Toronto – Elizabeth May has pledged her party’s support for increasing CBC funding by $300 million a year until its budget equals that of the BBC on a per capita basis. May made that commitment to thousands of supporters of FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting during a telephone town hall this past weekend.
Currently, CBC funding equals about $34 per person per year. BBC’s per capita budget is $100.
“We're making an unequivocal commitment to fund the CBC and Radio Canada by an additional $300 million per year until the per capita level of funding will be equal of that, of the BBC and the commitment of the UK government,” said Ms. May.
The town hall was the second in FRIENDS’ 2019 Leaders Series. During the first instalment, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh promised an NDP government would increase CBC funding to $50 per person per year. Combined, more than 10,000 FRIENDS’ supporters have listened in to the two town halls.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer have yet to respond to FRIENDS’ invitation to be part of the 2019 Leaders Series.
The Liberal Party platform released yesterday promises CBC will deliver more local news and make available online publishing tools to journalism start-ups and community newspapers but is silent on whether CBC’s budget will revert to Harper-era levels once Mr. Trudeau’s five-year investment in public broadcasting expires in 2021.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer has promised a review of CBC if he becomes Prime Minister.
“We thank Elizabeth for participating and hope the other leaders accept our invitation to engage with our supporters,” says Daniel Bernhard, FRIENDS’ ExecutiveDirector.
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is a non-partisan watchdog for Canadian public broadcasting, journalism and story-telling and is not affiliated with any broadcaster.