FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hamilton -- A substantial majority (65%) of Hamilton area residents
would like CBC to establish a local radio station to cover community affairs,
and support the Conservative's pre-election pledge to maintain or increase CBC
funding. These findings emerge
from a new opinion survey of Hamilton residents commissioned by the broadcast
watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
"Close to a million people live in the area, yet Hamilton residents
are underserved by CBC even though other much smaller communities in Canada
enjoy much greater coverage of their community affairs," said Friends'
spokesperson Ian Morrison.
On November 1, 2011, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
announced plans to introduce a new digital service in Hamilton in the spring
this year. While the CBC has been
coy about exact details, the digital service would likely fall short of a full
local radio station, and the threat of budget cuts have cast doubt on CBC's capacity
to deliver on its promise.
federal government's plan to make a substantial cut of 10% or more to the CBC's
budget will have devastating
consequences for listeners and viewers and could well scuttle new services
the CBC has promised to Hamiltonians and residents of several other communities,
an outcome that will clearly be off-side with the priorities of residents of this
area," said Morrison.
The survey found that half of Hamiltonians agree that "just
as small provinces have their own CBC stations, regions like mine should have
their own station, even if it requires giving the CBC a bit more money".
If local MPs asked their constituents what to do about CBC
funding, they would hear an echo of the Conservative Party's pre-election
promise to maintain or increase CBC funding.
Four-in-ten (39%) Hamiltonians would counsel their MP to
maintain CBC funding at current levels while 30% (vs. 23% in the rest of
Canada) would advise their MP to increase CBC funding from current levels. Only one-in-four (23%) would advise
their MP to vote to cut the CBC's funding.
"All MPs in the area know their constituents want them to
support the CBC and this survey shows that that vast majority (69%) of area residents
would like to see the CBC's budget increased or maintained," Morrison said.
Even though the Conservative Party promised to maintain or
increase CBC funding during the recent election campaign, Heritage Minister
James Moore is now talking about substantial cuts to the national public
broadcaster in the upcoming federal budget.
"The Conservatives promised time and again before, during and after the
election campaign to maintain or increase CBC funding. Breaking this promise will go against
the grain for most people in the Hamilton region and elsewhere in Canada,"
The survey also found that more than half (53%) of the region's residents
agree with a recent House of Commons Heritage Committee recommendation that
annual CBC funding should be increased from $33 per Canadian to $40, while 17%
think this recommendation should be rejected because it is too little.
Currently, Hamiltonians are less satisfied with the CBC's
coverage of local affairs than Canadians living elsewhere. Sixty-six percent (vs. 74% in the rest
of Canada) of residents agree that the CBC provides good coverage of local news
and cultural events even without a local station.
Minister Harper and his Conservative government carry a reputation for being
hostile to Canadian culture and the CBC. According to the survey, 66% of
Hamiltonians think Canada's level of public broadcaster funding is indicative
of the federal government's treatment of the cultural sector overall.
than half of area residents (55%) think the Prime Minister would like to
privatize the CBC, a policy Hamiltonians reject in about the same number as
people living elsewhere in Canada, but with greater intensity; 37% of
Hamiltonians vs. 26% of other Canadians disagree strongly that privatizing and
commercializing the CBC is the right thing to do. More than half (52%) of Hamiltonians reject this policy
while only one-in-four agree.
As for which political party is most trusted by Hamiltonians to protect
the CBC, the Conservative Party scores lowest at 24% followed by the Liberal
Party at 33% with the NDP being most trusted to protect the CBC by 43%.
The CBC gets high marks from Canadians and Hamiltonians for meeting its
mandate to present programs that inform, enlighten and entertain as well as its
mandate to serve the broadcasting needs of Canada's regions.
The online survey of 2022 adult Canadians conducted from
November 4 to 10 has a margin of error of +/- 2.18%, 19 times out of 20. Hamilton data are based on a
sample of 404 adults living in the area and have a margin of error of +/- 4.87%,
19 times out of 20.
The survey was designed and administered by political
scientists Peter Loewen, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and
Daniel Rubenson, Associate Professor at Ryerson University. Fieldwork for the
poll was done by Vision Critical on the Angus Reid Forum National Panel.
For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592
Feb 1, 2012 — Opinion Poll: Public opinion in Hamilton & the rest of Canada concerning the CBC
New opinion research on public reaction to a proposed a new digital service in Hamilton in the spring of 2012.