Mr. Speaker, many Canadians are very concerned about the cuts at the CBC. The issue is a very emotional one. It is a question of unity, of one message from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic.
The CBC has been with us all our lives and has become a part of our existence.
In the last year I have held three town hall meetings on the CBC. The last two meetings, held in the last two months, were very well attended. During the meetings support for the CBC was expressed very strongly.
At the time of the last meeting Nigel Peck, a constituent, had collected over 23,000 signatures. I was informed that as soon as the signatures reach the 50,000 mark they will be delivered to me. Of these, almost 13,000 signatures have already been received. The petitioners ask that the cuts to the CBC be stopped and funding restored. The minister has listened and has restored $10 million.
The main concern is the cuts to regional programming. By cutting them, you silence the voice of Canadians outside of Ontario and Quebec.