This past week, Garry Breitkreuz, Member of Parliament, presented petitions in the House of Commons calling for the defunding of the CBC and Radio Canada. With the presentation of these petitions, I assume he is in support of the ideas contained therein, namely the abolition of all government money to our public broadcaster and the Corporation's ultimate demise.
It is time for me to speak up once again in support of the CBC.
CBC is a part of my life. I join Sheila Coles every morning over a cup of coffee, for a smile, a giggle and some good stories from across the province. I watch the AT ISSUE panel. In my books the show is appointment television. The panellists present a variety of opinions that are well considered and buttressed by fact. The Tudors, a CBC production, is on my Christmas wish list. I rank The Man Who Planted Trees (a Radio Canada production by Frederic Back) number two on my list of best films after The Shawshank Redemption. The documentary won first a Golden Sheaf and then an Oscar. I watch The National. I appreciate the fact that Canadian journalists are posted to various places in the world to cover international happenings. The coverage presents events from our own point of view. CBC is a part of my life because I am Canadian and CBC is, too.
These are the programs I choose to watch. The wide offering on CBC radio and television attracts a different audience but one that is just as appreciative.
I support the idea of a public broadcaster - one that presents Canada to Canadians. From the CBC, I have heard stories from across the country: from the North, from the East Coast, from First Nations communities, from small town Canada. These are the kinds of stories that the private broadcaster will not cover.
In addition, the CBC prompts thoughtful discussion. I don't know how many times I've heard - "Did you hear on CBC this morning? Or Did you hear what Chantal Hebert had to say about Quebec? The loss of such public broadcasting would limit discourse - the civil discourse we need in Canadian society.
This is not the first time I have expressed my concern about the approach of Garry Breitkreuz and the Conservative Party to the CBC. It is time once again to raise the banner. I ask then that you talk to your friends and email Mr. Breitkreuz and the members of the opposition. My final suggestion is the organization of information meetings about this important issue.
The CBC is an essential institution to the well-being and unity of the nation. We need to be aware that it appears that Yorkton's Member of Parliament does not share this opinion.
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