Toronto - Nearly two-thirds of Canadian voters (63%) think the government's investment in CBC is a good use of taxpayers' dollars, according to a Nanos survey released by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting this morning.
FRIENDS commissioned the research after a Conservative Party funding raising letter received on September 9 asked party supporters: "The CBC costs taxpayers over $1.1 billion per year. Do you think this is a good use of taxpayers' dollars or a bad use of taxpayers' dollars?"
The letter from Conservative campaign director Doug Finley goes on to promise that:
"I will personally share the overall results and any comments with the Prime Minister...People like you drive our policy development...".
Now we know what Canadian voters think. But we're still waiting to hear Prime Minister Harper's opinion, said FRIENDS' spokesperson Ian Morrison.
In common with other Canadians, Conservative Party supporters think public investment in CBC is a good thing, according to the survey.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Mr. Harper has done nothing to disavow his remarks as leader of the Conservative Party during the 2004 election campaign on May 19 when he said:
"I've suggested that government subsidies in support of CBC's services should be to those things that are not... Do not have commercial alternatives." He added: "When you take a look at things like main-English language television and probably to a lesser degree Radio Two, you could there (sic) at putting those on a commercial basis."
An audio clip of Mr. Harper's comment from May 19, 2004 is available here.
Mr. Harper should tell Canadians where he stands on CBC funding and what he means by the commercialization of CBC Radio, particularly in light of his previous comments and his party's provocative fundraising pitch. This week's leaders debates are the perfect opportunity," said Mr. Morrison.
The survey also asked Canadians what advice they would give to local candidates concerning CBC funding.
Three of four Canadians would maintain (52%) or increase (24%) CBC funding.
These results emerge from a Nanos Research random telephone survey of 1,201 Canadians from September 27 to 29, 2008. The margin of accuracy for a survey of 1,201 Canadians is ±2.8%, 19 times out of 20.
The CBC investment question is based on the text from a Conservative Party fundraising letter, and was not drafted by Nanos Research.
For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592
Download Nanos Survey
October 2, 2008 - Ottawa Citizen: Most voters support public funding for CBC, poll finds by Chris Cobb
New poll released by FRIENDS says almost two-thirds of Canadian voters consider the $1.1 billion the federal government spends on the CBC to be a good use of taxpayers' money.
September 15, 2008 - Conservative Party of Canada - 2008 National Critical Issues Survey
Conservative Party fundraising letter polls supporters whether the CBC is a good or bad use of taxpayers dollars.
May 19, 2004 - CBC News - Harper Comments on the CBC
Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper suggests his party may revisit government funding of CBC English television and Radio Two.