ontario news watch

Defunding CBC would be ‘devastating’ to news in rural Canada: Catherine Tait

OTTAWA — The president of CBC and Radio-Canada defended the public broadcaster and its independence at a House of Commons committee this morning.

Catherine Tait was called to testify at the heritage committee, where she faced questions from Conservative MPs about CBC’s reporting on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Tait told MPs in her opening remarks that the CBC is accountable to all Canadians and not to politicians, and that its journalists work independently of corporate management. 

Liberal MPs asked what would happen if the public broadcaster’s $1.4-billion budget was reduced, with Tory Leader Pierre Poilievre promising to pare down the budget for CBC’s English services while retaining coverage for linguistic minorities. 

Tait says that defunding the CBC would be devastating to its ability to fulfil its mandate to serve rural Canadians in particular.

She also says losing the public broadcaster would be bad for Canadian democracy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press