Question Period discussion on the CBC

Dec 6, 2010

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, we know the Prime Minister exercises absolute control over his government's messaging. Every minister, every parliamentary secretary, every Conservative MP delivering a Standing Order 31 statement must sing the tune on the Prime Minister's sheet music.

Recently the parliamentary secretary to the heritage minister suggested that it was time we got out of the broadcasting industry, time to sell the CBC. What does the Prime Minister have up his sleeve for the CBC? Is he preparing to privatize it? If not, will he reprimand his parliamentary secretary, or better still, replace him with someone who supports public broadcasting?

Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, if he is looking for someone who supports public broadcasting, it is not anybody in the Liberal Party.

When the Liberals were elected to government, they cut the CBC by $400 million and laid off 40% of the CBC's staff, so I think if my hon. colleague wants to present himself as someone who defends the CBC, he is a member of the wrong party. It was the Liberal Party that gutted and slashed the CBC, so if he is looking for a saviour of the CBC, he may want to quit the Liberal Party.

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, there are the words we have just heard and there are the facts, but one has nothing to do with the other.

Last year, at the height of economic crisis, the minister refused to help the CBC. As a result, hundreds of people were laid off and the CBC had to sell off $125 million in assets. And recently we learned that the government is cutting another $13.7 million from the budget.

Their dream has always been to either shut down or privatize the CBC. Are the Conservatives essentially doing indirectly what they cannot do directly?

Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I only have these quotes in English, so this will have to do.

The Liberal Party's attitude towards the CBC is to “gut it, kick it in the teeth, leave it hanging from a thread”.That was in the Globe and Mail. “The CBC has become a battered, unloved, friendless institution...under heritage minister Sheila Copps”. The “CBC has been treated shabbily” by the Liberal government, “downsized, underfunded, abandoned,” and “Only 23% of Canadians believe the current Liberal government is committed to preserving the CBC”.

When it comes to beating up, slashing and attacking the CBC, the Liberal Party takes the prize.

© Parliament of Canada

Related Documents:

Nov 23, 2010 — Parliament of Canada: Dean Del Mastro on the CBC
In a Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage hearing, Dean Del Maestro, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, openly muses about cutting all funding to the CBC.