Ottawa – A national advertising campaign starting today urges voters to support candidates who are in favour of maintaining domestic ownership and control of Canadian broadcasting and communications companies.
"If we lose control of our media, we lose control of the messaging of our national identity and democratic debate. We will no longer have the ability to tell our own stories and see the world through Canadian eyes," said Peter Murdoch, Vice President - Media for CEP.
The Keep it Canadian ad campaign targets voters in battleground ridings across the country and is sponsored by three of Canada’s leading voices in culture and communications – ACTRA, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) and Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
"Stephen Harper's plans to relax foreign ownership are culturally and economically irresponsible. Canada's cultural industries indirectly contribute $85 billion, and over one million jobs to the Canadian economy. To put an industry that plays such a vital role in Canada's economy at risk is fiscally irresponsible," said Stephen Waddell, ACTRA's National Executive Director.
The groups have sponsored the ad campaign to draw attention to the desire of Mr. Harper to allow Canadian broadcasters and telecommunications companies to sell off to the highest foreign bidder.
Mr. Harper declared on September 25th that, if re-elected, he would allow foreign ownership of telecommunications companies. All Conservative MPs voted against a motion in the House of Commons on May 30, 2006, calling for the retention of current restrictions on foreign ownership in the cultural sector. As well, the Conservative Party’s 2004 election platform calls for the relaxation or removal of communications sector foreign ownership restrictions.
"Prime Minister Harper has made it abundantly clear that he wants to allow the sale of Canadian communications and media companies to foreign interests. It’s a long standing policy of Mr. Harper’s Conservative Party," said Ian Morrison, spokesperson for Friends of Canadians Broadcasting.
According to a December 2007 Harris-Decima survey, most voters (66%) believe broadcasting and communications are too important to our national security and cultural sovereignty to allow foreign control of Canadian companies in this sector. The poll found that 62% of Canadians are more likely to vote for candidates who oppose giving control of Canadian media to foreign interests, up slightly from December 2003 when this question was last posed. Only 19% are more likely to vote for a candidate who is in favour of allowing foreign companies to own more of Canada's broadcasting and telephone companies.
Carol Taverner, ACTRA
Peter Murdoch, CEP
Jim Thompson, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
October 8, 2008 - Advertisement - KeepitCanadian.net National Ad Campaign
The Keep it Canadian ad campaign targets voters in battleground ridings across the country.
December 5, 2007 - Opinion Poll - 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.