PC Party applauds Friends of Canadian Broadcasting:
Identifies political threat to Arts & Crown Corp.
For Immediate Release February 25, 2015
Newmarket, Ont. - The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Progressive Canadian Party leader, today restated the PC Party's long-standing commitment to the Arts in Canada and to the CBC. "In 1932 the Conservative Party, later the Progressive Conservative Party and our predecessor, laid the foundation of the CBC to give Canadians the means of self-expression in a sea of American broadcasting. The importance of this role continues today", he said, "But the CBC is under attack".
The PC Party applauds Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the organization fighting to save the CBC from de-funding by the Harper Conservatives since that party's founding in 2003. "The PC Party and Friends of Canadian Broadcasting are ˜fighting the good fight" to protect Canadian arts and culture and the CBC from the CPC and Stephen Harper" Mr. Stevens said.
In the 2006 and 2008 federal elections the PC Party called for all parties to endorse the Canadian actor's union, ACTRA, appeal for commitment to secure public CBC and arts funding and thus to ensure the means to express a Canadian voice and culture; Stephen Harper's CPC alone declined.
Friends have voiced alarm at the hostility Mr. Harper expresses toward the CBC, even going so far in a recent interview as to claim Radio-Canada employees "detest conservative values".
When Prime Minister Harper was a Reform Party MP, his party called for CBC privatization. Twice defeated Reform Party candidate, now Senator Stephen Greene appointed by Stephen Harper, suggested in a question to former Radio-Canada director Alain Saulnier January 28, 2015 during a public hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation and Communications that the CBC's mandate might be better served by shifting CBC funding to content providers under contract to private networks.
In February 2015 C2C Journal, advised by Reform's first leader Preston Manning, published a Q&A on "How and why to Save the CBC" with frequent CBC critic Rogers senior v-p for public policy Kenneth Whyte (formerly of Alberta Report), whose network acquired CBC's flagship and CBC revenue provider Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC), expanding on Senator Greene's theme of outsourcing CBC's mandate, changing the mandate and political hostility to culture of the arm's length Crown Corporation.
Progressive Canadian candidates such as Brian Marlatt in BC have warned against Harper's "slash and burn approach to culture and to the means of sharing it," including the CBC (2008 Marlatt, PC Party campaign). Equally important is the role of the CBC as an alternative to profit motivated broadcasters of news, and producers of art, and culture who fail to invest in core arts infrastructure.
"It is something the private sector is often unwilling to do or target for investment; it's easier and cheaper to buy off-the-rack than to tailor your product for a Canadian audience," Marlatt said in 2008, "so it is up to the public sector to build and support the infrastructure of the Arts, including film which is of such great importance to our economy here in BC."
Sinclair Stevens reinforced this message, urging Canadians to support the Progressive Canadian campaign in 2015 as PC candidates, volunteers and with their dollars and to join with us in supporting Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.