Been hearing a lot from Conservative friends about how they've done so much for the CBC... Here's the truth from the "Friends of the CBC":
Something very troubling has arisen amid the deep cuts to the CBC's creative staff and programs.
Under intense questioning in Parliament and in response to messages from tens of thousands of CBC supporters,the Prime Minister and many of his MPs have made false statements.
Prime Minister Harper stated falsely in the House of Commons on March 25, that this year's Budget provides CBC with "record financing... in the order of $1.1 billion".
Many people who wrote to their Conservative MPs have shared the responses with us. These replies are modeled on statements the Prime Minister has made in Parliament.
Here is a typical example:
"As far as funding is concerned, the CBC is currently receiving the highest funding package in its history. This year the CBC will receive $1.1 billion of taxpayers' money."
This statement is false!
This development goes to the heart of integrity in public life. We should be able to expect our Prime Minister and his followers to tell us the truth.
The real story from the government's Main Estimates (their spending plan for the coming year) tabled on February 26 is that the government has cut CBC's funding in 2009/10 by $63 million – that's equivalent to a $79 million reduction in purchasing power when inflation is considered. And, since they were first elected, the Conservatives have cut the purchasing power of CBC's grant by $119 million (when inflation is taken into account).
I believe this is an indicator of the pressure being felt by the government, especially by those Conservative MPs who won by narrow margins in last autumn's election and who are hearing our message loud and clear.
We must work hard to maintain and increase that pressure. There is a golden opportunity to fight for the CBC this Wednesday (April 29) when Heritage Minister James Moore will be appearing before the House of Commons Heritage Committee.
This is an important occasion. It will be the first time MPs have had a chance to grill the Minister in detail since the CBC announced its cuts.
Please ask him to just tell the truth when he appears before the Heritage Committee. Telling the truth is the first step toward ensuring the CBC is given the funding that it needs.
Your message will be automatically copied to members of the Heritage Committee, your own MP, the Prime Minister and the other Party leaders.
After thousands of people have demanded that the CBC be adequately funded, the Conservative government is feeling the pressure. There is hope for a sustainable future for CBC. We can turn this hope into reality if we act together now.
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting