Featured Image
Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauYouTube

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – After the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was designated as “government-funded media” by Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the label an attack on “independent” media coordinated by Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Pierre Poilievre and “American billionaires.”

“When they’re trying to attack a foundational Canadian institution, the fact that he has to run to American billionaires for support to attack Canadians says a lot about Mr. Poilievre and his values,” Trudeau told reporters yesterday.

“I think it says a lot about the Conservative Party of Canada. They’re choosing to constantly attack independent media organizations, journalists who are working hard to keep Canadians informed and support our democracy.”

On Sunday, Twitter labeled the CBC as “government-funded media” after many people, including Poilievre, called upon Musk to do so.

The fact remains that the CBC, per its 2020-2021 annual report, receives about $1.24 billion in public funding every year.

This large sum accounts for roughly 70 percent of its annual operating budget.

Last week, Poilievre wrote a letter to Musk and Twitter saying that he believed “Twitter should apply the Government-funded Media label to the CBC’s various news-related accounts, including @CBC, @CBCNews and @CBCAlerts.”

Poilievre stated that Twitter defines government-funded media “as outlets where the government provides some or all of the outlet’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.”

As for Musk being an “American billionaire,” as said by Trudeau, the fact remains that Musk also has Canadian citizenship, which was pointed out by CPC MP Chris Warkentin.

“Trudeau used to say, ‘a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian … ’Last time I checked, Elon Musk was still a Canadian citizen. BTW — if it’s an attack on CBC to point out their government subsidy isn’t the solution to quit giving them the subsidy!?” Warkentin tweeted Monday.

Musk’s mother, Maye Musk, was born in Saskatchewan but grew up in South Africa, where Elon was born. When Elon was 17, he and his mother obtained Canadian citizenship. For a time, he lived in Canada.

As a result of the “government-funded” label, the CBC said it would “pause” all activities on Twitter.

As for Musk, on Monday, he revised the CBC’s label to read “69 percent government-funded media” after the broadcaster said it did not get all its money from the government.

Poilievre: Canada needs free and independent media; CBC is a ‘propaganda arm for the Liberal Party’

Last week, Poilievre told reporters that all government-subsidized media in Canada should have their conflicts of interest checked with the Parliament’s Ethics Commissioner in light of his calling for the CBC to be defunded.

Said Poilievre to a Canadian Press reporter who asked him why he thought the CBC should get less money, “Have you checked with the Ethics Commissioner on whether you’re in a conflict of interest in asking about CBC funding?”

The reporter replied, “I will check with my editors.”

Poilievre then stated that in his opinion the CBC is “a biased propaganda arm of the Liberal Party and frankly negatively affects all media.”

“For example, Canadian Press is negatively affected by the fact that you have to report favourably on the CBC if you want to keep your number one, taxpayer-funded client happy,” he said.

“We need a neutral and free media, not a propaganda arm for the Liberal Party … When I am Prime Minister, we are going to have a free press where every day Canadians decide what they think rather than having Liberal propaganda jammed down their throats.”

Poilievre recently said that if he becomes Prime Minister he will cut “corporate welfare,” including money to the CBC.

In an interview last year, he said that he was “going to save $1 billion defunding the CBC.”

“I think we need a market-driven media that benefits by subscriptions, advertising, sponsorships and donations rather than government subsidies. I am against bailouts. Frankly, I am against all kinds of bailouts, not just for media,” he added.

CBC viewership ratings have been steadily declining for years, with some estimates from 2021 putting the average national viewership rate at less than 3.9% of the Canadian market.

Despite this, in 2019, Trudeau promised that his Liberal government would give legacy media, including the CBC, an extra $595 million in federal assistance over the next four years.

The attacks against the CBC come not only from Poilievre but some of their own past employees as well.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported on former CBC producer Tara Henley, who last year left her job because of the outlet’s “radical political agenda.” Henley said the future of Canadian journalism lies with independent media outlets that don’t have a liberal bias.

In February, LifeSiteNews also reported on how the CBC will be joining a global “Public Spaces Incubator” initiative to combat online “misinformation,” despite recently coming under fire from its ombudsman for violating its own ethics code.

The most recent example came last month when it was reported that CBC ombudsman Jack Nagler said the network violated its own ethics code in 2021 in a piece falsely alleging the nation’s Catholic bishops were not coming through on a promise to raise money for an “Indigenous Reconciliation Fund.”