Culture, The CBC, and the CRTC

A majority of Canadians consider Canadian culture to be unique, worthy and critically in need of protection to survive.

Those views explain why Canadians generally hold favourable views towards cultural institutions—the CBC and the CRTC.

These and other the findings are catalogued in a comprehensive national survey of 1525 Canadians undertaken by the Angus Reid Institute.

Key Findings about the CBC
• The majority of Canadians (80%) hold an overall favourable view of the CBC. The survey found even those with Conservative Party leanings in the majority believe the pubcaster is doing a good job and is worth supporting.

• Those living in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, 55 years of age and over, women and university educated Canadians are the biggest fans of the CBC.

• Asked about the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, 54% expressed some concern compared to 35% who expressed little concern and 10% indicated they had not heard anything about it.

• Losing Hockey Night In Canada was of concern to 52% with 35% expressing no concern and 12% saying they had heard nothing about it.

• Close to 50% of those surveyed believe the CBC is substantially more expensive for taxpayers than it is. The CBC's 960M operating grant works out to be approximately $28 per capita.

• As high as 84% of those surveyed hold the view that Canada has a "unique" culture, a pattern showing little change over the past 20 years.

• Those 35+ profess a deep emotional attachment to Canada, whereas only half of their younger counterpart hold these same feelings.

• Canadians express overall favourable views of the CRTC, though with very little intensity of feeling at either end of the spectrum.

• Overall, perceptions of the CRTC do not vary greatly along generational lines or across educational or income strata.

• Conservative Party supporters were only narrowly positive in their overall view of the CRTC (56% versus 44%) whereas the favourability gap is over 20 points in the case of NDP supporters and over 30  for Liberals.

• Those who see protective measures as essential for Canadian culture’s survival endorse the CRTC and those who take the view that the culture would survive without protection tilt towards an unfavourable view.

• Canadians attach a high priority to the regulator's mandate to ensure a local broadcast presence in Canadian communities with a full majority (53%) saying they do a “good job” in this area against only 26% who say they do a “poor job” (21% were unsure).

• As for the Canadian content requirements, the survey finds Canadians attach considerable importance to this area with half tagging it as one of the Commission's top prioritites.

• The CRTC’s perceived relevance varies by views on the necessity of cultural protection – those most convinced of its necessity attach higher relevance to the CRTC.

• 56% of Canadians surveyed took the view that online media should not be subject to the same types of CRTC regulations as traditional media, while a large minority of 44% took the opposing view that the Commission should regulate online media in the same way it regulates traditional media.

— View a summary of the Angus Reid survey here, and a deeper statistical analysis as a PDF file here

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