May 26th, 2014

Statement from the Official Opposition on cuts to the public broadcaster

NDP Heritage critic Pierre Nantel (Longueuil-Pierre Boucher) made the following statement after his motion to end cuts to CBC/Radio-Canada was rejected in House:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Conservatives have decided to abandon our public broadcaster, as it faces yet another crisis caused by government cuts. In April, the Crown Corporation announced $130 million in additional cuts and hundreds of job losses, which are both a direct and indirect consequence of the Conservatives’ series of cutbacks since 2012.

CBC/Radio-Canada has been weakened by twenty years of Liberal and Conservative cuts, as it tries to keep up with an extremely competitive TV marketplace undergoing rapid transformation. What concerns me even more is that the Minister of Heritage and Official Languages has continued the Conservative policy of abandoning this important institution that has played a key role in developing rural and minority-language communities.

My motion called for the government to scrap the 2014-15 cuts that were laid out in the 2012 Budget ($45 million) and to commit to adequate, stable, multi-year funding to help the CBC carry out its mandate without being at the mercy of advertising-market fluctuations.

It is sadly ironic that this motion was rejected 82 years to the day after the first act on public broadcasting in Canadian history was passed.

The NDP will continue to pressure the government to stop these attacks on our public broadcaster.”