Harper Comments about Public Broadcasting

Sep 28, 2015

Transcript from an Interview with Dominic Maurais, Radio X, Montmagny, QC

Translated from French

Dominic Maurais: Les amis de Radio-Canada, the group les amis de Radio-Canada/Friends of CBC* are campaigning against you. How do you react to that? Now they’re off, in addition, on another idea this week, to save Radio-Canada, they want royalties on television sets sold: taxes, like in Europe on each television set sold. How do you react to that idea?

Stephen Harper: Uh, Dominic, they always campaign against us. Uh, the reality is the following: we give CBC a billion dollars in subsidies each year. This is in effect the same amount since 2006. Uh, the reason that there are problems at CBC is not because of cuts from our government: there are no cuts. The reason is the loss of viewers for CBC, and it is a problem for CBC to resolve.

Dominic Maurais: By being more interesting?

Stephen Harper: Excuse me?

Dominic Maurais: By being more interesting, at that point? Uh, that’s it, right? Ratings go down, and therefore they are less interesting. Should they be more interesting?

Stephen Harper: Uh, it’s… it’s… it’s… it’s… for uh….it’s an uh… in my opinion, it is an important institution, but we have limited subsidies. Our objective as a government is to balance the budget and not to…uh…and to lower increases…to lower taxes and income taxes. And uh...we…we…we give affordably, we aren’t going to give more than that. 

* This is a reference to “Tous Amis de Radio-Canada”, a group that is not affiliated with FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting.