CANADIAN CULTURE — OUR TRADITION OF DECENCY AND DEMOCRACY — IS UNDER THREAT.
Facebook is now Canada’s #1 source of news, and Netlix is Canada’s biggest private broadcaster. Our world is dominated by American tech companies that don’t respect our democracy – they play by their own rules while Ottawa cheers from the sidelines. The result? Misinformation. Hate. Bad nationalism.Bad populism. And the export of the worst aspects of American culture: violence, greed, segregation, and the embrace of ignorance.
Now is not the time for complacency. We need more CBC, not less.
In this day and age, Canada needs political leadership willing to counter the power and negative aspects of Big Tech with the kind of fearless, independent journalism that secures our democracy. We also need strong Canadian storytelling that ensures our cultural sovereignty and independence.
CBC was created so that Canada could tell its own stories. But after 30 years of cuts, CBC can barely keep its head above water. If you follow the money, the value of federal subsidies to Facebook, Google and Netlix is more than double what Ottawa invests in CBC.
FOREIGN BIG TECH VS. CBC
VALUE OF GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES AND FUNDING
OUR CAMPAIGN HAS TWO SIMPLE DEMANDS:
1. Fortify CBC to counter the corrosive effects Big Tech has on our culture and democracy
This means increasing CBC funding to $50 per person per year and insulating CBC further from political interference. Now more than ever, our independence as a nation depends on CBC to provide fearless journalism and shamelessly Canadian stories.
2. End Ottawa’s special treatment for foreign tech giants that threaten our culture and democracy
The federal government gives these companies billions of dollars-worth of subsidies and exemptions. This must end, and Facebook, Google and their ilk must be subject to our laws. This is our house, they should be made to follow our rules.
GOVERNMENTS OF EVERY POLITICAL STRIPE HAVE TRASHED CBC’S BUDGET OVER THE YEARS
While the Trudeau Liberals reversed this trend, these additional resources will be washed away by inflation by 2021. Since this symbolic gesture, CBC has fallen o the government’s radar. Actually, it’s worse: the Liberals have chosen sides. Ottawa is standing firmly alongside the democracy-eroding foreign online media giants against our own media.
FRIENDS is a grassroots organization with limited resources and a history of punching well above its weight. We do so by focussing our efforts on a small number of strategically important ridings that politicians care the most about. Specifically, in the run up to the federal election in October, we will campaign in about 25 ridings where the outcome is too close to call, and where we have at least 1,000 supporters. By making our concerns visible at the local level, we are able to effect change at the national level.
The political parties watch these swing ridings, because they know that they have to win them to form government. In the last federal election, the Liberals would not have won a majority if just 13,000 people in 14 ridings voted differently. They know it, and so do we.
Because of this dynamic, people like you, living in these crucial swing ridings, have far more influence than people who live in safe seats. Politicians care a lot more about what you think, and they’ll go out of their way to make you happy. And they do that by making policy promises that apply across the country.
BY MAKING OUR CONCERNS VISIBLE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, WE ARE ABLE TO EFFECT CHANGE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL
This is a special moment when “people power” can have an impact far greater than any well-heeled special interest group. And because of your location, you have a special opportunity to make a difference for Canada and the CBC. LET’S SEIZE THIS MOMENT! TOGETHER!