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MP seeks transparency in CBC

Rathgeber tables private member's bill

By: By Megan Sarrazin

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Nov 07, 2012 06:00 am

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St. Albert’s federal representative is fighting for more transparency in the CBC.

Edmonton-St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber introduced private member’s bill C-461, the CBC and Public Service Disclosure Transparency Act, in the House of Commons Monday. The bill calls for more openness of the government’s national broadcaster.

“I am pleased to undertake this initiative on behalf of the Canadian public in the interest of providing meaningful disclosure to taxpayers through enhanced access to information,” Rathgeber said in a statement.

Rathgeber has previously refused to speak directly with the St. Albert Gazette. He did not return phone calls.

The bill seeks to amend a clause in the Access to Information Act allowing the CBC to deny access requests pertaining to its programming, creative or journalistic activities, including salaries and sources.

If the amendment is accepted, the CBC will be tasked with proving to the information commissioner that a denial is warranted based on the information disclosure having a negative impact on the corporation.

Rathgeber’s statement says the proposal extends beyond just the CBC to include senior management in the federal public sector, who could be forced to share their salaries and expenses with taxpayers.

Rathgeber stated in a blog post dated Nov. 8, 2011 that he does, in fact, like the CBC, although he questioned the corporation’s purpose.

“I favour continuation of the CBC, but on a charitable model rather than on a perpetual (subsidized) basis,” the post reads. “Rather than compelling every taxpayer to pay $69 towards the CBC, viewers could contribute whatever amount they like voluntarily.”


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