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News Analysis Mar 28, 2022 5:14 PM EST

Poilievre calls for defunding of CBC at rally

Conservative leadership candidate and veteran MP Pierre Poilievre led a chant at a rally on Monday calling for the defunding of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. (Photo: Beth Baisch)

Poilievre calls for defunding of CBC at rally
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

Conservative leadership candidate and veteran MP Pierre Poilievre led a chant at a rally on Monday calling for the defunding of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation.

The chant came from a campaign rally in Kitchener, Ontario. Video of the chant was posted by True North's Andrew Lawton.

Poilievre's call to defund the CBC is one that has been made by other Conservative Party leaders and hopefuls, including by former leader Erin O'Toole, who famously called for the Crown broadcaster to be defunded while campaigning for the party's leadership.

O'Toole would later say in his mandate as leader that the Party would review the CBC to "assess the viability of refocusing the service on a public interest model like that of PBS in the United States, ensuring that it no longer competes with private Canadian broadcasters and digital providers."

Rhetoric changed from defunding the CBC to "modernizing" the CBC.

In 2016, then-leader Andrew Scheer said he would axe the news division of CBC. He has since been a vocal advocate of defunding the CBC entirely, writing in a statement that "Canadians are fed up with the CBC’s radical left-wing agenda. There are also concerns that CBC’s online news presence is undermining the viability of Canadian print and online media, reducing the diversity of voices available to Canadians."

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