A6 THURSDAY, November 24, 2011
At city hall, they stand on guard for the CBC — sort of By Jeremy Deutsch STAFF REPORTER
PIt might have been the final debate by outgoing city politicians, but the topic of funding the CBC won’t likely end at council chambers. What was supposed to be a discussion on an application by the CBC to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) to operate in Kamloops turned into a debate on public funding for the broadcaster. Tuesday’s (Nov. 22) discussion began following a request by former B.C. attorney general Bud Smith, who asked city council to write a letter to the federal treasury board, requesting Ottawa reallocate $1 billion of the CBC’s budget to water and waste-water infrastructure projects
in Canada. The CBC is given an annual $1.2-billion subsidy by the federal government. In May, the broadcaster announced plans to expand its services in B.C.’s Interior — including a new radio and online bureau in the Tournament Capital. Smith’s request touched off a debate amongst council, which ultimately led to a defeated motion to send that letter to the treasury board. Mayor Peter Milobar and councillors John De Cicco, Tina Lange and Pat Wallace voted in favour, while Nancy Bepple, Jim Harker, Marg Spina and Denis Walsh were opposed. Bepple argued the CBC provides a huge public service, especially in smaller communities, while Walsh called it “odd” council was trying
to manage the federal government. Wallace said the CBC needs to “earn their keep” be selling ads and having a good business plan. “This is a case of an elite group that doesn’t raise money to pay their salaries and the private sector does,” she said of the radio arm of the CBC, which is ad-free. Smith said his request would force the CBC to take a hard look at itself and find ways to operate more efficiently. “There are all kinds of ways that the CBC can reacquaint itself with the fiscal circumstances of our country,” Smith said. Ultimately, council voted 7-1 in favour of writing a letter in support for the CBC’s application to the CRTC. Wallace was the lone councillor to vote against the motion.
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Grey Cup Week in full swing Page A37 Thursday, November 24, 2011 Volume 24 No. 94 Kamloops, B.C., Canada 30 cents at Newsstands T H U R S...