Give CBC the money it needs to properly serve Canadians
FRIENDS and its supporters call on the federal government to keep its promise to deliver funds to the public broadcaster in Budget 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, MARCH 17, 2022 – As the federal government wraps up its pre-budget consultation period, FRIENDS (formerly Friends of Canadian Broadcasting) is calling on the Liberals to immediately invest the $400 million they promised to help the CBC reduce its reliance on advertising and subscription revenues. FRIENDS supporters overwhelmingly support an ad-free CBC to get it back to its public service mandate. Their voices were included along with the submission.
“FRIENDS heard from over a thousand Canadians with a very clear message for the Deputy Prime Minister: we care about the CBC and it needs to have better public funding now,” said Marla Boltman, Executive Director for FRIENDS. “I am pleased to be able to carry this message directly to the government and ask it to immediately invest the $400 million promised to allow CBC news and public affairs programming to be uncluttered and uncompromised by advertising,” she added.
The CBC saw its budget cut for the first time in 1985 and since then, successive governments have left it with even less funding than their predecessor. As a result, the public broadcaster has been forced to seek advertising dollars to top up its operating budget, compromising its public service role. When they first came to power in 2015, the current Liberal government began re-investing in the CBC, starting to reverse decades of budget cuts. But even at current funding levels, Canada ranks 17th out of 20 Western countries in terms of funding for its national public broadcaster.
“As we dive into this age of disinformation and misinformation, now more than ever, Canadians need a strong public broadcaster with reliable and credible journalism, one that supports excellence in storytelling, in English, French, and Indigenous languages,” said Boltman. “It’s time for Ottawa to deliver on its promise to ensure CBC can be all that and more.”
FRIENDS 2022 federal budget submission can be found here.
All the letters from FRIENDS supporters can also be found here.
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. But if our stories disappear, so do we. That’s why FRIENDS conducts leading-edge policy and opinion research on issues affecting Canadian culture and media, and works tirelessly so that Ottawa understands that millions of Canadians demand our government restores our public broadcaster, defends Canadian journalism, and supports great Canadian stories on air and online. FRIENDS is not affiliated with or funded by CBC/Radio-Canada or any other media outlet, industry group or political party.