For residents and businesses in my riding of Trinity—Spadina, the CBC is not just a critical and cherished national voice for current affairs and culture, it is also a major employer.
Hundreds of residents came to the AGO for the community forum to defend public broadcasting, but we also heard this: funding cuts to the CBC are undermining the cultural sector of the economy. Layoffs are now triggering job cuts by small suppliers to the CBC. They are also beginning to hurt families, restaurants, hotels and shops in the neighbourhood.
The digital media industry is growing and is now worth close to $2.5 billion annually in this community. However, the impact of recent changes to the Broadcasting Act by the CRTC and the Conservative government's tampering of Canadian content regulations are now bringing independent film and television work in Toronto to a grinding halt.
The government needs to take action. It must reinvest and reinforce the independence of the CBC and reverse the CRTC decisions that are starting to do serious harm to the digital media, film and television industries in Toronto, and it must do it immediately.