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.
For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592