests that 61 per cent are opposed to the foreign ownership of telephone companies, and 57 per cent feel similarly about the foreign ownership of cable providers.
Nearly three in five Canadians, or 59 per cent, are opposed to the foreign ownership of media companies, while 46 per cent said they expected Canadian content on radio and television would decrease with the foreign ownership of Canada's broadcasting and cable companies.
Those findings are timely given the ongoing attempt by CanWest Global Communications to buy Alliance Atlantis for $2.3 billion in funds provided largely by American investment bank Goldman Sachs.
The survey also suggests that 62 per cent of Canadians are more likely to vote for a federal candidate who oppose increased foreign ownership of Canada's broadcasting and telephone companies.
The poll has a margin of error of 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20. It was released as the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, a Canadian cultural watchdog, was set to launch a national campaign in Calgary on Wednesday with ACTRA and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
The groups are voicing their support of current foreign ownership restrictions that prevent foreign companies from acquiring control of Canadian media and telecommunications firms.
A Friends spokesman says the campaign - called "Keep it Canadian" - hopes to send out a message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the foreign control of Canada's media and communications companies.
"We want to show the prime minister that Canadians everywhere - including in his own backyard - want to keep our media and communications Canadian-owned and controlled because whoever controls the media also controls the message," said Peter Murdoch of the CEP.
The federal government has established the Competition Policy Review, a panel of business leaders who will be reviewing the foreign ownership rules and reporting back in June next year.
© Canadian Press
Related Documents: December 13, 2007
: COMMENTARY: Keep It Canadian by Ian Morrison
Poll commissioned by FRIENDS, ACTRA and CEP says 62% of Canadians are more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes more foreign ownership of Canadian broadcasting and telephone companies.
December 5, 2007
- Opinion Poll - Foreign Ownership of Canadian Media and Communications
Poll results show allowing foreign interests to control Canadian media and telecom companies may be a poor strategy for Conservative growth.
December 5, 2007
- News Release - National security & cultural sovereignty trump foreign ownership of Canadian media - Keep it Canadian
Poll results show that most voters believe broadcasting and communications are too important to national security and cultural sovereignty to allow foreign control of Canadian media companies.
December 5, 2007
- Opinion Poll - Foreign Ownership of Canadian Broadcasting and Telephone Companies
Executive Summary of a Harris/Decima poll commissioned by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, ACTRA, and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada December 5, 2007
- Interview - Business News Network, Squeeze Play
Ian Morrison, FRIENDS spokesperson, speaks to hosts Amanda Lang and Kevin O'Leary about foreign ownership of Canadian media companies. December 5, 2007
- Photos - Keep it Canadian Event
Photos from the Keep it Canadian event in Calgary, Alberta