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Briefing Note: Voters and the CBC

Apr 29, 2009

To:  Members of the House of Commons Committee on Canadian Heritage  
Subject:  Voters and the CBC


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As your committee prepares to hear testimony from Heritage Minister Moore, the views of Canadians on matters related to the CBC/SRC may be of interest to you.  Pollara, one of Canada's leading public opinion research firms, has conducted a new research project to gauge the attitudes of Canadians when it comes to their public broadcaster.

Commissioned by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the online survey of 3,361 voting age Canadians found an electorate that:

  • Places high trust in the CBC/SRC to protect Canadian culture and identity on television.  Voters hold CBC/SRC above all other players in the broadcasting system on this measure of trust.  
  • Gives CBC/SRC high marks for meeting its mandate through programs that inform, enlighten and entertain (seven in ten voters).
  • Worries cuts to the CBC/SRC will diminish local and regional programming (six in ten voters).
  • Believes Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative government are hostile to the CBC/SRC and would like to diminish public broadcasting in Canada (six in ten voters).
  • Regards as insufficient Canada's level of funding of the CBC/SRC to maintain a unique and vibrant Canadian identity and culture (seven in ten voters).
  • Has advice for their MPs: over half recommend increasing funding for the CBC from current levels while three in ten voters urge you to maintain CBC funding at current levels; only one in ten recommends decreasing CBC funding  
  • Finally, 54% of voters support the Heritage Committee's recommendation to increase the CBC's per citizen funding from $33 to $40, and a further 20% believe this increase is insufficient.