Friday, March 05, 2010

Harper Conservatives Leave Door Open For Killing Off CBC

From "Friends of Canadian Broadcasting" today:

As we anticipated, the Harper government announced its intention yesterday to throw open our doors to foreign ownership in Canada's communications sector.

Like cascading dominos, this will lead to a drastic reduction in the quality and quantity of Canadian stories on television as our domestic broadcasters fall into the hands of foreign owners.

Please help FRIENDS stop this disastrous plan.

As I write this message to you, the Finance Minister has tabled in the House of Commons his budget which describes how foreign ownership restrictions for telecommunications companies in Canada are to be stripped away.

If we let Stephen Harper get away with this, it will be only the first step.

Harper's scheme creates a slippery slope because it would give phone companies a clear advantage over the cable monopolies, with whom they directly compete.

Cable will demand equal treatment and the broadcasters will follow suit.

The result: several generations of hard work to maintain our cultural sovereignty through Canadian ownership and control of broadcasting would go down the drain.

This may be of no concern to Stephen Harper, whom the New York Times reported last year prefers to watch American TV news. But what about the rest of us?

Losing Canadian control would do serious damage to Canada's cultural sovereignty because, as you know, those who control the media also control the message. If foreign companies are allowed to control our media, Canadian stories will fade to black.

Together we can stop this. Will you help?

Already, FRIENDS has been campaigning to make sure the politicians know the implications of Harper's nefarious scheme. You can see my comments on CBC's The National last night by clicking here.

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Frunger said...

I don't see what the problem is, and it's a bit of a stretch to make a direct connection between the increased foreign ownership and CBC.

As far as I read it, the main focus is to bring in better wireless and telecommunication pricing for Canadians. Our current situation is an oligopoly of 3 major carriers who practically control all TV/wireless/internet/phone services. It's no surprise we pay some of the highest rates in the world for those services.

Why is it a problem that a company from Europe owns a company doing business here. Most of the jobs stay in the country (Candian companies outsource already), most of the tax stays in the country and you end up with more competitors, which normally means more jobs and more ta revenue.

Win/win for all.

Most of CBC's content is news/sports (which we can get plenty of from other Canadian networks) and syndicated American programming.

Can't see that changing no matter who owns them.

CanadianSense said...

It could be the very low ratings for years, the use of taxpayers money to air Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and Cornation Street.

Impartial TV ratings.

Rotterdam said...

"Killing off the CBC"

A haven for the left getting weened off the government breast.

I only wish.

Milton John said...

lose the CBC?

good God, no!

we'll have to actually buy advertising like those nasty Neocons do.

WesternGrit said...

Cheaper wireless??? Europeans manage to "protect their culture", AND have much, much, much cheaper cell rates. This is a huge issue. So is protecting CBC.

So far, all we've seen is protection of Conservative "friends" like Calgary-based Shaw, Telus, Rogers, and CanWest (also Shaw now). Regulation can also ensure fair pricing exists. Ever hear the statement uttered when someone opens their wireless bill - "there oughta be a law against that..."? Well, there "oughta be".

The CBC argument isn't mine - it's that of some great Canadian minds. I agree with them. The BBC does not impede British progress - RATHER - it acts as an "English flag" as it has practically become the "World's Broadcaster". Companies like Deutsche Telekom, Orange (France), Vodaphone (all EU telecom giants) have a worldwide footprint, and are recognized worldwide. Outside of Canada, no-one knows what the f#ck a "Telus" is. Those EU companies grew with a LOT of federal regulation and protection - WHILE they kept prices down for domestic consumers. THAT was the deal. It should be - and CAN be - the "deal" here.

Cons don't want to address this. The cellular industry did have some recent "foreign" investment. Recall Virgin? They're now nothing more than a Bell "re-biller" (or is it Telus? They're all the same nowadays).

I say "tear down the walls", change the government, and let's see some REAL promises of fair rates for consumers.