CTF cries foul on CBC link to 'Friends' By Kris Sims

Feb 2, 2012

Source: Canoe.ca

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is accusing the activist group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting of being on the CBC's payroll.

"Access to Information documents show that three members of the Friends steering committee actually were on the CBC payroll," the taxpayer advocacy group says on its website.

"Aritha van Herk was paid to write poems and was paid $6,322, David Tars was paid to be a 'reader' and was paid $277, while Stephen Kimber was paid $675 as a 'freelancer'."

"These are quite small sums of money - especially in the latter two cases - however this is by no means the whole picture," the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) said on its site.

"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."

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting disputes the CTF's claims, saying the amount of money is very small, usually paid out by the CBC to individuals prior to joining their 'Friends' group and often given to prominent people for speaking engagements with the state broadcaster.

"This sum of money is not material," said Friends' spokesman Ian Morrison. "Today, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation published two false statements."

Morrison provided a letter of release that was given to CBC to disclose any payments made to Friends members, saying everyone from his group agreed to disclose the information.

It is not known if any former or current members of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting had been paid fees by other broadcasters, such as Global or CTV, but Morrison said he would investigate.

© Canoe.ca

Feb 2, 2012 — Statement: Taxpayer Federation statements false
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has posted false statements on its website concerning the relationship between the CBC and the broadcast watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.