CBC Abandons Rural Canada

July 26, 2012

Foymount, Ontario – Cheryl Gallant, MP today expressed disappointment in the decision by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to cease service to rural Canada. On July 31, 2012, CBC confirmed it is shutting down its over-the-air analogue television transmission network of 622 transmitters. Despite receiving a generous subsidy from Canadian taxpayers, if available in their area, viewers will now be required to purchase the CBC television signal from private cable and satellite companies.

“It was disappointing to receive a letter from CBC President Hubert Lacroix tying the decision to reduce service to rural Canadians with recently announced Federal budget measures. This was done with an announcement of an expensive CBC “public awareness campaign” and a toll-free telephone number provided to Parliamentarians that does not work. Were it not for Hockey Night in Canada and the fact many rural Canadians have no access to cable or broadband internet and cannot afford expensive satellite services, this latest CBC announcement would be met with indifference. CBC would be better placed to put its resources in CBC Radio, which does have a reasonable following among Canadians.”

CBC operates at arms-length from Parliament. Day to day operations, such as who will receive service, are made by the Federal Government Crown Corporation independent of the concerns of the public as expressed by their local Member of Parliament.

“It would appear it was the plan all along to reduce service to rural Canada. This year alone, CBC received over 1 billion dollars in hard earned taxpayer dollars to run its operation. Over- the- air analogue television service represents barely one percent of the subsidy received from taxpayers. So much for the statement by the broadcaster when it said it will implement the need to manage corporation spending “in a way that doesn’t overly compromise” its strategy for increasing local coverage,” observed Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant.

Local Transmission Sites Up For Sale

The land, tower and transmitters located at Foymount, McArthur Mills and Chalk River in the Ottawa Valley will be put up for sale on August 1st, 2012. The towers, which also broadcast a radio signal, in Barry’s Bay, Whitney, and Maynooth are not scheduled to be sold at this time.

“The CBC has indicated a willingness to accept an offer from an affected community, community group, or other purchaser to acquire either the complete transmission site, including the land, building and tower or just the analog TV assets on towers the CBC is retaining. I encourage any interested parties to contact my office for further details,” concluded Cheryl Gallant, MP.