• Free the CBC
  • About Friends

Majority of Conservative voters like the CBC: poll by Ashley Csanady

Sep 5, 2014

A strong majority of Canadians trust the CBC and most want its funding increased or maintained, an exclusive poll provided to Canada.com reveals.

Source: Calgary Herald

A strong majority of Canadians want the CBC’s funding to be maintained or increased, including a majority of Conservative voters, a new Nanos Research poll provided exclusively to Canada.com reveals.

Only 10 per cent of Canadians said they want to see the CBC’s funding cut, while 41 per cent said it should be increased and 46 per cent want it maintained.

“Among federal Conservative supporters 51 per cent would like CBC funding to be maintained, 25 per cent would like to see CBC funding increased and 21 per cent would like to see funding decreased (three per cent were unsure),” the Nanos analysis notes.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his federal government have gone head-to-head with the national broadcaster in recent years, and cuts to the corporation’s budget have led to massive layoffs and high-profile resignations from the likes of Linden MacIntyre. Nanos suggests that Canadians are starting to take note.

“Canadians see the CBC playing an important role in strengthening Canadian culture and identity. The intensity of views on this opinion has increased over the past year,” the analysis notes.

In June 2013, 16 per cent of Canadians wanted to see funding cut, 41 per cent wanted it maintained and 39 per cent thought it could be increased.

“It’s definitely the case that people are aware there have been big cuts to the CBC. It’s gotten less money over the last few years,” said Ian Morrison, spokesperson for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, which commissioned the poll alongside performers’ union ACTRA and Unifor, which represents a number of journalists and broadcasters. “As things get worse for the CBC it makes sense that more people would say, ‘ya I would they would increase the funding.’”

That could be bad news for the Conservative Party of Canada, which has come under fire for a recent slew of emails attacking journalists as “media elites.” In May, one specifically targeted the CBC.

But a spokesperson for the party said that despite those fundraising pleas, its official stance is the status quo.

“As we’ve always said, and what Conservatives across Canada consistently agree on, is that CBC already receives significant taxpayer funds, and they can operate within their existing budget,” deputy director of communications Marc-André Leclerc said in an email.

About 25 per cent of Conservatives polled said they would encourage their MP to vote for an increase in CBC funding, while 51 per cent of Tories said it should be maintained and 20 per cent that it should be decreased — the biggest chunk. About seven per cent of Liberals would cut CBC funding and 5.6 per cent of New Democrats would cut. NDP voters were most likely to vote for increasing CBC funding at 54 per cent, with Liberal voters not far behind at just under 46 per cent.

Canadians also have a lot of trust in the CBC. When asked to rank their trust in various institutions, 72 per cent said they had “high trust and confidence in the CBC” compared to 43 per cent who said the same about the federal government. Sixty-two per cent trusted the CRTC while 33 per cent trusted private broadcasters and 29 per cent trusted cable companies.

Morrison said the strong support Canadians hold for the CBC should be included in the CRTC hearings that begin next week. The national regulator is proposing sweeping changes to cable packaging and programming but it makes no mention of the CBC. Morrison believes that’s a mistake and will raise the issue when he appears next Thursday.

One thousand Canadians were surveyed between August 16 and 25. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 per cent 19 times out of twenty.

© Calgary Herald

RELATED DOCUMENTS:

Sep 5, 2014 — News Release: Nanos survey finds Canadians skeptical about CRTC TV proposals
On the eve of a CRTC hearing that could result in the gutting of Canada’s TV rules, a new Nanos survey finds the sweeping changes up for consideration are on shaky ground with Canadians.