NDP currently most trusted to protect the CBC: Nanos

Sep 29, 2015

Canadians reject free ride for Netflix


Toronto, ON – A new Nanos survey on broadcasting issues released this morning has found the NDP currently in front at 31 per cent on the question of which party is most trusted by voters to protect the CBC, with the Liberals most trusted by 27 per cent, the Conservatives by 13 per cent and the Green Party by 3 per cent.

“When we asked this question in November 2011, the Conservatives were most trusted by more than twice as many voters (29 per cent). That was before Mr. Harper broke the Conservatives’ 2011 election promise and slashed CBC funding,” said Ian Morrison of the watchdog group, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. Friends commissioned the survey in partnership with the performers union ACTRA and Unifor, the union that represents private sector media workers.

Recent news that every building the CBC owns is for sale is a sharp reminder of the Harper government’s determination to diminish the CBC. The Nanos survey results are being released to coincide with today’s CBC Annual Public Meeting in Winnipeg.

“Our message to Stephen Harper and his hand-picked Board of Directors and President is that the CBC belongs to all Canadians and is not yours to destroy,” Morrison said.

The survey found a majority of Canadians, including Conservative supporters, largely reject the government’s CBC budget cuts:

  • 86 per cent would advise their MP to vote in favour of increasing (45 per cent) or maintaining (41 per cent) CBC funding;
  • 82 per cent support (55 per cent) or somewhat support (27 per cent) the 2011 Conservative election promise to maintain or increase CBC funding;
  • 56 per cent of Conservative party supporters think it is important (33 per cent) or somewhat important (23 per cent) to reverse the Harper government’s cuts to CBC funding.  Overall, 77 per cent of Canadians hold this view. 

“Some of Stephen Harper’s most ardent core supporters might like his CBC bashing, but overall his policy toward the CBC has been a loser issue, even among Conservative voters,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias.

While Canadians might agree with Stephen Harper that Breaking Bad is a good TV series, the survey found a majority (59 per cent) of voters reject the PM’s view that foreign Internet broadcasters, such as Netflix, should have a free ride when it comes to contributing to Canadian programming.

“Being fiscally responsible in today’s digital economy requires Internet broadcasters, such as Netflix and Google, to invest in the creation of Canadian content,” says ACTRA National Executive Director Stephen Waddell. “Currently, these broadcasters are not making any contribution to Canada’s economy or cultural industry.”

The survey also found the majority (67 per cent) of Canadians are satisfied (43 per cent) or somewhat satisfied (24 per cent) with the choice of U.S. and other non-Canadian TV programs available to them, and more Canadians want better TV programs (51 per cent) than more channels (20 per cent) and repeats (17 per cent).

Nanos conducted an RDD duel frame (land- and + cell-lines) random telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians between August 28 and September 3, 2015. Data was weighted by age.

The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists – www.actra.ca) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly-acclaimed professional performing community.

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers, including 14,500 media sector workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


For information:

ACTRA: Carol Taverner 416-644-1519 [email protected]

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting: Jim Thompson 613-567-9592 [email protected]

Unifor: Randy Kitt, Unifor Media Council Chairperson 416-529-5152 (cell) [email protected]

The complete Nanos Report is available here.

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