Amber Church grew up listening to the CBC.
“It was a big part of my upbringing and I trust it,” she said.
So when she heard the federal government was considering cutting a huge chunk of the national broadcaster’s budget, organizing a Yukon protest just made sense.
“There are at least 13 protests today coast to coast,” said Church, standing in front of Yukon MP Ryan Leef’s office on Thursday. “And I want to see one here, since there is such strong public opposition to the cuts here.”
Less than a dozen people showed up for the protest.
But the online petition Church handed Leef’s constituency assistant, Martin Lehner, had almost 30,000 signatures protesting the cuts. “Please give this to Ryan so he can stand up and speak to Yukoners’ concerns,” said Church.
“In standing up for Canada, I also hope Ryan is standing up for Canada’s national voice,” added Rick Griffiths.
The CBC is an essential service and it’s already suffered enormous cutbacks, he said. “It needs stable funding to ensure it remains Canada’s national voice.”
The CBC connects Canadians with each other and the world, said Evann Lacosse. “And it offers information not always available on other networks.”
That is part of the problem, she said. “What CBC has to say is not something our current government wants well known. The less informed people are, the better.”
“In places like Alberta, the CBC is reporting on things that other media outlets, like Post Media won’t, like dead ducks in the tarsands,” added Linda Leon, who helped stage the protest.
Not only does the CBC tie the country together, it also promotes the arts, she said. “No private media will be able to do for the arts what CBC has done, or bring arts from the North to other parts of Canada.”
“It’s important to have a broadcaster representing Canadians that isn’t funded by corporate interests,” added Mike Tribes.
Tribes isn’t sure how Leef will react to the petition.
“But I’d like to believe we still live in a democracy where politicians listen to the people,” he said.
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