Wednesday, April 08, 2009

En francais, Gritgirl demonstrates Harper's vision for Radio-Canada

Update (Thursday a.m.): The CBC is speaking out in support of the proposition that if there is to be a bailout of some kind of broadcasting in respect of local programming, it should be included. The report notes support for the proposition:
CBC found support from advocates, politicians and performers who demanded that the federal Conservatives not limit their bailout package to the private sector.

An infusion of government cash into private broadcasters with no additional funding for the CBC would reveal the Conservatives' true "antipathy" to the public broadcaster, said Ian Morrison, spokesperson for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

"I just don't see how they could do it for the private sector and allow the CBC to continue to cut its local capacity. It just doesn't make political sense," he said.
No, it does not. Folks like gritgirl are going to get mighty upset, I would imagine, during an election campaign. See below...

Well, that translates in any language, doesn't it?

Both Harper and James Moore were non-commital today about the CP report of the $150 million fund for the private broadcasters. Are they sensing a brewing backlash if they go forward with the rumoured plans to help CTV and Canwest but not the CBC? Or is it that they just haven't decided yet what taxpayer help is in fact coming for CTV and Canwest, the over leveraged communications behemoths? The message today:
...Moore, speaking from Saskatoon Wednesday, would not give the report much credence.

"When you're going through hard times, as we are in Canada, any government has a responsibility to keep their eyes and ears open about what a government might be able to do to for any given industry, but we have nothing to announce, no commitments, and I wouldn't say much to that story," he said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, speaking in Moncton on Wednesday, said no decisions have been made on how to help Canada's broadcasters.

"I can't tell you very much other than that we are certainly aware of the difficulties affecting the sector," Harper said.

He said the government is "aware of the problem" and "looking at options."
They're not denying the report, just telling us to wait and see. Note that private broadcaster difficulties have prompted the government to be "looking at options" for this industry, no such courtesy having been given to CBC following its request for bridge financing.

Additional facts for Harper and Moore to weigh in to the mix today...

Discontent with the CBC cuts was publicly expressed with 300 people demonstrating in Sydney, Nova Scotia about CBC cuts there and imminent job losses. Close to 500 demonstrated in Sudbury on Sunday (Sudbury and Thunder Bay CBC are both losing half their staffs). The Canadian Media Guild came out in support of a local programming fund, but only if it includes the public broadcaster as well. And ACTRA pointed out the jeopardy in which Canadian content could be placed if content restrictions are eased now by the Harper government as it considers this local fund.