25 February 2004

Online petition opposes cuts to CBC,
program funding

TNG-Canada/CWA members are being urged to support a campaign to “Take Back Our Airwaves” by opposing budget cuts to the CBC and Canadian programming.

Our Public Airwaves, a new public broadcasting advocacy group, is running the campaign. The Canadian Media Guild (TNG Canada’s largest local) played a major role in creating OPA; its president, Lise Lareau, is a member of the OPA Co-ordinating Committee.

The OPA points out that Prime Minister Paul Martin seems more concerned with American relations than with Canadian culture. There were only vague references to culture in the latest Speech from the Throne. At the same time, Martin has made it clear his government plans to take a knife to existing spending programs. Supporters of the CBC believe it’s facing another cut in the coming federal budget.

You can help head that off by signing OPA’s Internet petition at: www.PublicAirwaves.ca/petition. When you sign, it sends an immediate email message to Paul Martin as well as copies to the new ministers of Finance and Canadian Heritage. You can personalize it by adding your own comments.

Canada’s airwaves are flooded with American programming while the CBC’s ability to produce Canadian programming has already been seriously impaired by previous budget cuts when Martin was Minister of Finance, says the OPA. The advocacy group hopes Canadians will let Martin know that further cuts to the CBC are unacceptable.

The campaign is calling on the government to implement recent recommendations by a parliamentary committee to increase funding for both CBC and the Canadian Television Fund.

The OPA's invitation: "Please join us in sending a message to the government that Canadians care about the CBC and Canadian programming. OPA has found that personal recommendations are the single most important factor in getting people to support the campaign, so please encourage your friends and neighbours to join you in signing the petition."