• About Friends

Liberals currently have advantage in Peterborough–Kawartha; local voters strongly support CBC and local news: Nanos survey

Sep 8, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A new Nanos survey has found that the federal riding of Peterborough–Kawartha has turned from a Conservative fortress to a battleground riding where support for the CBC and local news is strong among local voters. 

The Nanos study found the Liberal Party is in first place with 41% of decided voters.  The Conservatives and the NDP are running neck and neck with 29% and 27% respectively.  The Green Party has 4%. About one quarter of voters (27%) are undecided.

“That is quite a change from results of the last election when the Conservatives won twice as many votes as the second-place NDP.  Peterborough–Kawartha is now a close riding.  This means that issues – and where the Party leaders and candidates stand on them – matter,” said Friends’ spokesperson Ian Morrison.

Friends’ We Vote CBC! campaign in the riding of Peterborough–Kawartha is one of the strongest in the country.  Twelve hundred and ten families have a We Vote CBC! lawn sign on display on their property, more than any of the political party candidates. 

“Support for the CBC in very strong here,” said Peterborough resident Kady Denton, speaking for the local We Vote CBC! campaign.

The Nanos survey found that 69% of residents here are more likely to vote for a candidate favouring increased funding for the CBC, as opposed to just 18% who would be more likely to vote for a candidate who would privatize the CBC.  This includes half (48%) of people who say they have decided to vote Conservative.

“We feel the current government has gone too far, and its cutting of the CBC has got to stop – and be rolled back ” Denton said.

The Nanos study also found that almost nine-in-ten Peterborough–Kawartha voters (87%) would urge their MP to support increasing CBC’s budget (38%) or at least maintaining it at current levels (49%).  78% of current Conservatives Party supporters feel this way too. 

The Nanos survey also found the residents of Peterborough–Kawartha value CHEX-TV and the window on the local community it provides. 

  • 88% agree or somewhat agree that “local TV news on CHEX helps to make the community stronger.”
  • 80% agree or somewhat agree that “local TV news on CHEX is valuable to me.”
  • 82% disagree or somewhat disagree with the statement: “I would not care if CHEX stopped broadcasting local news.”
  • 78% agree that “their Member of Parliament should work to keep local broadcasting strong in my community.”

“A strong majority – 66% – of residents here trust the CRTC to ensure CHEX is not forced to curtail local news, a level of trust that seems to be misplaced. In fact, the CRTC is rolling the dice with the future of local television in smaller Canadian cities,” Morrison said.

Local, independent stations serving smaller communities like CHEX in Peterborough are in financial distress.  In part this is due to economic challenges facing all broadcasters. 

But it is also the direct result of decisions recently made by the CRTC and a willful refusal on the part of the Commission to act to save local news in communities like Peterborough.

CHEX-TV is a member of the “Small Market Independent Stations Coalition” (SMITS) which has called on the CRTC for urgent help.  They have told the Commission that much of the dire financial situation they face is due to the CRTC imposing new costs while at the same time cutting funding.  Without action by the Commission, “the likelihood of stations going dark is extremely high”.

This morning, Friends is tabling correspondence between SMITS and the CRTC.

Noting that the leadership of Canada’s broadcast regulator – the CRTC – is all appointed by the Prime Minister, Morrison said:

“The current chair of the CRTC has adopted the Harper government’s agenda as his own even though the Commission is supposed to be independent from political interference.

“Will small market stations including CHEX-TV fade to black next week?  I don’t know.  If CHEX-TV does go under, voters here will know who to blame, and it won’t be some faceless bureaucrat in Ottawa.”

-30-

For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592 • jim@friends.ca

Nanos Research interviewed 300 randomly selected voting age residents of the federal riding of Peterborough–Kawartha, telephone calling land and cell lines, on August 25th and 26th, 2015.  The margin of error for a random survey of 300 is ±5.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 
 The full Nanos Research report is available at www.friends.ca.

Related document:

Sep 8, 2015 — Speaking Notes: Peterborough News Conference
Speaking notes from a news conference releasing the results of a Nanos Research poll of voters in the federal riding of Peterborough–Kawartha, the first poll of voters in this riding in the 2015 campaign.