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Toronto – At a time of concern and confusion across the country caused by COVID-19, an essential service was shut down today: CBC’s local TV news programs.

CBC management announced the decision to shut down the shows earlier today. During a staff townhall to explain the decision, President and CEO Catherine Tait made it clear that it’s all about the money – or lack thereof. For years, local news services have been stripped of talent and infrastructure to the point that they cannot effectively serve local audiences in this rapidly changing crisis.

“In our hour of greatest need for factual, local information audiences can count on, CBC is cutting back on its essential role to serve the information needs of local communities in Canada,” says Daniel Bernhard, Executive Director of FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting.

Catherine Tait also told her staff this afternoon that the CBC is “an essential service."

“We agree, and Ottawa has a responsibility to make sure that the CBC has the resources it needs to restore these services,” Bernhard said.

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ABOUT FRIENDS OF CANADIAN BROADCASTING: FRIENDS is the citizens' independent advocate for Canadian journalism, storytelling, and public broadcasting, and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.

For information and media inquiries, contact Jim Thompson at jim@friends.ca or call 613-567-9592.

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