“When we last voted in the May 2011 general election, our Member of Parliament Lee Richardson stated: “It is the government’s policy that the CBC is and will remain Canada’s national public broadcaster in English and French”.
And, Heritage Minister James Moore promised one day after the election that:
“We believe in the national public broadcaster. We have said that we will maintain or increase support for the CBC. That is our platform and we have said that before and we will commit to that.”
Yet, soon after the election the government cut funding by $115 million, undermining the CBC’s ability to be a real public broadcaster.
Only four of 26 western democracies spend less as a percentage of GDP than Canada on public broadcasting – Portugal, Poland, New Zealand and the U.S.
As a voter in Calgary Centre, I call upon you to defend our national public broadcaster and advocate for adequate funding to keep the PUBLIC in our CBC.
I could not agree more with this call for the restoration of adequate funding for the CBC. It is an essential public institution, one I’ve had the great pleasure of working for and otherwise participating in on a wide range of occasions during my career as an author and journalist. It is the aggregate voice of the country, and it has more than earned the right to be treated as a sacred public trust.
I should mention furthermore that as a writer who’s made his living as a freelancer for 15 years in Canada, I’m uniquely aware of the economic challenges involved in making a living as an arts professional in this country. Without the CBC, my books would have reached far fewer readers and my ideas would’ve connected with many fewer minds. It’s safe to say that my own career would’ve been substantially and materially smaller without the CBC; I know of virtually no one active in the creation of Canada’s vibrant culture for whom this isn’t true. The CBC deserves far more respect – and much better and more stable funding – than our government currently provides. I would welcome the opportunity to advocate for better support on behalf of the citizens of Calgary Centre.”