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CBC funding comes under Conservative fire despite election promise

Sep 26, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto (September 26, 2011) - Despite an election promise to maintain or increase funding to the CBC, cutting or even eliminating the budget of the national public broadcaster seems to be rising up the agenda of the Harper government, according to fresh communications from Conservative MPs and the Conservative Fund Canada which have been compiled and released by the broadcast watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

Currently, Rob Anders, the Conservative MP for Calgary West, is circulating an online petition to the House of Commons calling on the Conservative government to "end public funding of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation".

Meanwhile, the Conservative MP for London West, Ed Holder, is running a "push poll" online which asks visitors to his website "Do you believe taxpayers should continue to provide funding to CBC Radio and CBC TV?"

And, the fundraising wing of the Conservative Party has also launched a leading survey which asks financial supporters "In recent years, CBC funding has exceeded a billion dollars per year. Do you think taxpayers receive good value or bad value from the CBC?"  The fundraising pitch goes on to say that "This survey is very, very important to our legislative planning".

"These kinds of phony public opinion soundings and outright hostility stand in sharp contrast to Harper's Heritage Minister James Moore who promised ongoing support for the CBC," said Ian Morrison, spokesperson for Friends.

Just four months ago Minister Moore said "We believe in the national public broadcaster. We have said that we will maintain or increase support for the CBC. That is our platform and we have said that before and will commit to that".

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For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592