Conservative MP caught on tape: "We are not making cuts to the CBC"
Aug 5, 2014
Everybody knows the Conservative government is drastically cutting funding for the CBC, right?
Well, listen to this.
In a recent voice message obtained by PressProgress, Manitoba Conservative MP Joyce Bateman had this to say to a constituent, who had called her office to complain about cuts to the CBC:
"We are not making cuts to the CBC… They have stable funding. I guess their crisis is their viewing is going down significantly. Hence, as a consequence, advertising revenue is going down, so that may be what you're referring to but from a government perspective, we are giving them as much taxpayer money as they ever have received."
In 2012-13, the Conservatives cut CBC funding by $27.8 million and another $41.8 million in 2013-14. During this fiscal year, ending in March 2015, another $45.4 million is being cut. To absorb the cuts, CBC announced the elimination of 657 staff positions in April. Another 1,000 to 1,500 positions are slotted to be eliminated by 2020 as part of a plan to reduce significantly in-house production.
This fresh round of cuts follows a steady decline in operating grants (in 2014 dollars) since 2008-09, part of a larger overall pattern since 1990-91.
No wonder nine former members of CBC's board of directors sent an urgent letter last month to the current board, warning the public broadcaster's mandate is "in peril" without the reversal of recent federal funding cuts.