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POLLARA public opinion survey on Canadians' views on the CBC: KEY FINDINGS

May 18, 2009

Briefing Note for FRIENDS' supporters

From Ian Morrison, FRIENDS' Spokesperson

FRIENDS commissioned POLLARA to survey a random sample of 3,361Canadians 18 year of age or older. The results are considered accurate to +/- 1.69% nineteen times out of twenty. The resulting data were weighted by age, gender and region to ensure that the results are representative of the Canadian general public. Full results can be viewed here. This survey was in the field from April 20 to 24, 2009:

  • 88% of Canadians believe that as Canada's economic ties with the U.S. increase, it is becoming more important to strengthen Canadian culture and identity. [p. 26]
  • 78% tune in to some form of CBC programming. [p. 19]
  • 76% rate the CBC's performance in fulfilling its mandate 'good', 'very good' or 'excellent'. [p. 20]
  • 83% believe the CBC is important in protecting Canadian identity and culture. [p. 23]
  • 81% believe CBC is one of the things that helps distinguish Canada from the U.S. [p. 25]
  • 74% would like to see CBC strengthened in their region. [p. 25]
  • 63% believe that CBC provides value for taxpayers' money [p. 25]
  • 80% believe CBC is best suited to provide Canadian programming on television. [p. 27]
  • 51% believe the Harper government has a hidden agenda that favours private corporate broadcasters, 25% disagree and 25% don't know. [p. 31]
  • 52% believe the Harper government is under funding the CBC so that it can turn it into a private, commercial broadcaster, 24% disagree and 23% don't know. [p. 31]
  • 25% believe that privatizing and commercializing the CBC is the right thing to do, 62% disagree, and 14% don't know. [p. 31]
  • 74% believe that annual funding to the CBC should be increased: 54% support the Commons Heritage Committee recommendation that CBC funding should increase to $40 per Canadian, and 20% believe $40 per Canadian is too low. [p. 33]
  • "Assume for a moment that your federal MP asked for your advice on an upcoming vote in the House of Commons on what to do about CBC funding. Which of the following three options would you advise him/her to vote for?" Decrease funding? 9%, maintain funding at current levels? 31%, and increase funding? 47%. [p. 43]
  • 70% of Canadians believe the CBC should be most responsible for ensuring that Canadian programming continues to be an integral part of the Canadian economy and culture, 18% favour private broadcasters, 9% cable and satellite companies and 3% Internet content providers. [p. 38]
  •  "In Canada, the Prime Minister appoints the Board of Directors of the CBC. Do you feel that this is the best way to manage CBC or should a non-political process appoint the CBC board?" Prime Minister? 14%, Appointed non-politically? 86%. [p. 40]
  • "Unlike at, for example, the BBC, in Canada the Prime Minister also appoints the President of the CBC, currently Hubert Lacroix. Do you feel that the mandate of the CBC is best managed by appointment by the Prime Minister, or at arms length from the political process?" Prime Minister? 13%, President should be appointed non-politically? 87%. [p. 41]
  • "Which of the federal political party leaders do you trust most to handle matters of culture and Canadian identity in broadcasting?" Stephen Harper? 27%, Michael Ignatieff? 31%, Jack Layton? 22%, Elizabeth May? 13%, Gilles Duceppe? 7% [p. 46]

To view the POLLARA report, please visit http://www.friends.ca/poll/8288. The numbers in [brackets] above refer to page numbers in the report.