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Vindictive cuts break CBC promise and target Canadian culture

Mar 29, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto - Today's budget singles out the CBC for vindictive cuts that break the Conservative's election promise to maintain or increase funding to the national public broadcaster, according to the watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

By 2014, CBC's budget will be at least $115 million less.  This will require the national public broadcaster to cut hundreds of staff, incurring heavy separation costs that will further diminish resources available for radio, TV and online programming.

Noting that the government chose to make deep cuts to the CBC - much deeper than to Heritage Canada as a whole -- while preserving the budgets of other cultural institutions, FRIENDS' spokesperson Ian Morrison said, "The Harper government has singled out the CBC for punitive cuts and has broken its election pledge to maintain or increase CBC funding in the process."

For CBC's audience, the impact of these cuts will be rapid and severe.  Viewers and listeners are likely to see:

  • The death of Radio 2
  • Reduced depth, quality, diversity and distinctiveness of CBC News
  • CBC Radio will be less relevant to Canadians
  • The Canadian lens on the world will be much smaller, as the CBC is is forced to close bureaus in major cities around the world
  • Further reductions to cultural programs
  • CBC Television will look a lot more like private-sector commercial channels, helping the Harper Conservatives argue that there is no need for CBC

Today's budget also takes aim at Telefilm and NFB, taking an axe to the programs that support the most powerful platforms for Canadian culture.

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For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592