Standing Up For Canadian Voices

FRIENDS calls on Cabinet to review CBC licence renewal decision

FRIENDS voices concern that the decision runs the risk of diluting that which makes CBC unique and uniquely important

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, AUGUST 8, 2022 – FRIENDS has filed a petition asking the Federal Cabinet to refer the CBC licence renewal decision back to the CRTC for reconsideration. In its petition, FRIENDS continues to ring the alarm bells about Tandem – CBC’s controversial branded content initiative. The petition also calls out the CRTC for its inadequate protection of local journalism and Canadian programming through its failure to impose baseline expenditure requirements for both. FRIENDS is also asking the Heritage Minister to move forward with his task of modernizing CBC, as set out in his mandate letter last December.  

“The CRTC has approved a plan for CBC that runs the risk of diluting that which makes the CBC unique and uniquely important,” said Marla Boltman, Executive Director for FRIENDS. “We want and need a strong national public broadcaster, in tune and in touch with today and tomorrow – not a poorly resourced, pale imitation of a private broadcaster or a major streaming service.” 

In its previous intervention during the CBC’s licence renewal hearing, FRIENDS communicated its strong opposition to the Tandem initiative. The organization also requested the imposition of specific local news expenditure requirements to ensure that communities across the country had access to their local stories. Despite similar interventions by other groups and thousands of individual Canadians, the CRTC ignored these requests.

“To say that we are at a critical point when it comes to the landscape of Canadian culture, journalism and storytelling is a grave understatement. The US tech giants are playing an enormously disruptive and, sometimes, destructive role. Disinformation is rampant, eroding public trust and chiselling away at confidence in our institutions,” added Boltman. “In this context, we cannot permit CBC to become weakened. The Liberals promised Canadians that they would strengthen the public broadcaster and we strongly urge them to live up to that promise by sending this decision back for reconsideration.”

About FRIENDS:

FRIENDS is a people-powered movement that stands up for Canadian voices, in public broadcasting, news media and culture. A strong CBC, fearless journalism, and our shared story make us who we are. FRIENDS is not affiliated with or funded by CBC/Radio-Canada or any other media outlet, industry group or political party.

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For more information:

Sarah Andrews
Director of Government and Media Relations
sarah@friends.ca
613-808-7255