January 27, 2011
Dean del Mastro, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Canadian heritage responds to the “I love CBC Peterborough” rally
In an effort to keep revisionist attacks in check, it is necessary to consider the entire question that was placed, to whom it was placed and why. Hansard, the official transcript of Parliament, records the complete question as follows:
Dean Del Mastro, Conservative Party - “I'm just asking an opinion—this is not a government policy, obviously — but do you think it's time that the Canadian government looks at it and says maybe it's time we get out of the broadcasting business and get into investing more money into content? We invest over a billion government dollars, as you know, into a stage, when in fact the private sector would not only make use of that stage...they have so many already, and reinvest all of those dollars into Canadian content. I see major blockbuster films being made in this country. I see creators with so much talent. I see a world that is begging for good-quality content. You've adequately pointed out that there are major companies out there that will gobble this stuff up. Is that where we should be looking? Is that kind of the next century? Is that where Canada should be looking for opportunity?”
Hansard November 23, 2010
“I was clearly articulating in this question (posed to Gary Mavaara, Legal Counsel for CHEX Television’s parent company Corus Communications) that I was seeking an opinion and “obviously” not stating a government policy or position.” stated MP Del Mastro. “Local protesters seemed careful not to reveal that simple truth.”
The truth is that since becoming the Government in 2006, Conservatives have kept their word and maintained funding for the CBC and have - in fact - increased the overall public funding every year. In contrast, the previous Liberal Government under Jean Chretien and Paul Martin axed 40% of CBC’s annual funding after having campaigned on a promise to increase funding.
“As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, I am determined to work to provide the most effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars in support of the promotion of Canadian content and creators. I won’t apologize for that nor will I be afraid to seek the opinion and advice of industry experts in working to create the brightest possible future for the Canadian cultural community” states MP Del Mastro. “Sadly I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the timing of this rally, staged by known opposition partisans, is only three days before my largest annual charity function which supports the less fortunate in Peterborough. I was however pleased to learn yesterday that the CBC and Corus Communications have came to terms on a new affiliate agreement which will insure the health of our local broadcaster moving forward; an outcome that I strongly encouraged in every discussion since 2008 with CBC representatives.”