In a Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage hearing, Dean Del Mastro, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, openly muses about cutting all funding to the CBC.
Listen to the exchange between Mr. Del Mastro and Gary Maavara, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Corus Entertainment:
Official Hansard text:
Mr. Dean Del Mastro:
I'm just asking an opinion—this is not a government policy, obviously—but do you think it's time that the Canadian government looks at it and says maybe it's time we get out of the broadcasting business and get into investing more money into content? We invest over a billion government dollars, as you know, into a stage, when in fact the private sector would not only make use of that stage...they have so many already, and reinvest all of those dollars into Canadian content. I see major blockbuster films being made in this country. I see creators with so much talent. I see a world that is begging for good-quality content. You've adequately pointed out that there are major companies out there that will gobble this stuff up. Is that where we should be looking? Is that kind of the next century? Is that where Canada should be looking for opportunity?
Mr. Gary Maavara:
One of the Corus big six proposals is that indeed there is a continuing need for.... We're sympathetic with independent producers. For example, to Mr. Angus' question, we were one of the largest buyers of movies or scripted drama. We don't make any of that ourselves. That's all from independent producers, including this film. One of our largest suppliers of long-form films and television is a Montreal-based company, Incendo, who supplies us with a lot of programming. So we're going to continue to need processes like the CMF, Telefilm, etc., investment in content. It will continue to be important.
I should also say, going to Mr. Angus' question about the safeguards, that we already have the safeguards in the Telefilm and CMF rules. They will only pick a selection of people.
Mr. Dean Del Mastro:
I apologize. Maybe I wasn't clear enough. The $1.1 billion, plus a whole bunch of other stuff that we're investing into the public broadcaster: should we look at reorganizing that in some fashion so we could put more money into content? Would companies like Corus match those dollars? Would we produce bigger, better shows that would have a larger opportunity for international global success, which could then become something that feeds itself?
© Parliament of Canada
Dec 6, 2010 — Parliament of Canada: Question Period discussion on the CBC
Heritage Minister James Moore is asked to disavow comments by his Parliamentary Secretary in regards to cutting all funding to the CBC.