Conservative party fundraising letter asks if CBC should be privatized

fundraising letter from the Conservative Party of Canada's director of political operations decries the growing concentration of media in Canada.

Fred DeLorey pointed out that the percentage of independently owned newspapers in Canada has fallen from 17.3 percent to just one percent since 1990.

But what has raised hackles of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is a section of DeLorey's letter dealing with the CBC.

DeLorey declares in the letter that the national broadcaster receives more than $1 billion per year from the government, "yet is widely perceived as holding a Liberal bias in their news and analysis".

And in a questionaire at the bottom of the letter, DeLorey seeks party members' opinion on which statement "best describes" their views on the CBC:

 * CBC provides a vital national service and the $1.2-billion annual cost to taxpayers is acceptable.

* CBC costs taxpayers too much and its operations should be privatized.

* CBC lacks objectivity and its news reporting frequently has a left-of-centre bias.

The Friends of Canadian Broadcasting says that this letter is an indication that "the very existence of Canada's national broadcaster is at stake".

In its own fundraising letter, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting alleges that the Conservatives have a "radical plan to kill CBC" because they need to "secure their base".

This comes after the Conservatives have lost 25 percent of the support they had in winning the 2011 election.

"After all, for Harper it’s all about winning—not what's good for Canada," Friends of Canadian Broadcasting claims. "Now that this radical plan is visible for all to see, it’s logical to conclude the Conservatives will sell or kill the CBC if they are re-elected."

This message is from the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
Comments (13) Add New Comment
Elliott Taylor
What Harper's base either does not realize or refuses to acknowledge is that the CBC strives to respect the tone of the nation. That does not mean that they slant the news left, but it does mean that they report on issues that really matter to us. They do polling, just as the political parties do, in order to be in touch with their audience. They are reflective of our culture and our sensibiities.

So if the Conservative Party of Canada perceives a leftist bias at CBC, that is reflective of a majority of Canadians who are more centrist than the current government. It's only the Conservative's hardcore supporters who have issues with CBC, and for ideological rather than practical reasons.
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David Reynolds
Most telling about Mr. Mansbridge and the CBC was election night when the NDP became the official opposition, but Peter did not know the name of the new opposition leader, kept calling him "Thomas MulCLAIR" all evening.

Then there was the time when there was only one single vote in our Parliament against Canada's ongoing assistance in the bombing of Libya, cast by the sole Green Party MP, but it was barely mentioned on the National and certainly did not result in an interview or even sound bite with the Greens....
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Rick in Richmond
The longer the Conservatives stay in power, the greater the danger to the institutions that bind and define us as a nation.

The Conservatives have always looked to the Republican Party as their model and ambition. Their hatred of public enterprise, their fear of public debate, and their determination to quash public dissent (remember their gag orders for federal scientists?) are all one agenda.

It is quite extraordinary that our Supreme Court has shown such skill and courage in defying the Harper Conservative agenda.

If Mr Harper is returned to power, he will remake that Court and, over time, our country.

Attempting to 'privatize' the CBC is just one more way to do it.
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Grant
I say dump it. The feds don't need to be running a public system anymore,unload it.
While they are at it they can do something about the crtc!
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Gregg
And good riddance to the CBC. A relic of the 1970's that nobody watches, and serves no one but the Liberal Party of Canada. Sell it.
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Laurence
Oh God, yes! Sell it! Imagine the good the Koch brothers could do with a purchase like that!
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Alan Layton
Yeah Gregg - I guess that's why the Liberal party has been so powerful for the last decade. They've got the CBC propping them up....whoops, I guess that didn't work out too well huh?

The CBC is not going to be disbanded. Every few years the far-right knuckle-draggers from the prairies beat their chests about the CBC (and everything else) and threaten to close it down. They've been trying to starve it out of existence for decades and so far the Canadian people haven't bought in to their backwards ways.
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Xtina

Emperor Steve and his fartcatcher ministers don't like it when the CBC occasionally musters up the courage to tell a different story or practice some real investigative journalism. Former Heritage Minister James Moore campaigned on finding increased, stable,at-arms-length from ruling government funding for the CBC then did a Gordon Campbell as soon as he was elected. Let's face it, Harper & Company just don't like Canada or much that is Canadian.
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Will Knott
If we sell the CBC we might as well break up Canada. Most people live in their small little minds, locally and ideologically oriented, unconnected to Canadians living far away from themselves. The government doesn't connect but divides us (the Cons mantra it seems) - westerners despise easterners and vice versa. The CBC is the only source that still lets us know a little what's going on in St. John's or Quebec or Yellowknife; and in a country where many move from one end to the other, it's good to know something of what's going on back home. Only a national, funded, public media can provide this - a privatized company would only focus on the most lucrative market, the largest population centers. The CBC in my mind isn't too liberal - it comes across as timidly towing the Cons line. It needs to be reformed to make it more liberal, more human, more Canadian, less corporate and Tim-Horton-ized. There are talented, entertaining, thoughtful people in Canada; why aren't we hiring them at the CBC, why has it become so boring and dumbed-down? The Cons and their few troglodyte supporters are and will always be a threat to a strong Canada. I look forward to the day Harper and all his cronies get tar-sanded and feathered.
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FartingForFreedomEachandEveryDay
Why not let Save-On-Foods take it over.
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What a joke
The CBC is a joke. Spending millions a year on bureaucrats knowing they can cut services and the ever present mindless CBC boosters will cry. The organization should focus on news & documentaries and one radio station. One. There is no need for CBC to make an effort to compete with private networks, and their efforts to produce "Canadian" shows invariably end up looking like an elementary school production. Cull the CBC and use the funds for delivering news & non-fiction content. There is nothing inherently good about the CBC and mindlessly supporting the mother corp is ridiculous.
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TedCamp
Reading the comments so far it's obvious most respondents are in one camp or the other. "Off with their heads" OR "CBC is the only thing keeping Canada together" I think there is a middle ground worth considering. CBC Radio (non-commercial radio that is) definitely has a place, they run programs no other station will touch mainly because no Company will pony up money to support them. On the other hand CBC TV is just another entertainment media and not a very good one at that. I'd be happy to see a well-funded CBC Radio in both languages and no CBC TV
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Alan Layton
"What a joke"

What you are seeing is the result of many years of funding cuts to the CBC, by the Cons. If you want to make good programs (like they used to do) you need money. What the Conjobbers are doing is trying to starve the CBC and hope that they die on their own. If you want better programming then maybe you should put some effort into lobbying the government to increase funding to the CBC. Anybody with a lot of talent will defect to the US since it's hard to make a living at the CBC.
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