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CBC’s ‘conversation’ manipulative - Campaign launched to stop the cuts

May 22, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa – CBC executives have already decided on a new round of service cuts even before their manipulative consultation with Canadians has concluded, according to the watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

A proposal for new cuts to be presented to the CBC’s Board of Directors when it meets June 17 and 18 in Ottawa will recommend:

  • Gutting CBC Radio Two and shutting down its over-the-air distribution in favour of distributing music exclusively on-line.
  • Significant reductions to CBC Television’s high-quality, award-winning, non-commercial morning Children’s programs:  This will include shows like Arthur and Poko, valued safe havens for children and their care givers to turn to for stimulation, learning and fun – all essential roles for any public broadcast worthy of the name.
  • Cuts to local programming:  For example, the cancellation of afternoon Radio One shows in places such as Thunder Bay, where they are most needed. Thunder Bay will now get programs from Sudbury, 1,008 kilometres away.  This follows CBC’s recent decision to abandon plans to expand local service in under-served communities such as London.
  • Against renewing the most distinctively Canadian shows on CBC Television:  CBC reflects every part of this country to the whole – not just in information, but also in entertainment: a political satire in Ottawa, a family drama from Alberta, a comedy-drama from Newfoundland, a police show from Quebec. Arctic Air has already been cancelled.

Friends’ information has been provided by sources within the CBC. 

“These upcoming cuts and those announced by the CBC at the beginning of April are the direct result of the Harper Conservatives’ punishing budget cuts.  I am not surprised that CBC President Lacroix attributes the CBC’s financial crisis to other factors or that he is manipulating Canadians.  After all, he owes his job to Prime Minister Harper,” says Friends spokesperson Ian Morrison.

To head off this new round of cuts before they are announced, Friends has launched a new social media advertising campaign.  The centrepiece of the ‘Free the CBC’ campaign is a satirical video Friends released online today at www.FreeTheCBC.ca.

“Stephen Harper’s mission has been to silence and control our CBC, just as he has done with a long list of other perceived enemies. This campaign is intended to demonstrate that his government cannot drown out the voices of Canadians who support the CBC – that is to say, the vast majority of us,” Morrison concluded.

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For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592