SAVE the CBC
CBC is Canada's own publicly owned radio and TV broadcaster, a part of the very heart of Canada and its culture, connecting us all from coasts to coasts. It's currently being decimated by Harper and his government, after already many past cuts. Please read this letter from Avaaz.org and sign the petition.
Canada's media networks have all been slammed by the recession. But the government is reportedly considering bailouts for its friends at private companies CTV and CanWest, while forcing the CBC to drastically cut 800 staff and programming.
Our CBC is a national treasure, and a pillar of public-interest journalism in a country whose media is owned by a few large firms. We won't hear an outcry from their media outlets, and the CBC is too principled to use its megaphone to make the case for itself. We are the only voice the CBC has.
We urgently need a massive public outcry to Save the CBC, click below to sign the petition and forward this email to everyone who might care about this:
The petition will be delivered directly to the government, through Parliament, ads, and spectacular stunts such as an airplane pulling a giant Save the CBC banner over parliament. In each case the number of signatures on the petition will be crucial to the effectiveness of the campaign, so let's get as many people as possible to sign.
The CBC is facing a budget shortfall that amounts to just $6 per Canadian, but its request to the government for a bridging loan to cover this was denied. The deep cuts the CBC is making will damage the organization across the board, and they will not be the last. If we don't stand up for the CBC now, it stands to die a death by a thousand cuts. Harper's minority government is politically vulnerable and falling in the polls - public outrage could turn the government around on this, but it has to happen now. Let's move quickly.
Ricken, Iain, Graziela, Paula, Brett, Alice, Paul, Ben, Milena, Veronique and the whole Avaaz team.
PS - here are some links for more info on this:
The Star reports on how opposition parties accuse Harper of using the recession as an excuse to gut the CBC
Union says Harper government strangling CBC
Ian Morrison: Stephen Harper's hidden agenda for the CBC
A crisis of identity - A reader's letter to the Globe and Mail
I would add to this list:
And finally this article from where I learned that the CBC currently gets about $33 from each Canadian taxpayer, compared to $124 to support the public broadcaster in the U.K. and $77 in France. As a taxpayer, I don't mind paying another $6 to save our CBC.
Added March 28th: This message came from J. in the UK:
glad to see you fighting the good fight for cbc. thought you might like to know that the tv licence in the uk is actually considerably more. a colour tv licence currently costs £139.50 (CDN$247.65) for one year. See the licence fee.
This is most interesting (bold mine):
The BBC is paid for directly through each household TV licence. This allows it to run a wide range of popular public services for everyone, free of adverts and independent of advertisers, shareholders or political interests.
The BBC provides 8 interactive TV channels, 10 radio networks, more than 50 local TV and radio services, the BBC's website, and the on-demand TV and radio service, BBC iPlayer.