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REGINA, Saskatchewan (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian taxpayer group started a petition to demand that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau end the billions of dollars in subsidies given to the state-run Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as well as other mainstream media outlets.

“The CBC costs taxpayers more than $1 billion per year and the federal government is giving media organizations a $600 million bailout,” reads the petition by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

“We, the undersigned, call on the federal government to defund the CBC and end its media bailout.”

CTF director Kris Sims said as reported by True North News that they decided to launch the petition because “Canadians should decide which news outlets they prefer and to support them financially if they choose to do so.”

Sims added that Canadians should not be “forced to pay for” the CBC “through the government.”

The CTF says it is a “not-for-profit citizen’s group dedicated to lower taxes, less waste and accountable government.”

Canada’s legacy media, which includes Post Media, Global News, and CTV, for years were more or less on their own when it came to revenue.

However, that all changed in 2019 when the Trudeau Liberals as part of an election promise said they would give legacy media some $600 million over four years in federal assistance.

In 2021, the Trudeau Liberals gave the CBC $1.4 billion, which accounts for around 70 percent of its total revenue.

During the 2021 federal election campaign, Trudeau said he would give even more money to the CBC to the tune of $400 million over the next four years.

Former Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Andrew Scheer recently blasted Trudeau’s Liberal government for using the “same playbook” of former Eastern European communist regimes with the help of the CBC to enact the Emergencies Act (EA).

“The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting System) is doing their best to try to calm people’s fears that Trudeau might abuse his power. I’m not gonna buy it. I’m not gonna take it from him just on his word alone,” Scheer noted.

CPC MP Pierre Poilievre, who recently said he wants to become the party leader, in early February blasted the broadcaster for spreading the “insane conspiracy theory that ‘Russian actors’ are orchestrating the trucker protest.”

“This clownish statement proves again that the state media will concoct disinformation against anyone who criticizes their leader,” Poilievre said.

Independent media in Canada, through sites such as Rebel News, True North News, Post Millennial, and LifeSiteNews, has seen a surge in readership in recent years, no doubt due to the independent nature if their reporting.