The Conservatives’ Hidden Agenda For Public Broadcasting And Cultural Sovereignty

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting

There is a huge and troubling gap between Stephen Harper’s words and deeds regarding the CBC and Canada’s cultural sovereignty, as well as a continuing pattern of contradictory statements, both from Harper and from other Conservatives:

  • In the lead up to the 2004 election, on May 19, 2004, when Stephen Harper was asked by a a CBC reporter in Winnipeg to comment on his plans for CBC, he said: “I’ve suggested that government subsidies in support of CBC’s services should be to those things that are not…do not have commercial alternatives.” He then added: “When you take a look at things like main-English language television and probably to a lesser degree Radio Two, you could there (sic) at putting those on a commercial basis.” (www.friends.ca/News/Friends_News/archives/articles05190403)
  • Several months later, Harper contradicted that comment in a speech to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters when he stated that “we would seek to reduce the CBC’s dependence on advertising revenue and its competition with the private sector for these valuable dollars, especially in non-sports programming.” (www.friends.ca/news-item/6480)
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The Silenced Majority

The media propaganda model lives on

How mass media consistently produce news that favour corporate interests.

By Tor Sandberg

EXCERPT

Noam Chomsky, who gave talks on the final day of the conference, emphasized in a panel discussion how the propaganda model illustrates the mass media’s shaping of perceptions of truth.
“The more educated are the main targets of propaganda,” said Chomsky, highlighting how the framing of stories plays a large role in this perception-shaping. As an example, Chomsky noted a case where a manufacturing sector was calling for some kind of a health policy, but the media dismissed the idea “as not politically possible.”
In this way, the corporate media effectively dismissed the entire idea of universal health care by claiming there wasn’t support, when, in reality, as Chomsky put it, “most Americans want some kind of [universal] health care found in other countries.”
Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the flow of information out of Ottawa has slowed to a trickle. Cabinet ministers and civil servants are muzzled. Access to Information requests are stalled and stymied by political interference. Genuine transparency is replaced by slick propaganda and spin designed to manipulate public opinion.

Part of the Hart House debates, Chomsky spoke at the University of Toronto on April 7, 2011 about class warfare, the State-Corporate Complex, the way in which corporate power is married to to state power and, how these factors represent a great threat to our freedom and survival.  LISTEN TO PODCAST

FULL STORY >

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Internet services are marked up a staggering 6,000 per cent

The Vancouver advocacy group leading the fight against increasing costs for  Internet access in Canada is putting the issue on the election agenda with a “Vote for the Internet” campaign launched today.

And in the first few hours of the campaign launch, more than 10,000 people have signed on.
OpenMedia.ca has set up its own version of an online ballot at openmedia.ca/vote where voters can send a message to their local candidates calling on them to become “pro-Internet.”
It may be surprising to learn that it costs ISPs only about a penny to deliver a gigabyte of data over a high-speed Internet line, and it costs another 7 cents per month to provide and maintain the physical infrastructure on a DSL telephone line for a residential customer. The numbers were calculated by Michael Geist, a law professor at University of Ottawa who specializes in Internet and e-commerce, in a paper he published this week. Since neither Bell nor Vidéotron has ever made such numbers public, Geist said the cost of about 8 cents roughly includes what it costs to build and maintain the network, but may not include all costs.
Taking Bell’s Essential Plus plan, which provides a two-megabits-per-second speed for $28.95, and a $2.50 charge for every gigabyte used after five gigabytes, you get a 6,452-per-cent markup for using six gigabytes of data in one month – at a cost of $31.45.
Geist calculated the cost of delivering Internet data falls far below what Canadians are paying.
“When combined with the Internet costs of roughly one cent per GB for larger ISPs, a high end estimate of the per gigabyte costs for large Canadian ISPs is approximately 8 cents per GB,” Geist wrote in his report. “…While this is higher than the 3 cents per GB that has been invoked in some discussions, it is far lower than overage costs imposed by some ISPs, which run as high as $10 per GB in Canada.”
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