Save the CBC!

This is specifically for Canadians, but feel free to read on if you’re from outside of Canada. CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation—our publically funded television and radio network (much like the BBC in the UK, and similar to NPR in the U.S.).

I love the CBC. They are extremely supportive of independent music and always present high-grade television (especially documentaries). Many, many Canadians I know could not imagine life without CBC, so please sign the petition linked to below.

Dear friends,

The government is forcing the CBC to drastically cut 800 staff and programming. We urgently need a massive public outcry to Save the CBC:

Canada’s media networks have all been slammed by the recession. But the government is reportedly considering bailouts for its friends at private companies CTV and CanWest, while forcing the CBC and Radio Canada to drastically cut 800 staff and programming.

Our CBC is a national treasure, and a pillar of public-interest journalism in a country whose media is owned by a few large firms. We won’t hear an outcry from their media outlets, and the CBC is too principled to use its megaphone to make the case for itself. We are the only voice the CBC has.

We urgently need a massive public outcry to Save the CBC, click below to sign the petition. The government is weak and falling in the polls and enough outrage can make the difference. Parliamentarians have promised to deliver the petition directly in the House of Commons, and we’ll even fly a plane and banner over Parliament Hill with the message! Sign now, and forward this email to everyone who might care about this:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_cbc

The number of signatures on the petition will be crucial to the effectiveness of the campaign, so let’s get everyone who cares about the CBC and Radio Canada to sign.

The CBC is facing a budget shortfall that amounts to just $6 per Canadian, but its request to the government for a bridging loan to cover this was denied. The deep cuts the CBC is making will damage the organization across the board, and they will not be the last. If we don’t stand up for the CBC now, it stands to die a death by a thousand cuts. Harper’s minority government is politically vulnerable and falling in the polls – public outrage could turn the government around on this, but it has to happen now. Let’s move quickly.

With hope,

Ricken, Lisa-Marie, Laryn and the whole Avaaz Canada team.

P.S. Here are some links for more info on this:

An excellent web resource for information and action on the CBC, including the government’s consideration of bailouts of CanWest and other companies: http://www.friends.ca/

The Star reports on how opposition parties accuse Harper of using the recession as an excuse to gut the CBC:
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/608591

Union says Harper government strangling CBC:
http://www.cjad.com/news/565/899819

Ian Morrison: Stephen Harper’s hidden agenda for the CBC:
http://www.straight.com/article-206164/ian-morrison-stephen-harper%3F%3Fs-hidden-agenda-cbc

A crisis of identity: A reader letter to the Globe and Mail:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090327.COLETTS27-1/TPStory/Comment

ABOUT AVAAZ: Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva. Call us at: +1 888 922 8229 or +55 21 2509 0368.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The CBC is SUCH a vital entity for all Canadians! We MUST do something to save it!

    But I have to say, I’m really cynical about petitions. They pretty much never work. THe government doesn’t listen to them because they are too easy to fill out. If you really feel passionate about the CBC you need to call/write/email your local MP or the ministry in charge of culture. A personal communication is a million times more effective than a petition.

  2. To some extent I agree with you, Rai — of course letters (and phone calls!) are more effective, but that doesn’t mean that petitions are ineffective. Someone wouldn’t sign it if they didn’t believe in the cause. Further, from Avaaz: “MPs from each opposition party have agreed to jointly receive our petition and deliver it in Parliament to the government. While they do, planes will fly over Parliament Hill trailing giant banners that deliver our message and the number of signatures on the petition. We’re already getting media calls, and on Saturday we’ll be distributing thousands of Save the CBC buttons at the high profile Genie Awards. Our message is getting out, but it’s only as powerful as the number of people that sign it.” So in this case the petition definitely will reach the right people.

  3. Petition signed and friends informed!


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