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Local MP Blake Richards invites constituents to speak out on CBC coverage
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Local MP Blake Richards invites constituents to speak out on CBC coverage

Written by
Keith Leask
Published by
Cochrane Now
January 5th, 2020

Richards: "the CBC is a bit biased in terms of the way they report the news. They almost seem to have political leanings."

As he's knocked on doors in the Banff-Airdrie constituency and talked to people as he crisscrossed the country for various political reasons, MP Blake Richards says he's heard one very common theme.

People often don't feel that the issues and challenges faced by Alberta are fairly reflected in news coverage provided by the CBC.

Richards is encouraging all Albertans to weigh in on how the public broadcaster is doing during Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) public hearings into renewing the CBC's broadcast license. Input is being accepted until Feb. 13.

Richards says a lot of Canadians, but particularly Albertans, have brought up the topic of the CBC consistently in his time as an MP.

"I think it's from a couple of different perspectives. The first one is, to many people, the CBC is a bit biased in terms of the way they report the news. They almost seem to have political leanings. This is something I've heard from constituents over and over again over the years."

Richards says the second perspective has become more prevalent in the last few years. People ask 'if the CBC is reflecting Canada, why don't we see Alberta in that reflection?'

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"We see our oil and gas industry denigrated and the CBC is one of the culprits on that, for sure in a lot of people's eyes," Richards says. "This is an opportunity for people to express those concerns to a body, the CRTC, which has the ability to put conditions on the license when they're looking to renew the license for the CBC."

Richards explains that before the federal government can renew the CBC's license, they need to consult with Canadians. He thinks if enough people express their concerns, the Alberta oil and gas industry might get more positive news coverage from the CBC.

"Maybe the outcome might be that Albertans might see our oil and gas industry given more of a fair shake in the media. That's something we really need to see. When I've travelled across the country many people would hear about the struggles that the Alberta oil and gas industry is facing and be quite surprised because they're not hearing this from their media out east."

Richards says while he has heard the same concerns about other eastern Canada media, it is not to the same degree as the complaints about the CBC.

If you have concerns about the CBC, or even if you think they're doing an excellent job in their news coverage of Alberta issues, Richards would like you to have your say.

© Cochrane Now

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