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Taxpayer Federation statements false

Feb 2, 2012

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 false.

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 to:

"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.

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For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592