Mr. Speaker, according to press reports the government is seriously considering selling off CBC television stations.
Despite the promises made in the Liberal red book to support the CBC and the fact that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is presently examining CBC financing, cabinet is debating a plan to radically change public broadcasting in Canada.
The CBC has been and is an essential instrument that allows Canadians to see and hear each other and to develop their own cultural identity. Is what the cabinet is debating the first step to privatize the CBC and to kill public broadcasting? By selling off the CBC TV stations what channel will Canadians be able to tune into to see Canadian programs?
In this age of the 500 channel universe and other rapid technological innovations, there might come the time to deliver public broadcasting through new methods like the telephone companies. However, that time is not now.
I concur with the chairman of the CRTC who stated before the Canadian heritage committee: "Give-