At a rally Wednesday in front of the Toronto CBC building in support of artists and Canadian culture, CMG president Lise Lareau called on the 308 MPs elected next week to work together to increase federal funding for CBC.
The CBC “has not had a real budget increase since 1991, and suffered deep cuts in the mid-1990s,” she told the crowd. “It is limping along on flat-lined budgets.”
As a result, the CBC is increasingly dependent on commercial revenue and is unable to expand service to regions of the country where the population is growing, including the interior of BC, central Alberta and large parts of Central and Southwestern Ontario.
CBC receives about the equivalent of $33 per Canadian per year. The average spending on public broadcasting among the top 18 industrialized countries is $80 per capita.
“We encourage all MPs who get elected next week to look at the all-party Heritage Committee report, which called for more money for the CBC: an increase to $40 per capita,” Lareau said. “The CBC should be a non-partisan issue for all of them. It’s our national public broadcaster. It must be removed from the ebb and flow of party politics.”
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