Toronto - The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has posted false
statements on its website today concerning the relationship between the CBC and
the broadcast watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
The CTF alleges that "Friends of Canadian Broadcasting on
the CBC Payroll".
This statement is
Documents released by the CBC to the CTF under the Access to
Information Act make clear that Friends of Canadian Broadcasting has received
no payments from the CBC/Radio-Canada.
With an access to information request, the CTF asked the CBC
"Provide from 2001
to present, in Excel format if possible, amounts paid to the organization
'Friends of Canadian Broadcasting' and the following individuals: Ian Morrison,
Anne-Marie Dekker, Patrick Flanagan, Michael Garvey, Mark Goldman, Aritha van
Herk, Stephen Kimber, Mary Pat McKinnon, Noreen Golfman, David Taras, Maggie
Siggins and R. H. Thomson. All
remuneration given by CBC/Radio-Canada to these individuals and this
organization is sought, regardless or the reasons for which they were paid." (The
individuals listed above are all members of Friends' Steering Committee)
The CTF also states: "Some of the individuals refused to
disclose their financial arrangements with the CBC, resulting in about 85 pages
of the ATI documents being blanked out.
Those refusing to disclose their financial dealings with the CBC include
the 'Friends' spokesperson Ian Morrison, Chairperson Noreen Golfman and members
Anna-Marie Dekker, Maggie Siggins and R.H. Thomson."
This statement is also
false. All members of the Friends'
Steering Committee gave explicit written permission to the CBC to release the
requested information. A sample
permission letter from Ian Morrison is available here.
Journalists, writers, actors and academic commentators are
routinely contracted by the CBC.
The modest payments reported by the CBC to these individuals were made
for these purposes.
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog
for Canadian programming and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or
political party. By policy,
Friends does not accept financial contributions from any entity licensed by the
CRTC. Since its inception in 1985
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting has never received any payments from the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592