Brian questions Minister of Canadian Heritage on Proposed TV Tax

Broadcasting Industry

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the CRTC is currently reviewing a proposal by Canadian private broadcasters to create a new viewer tax on television. This is unacceptable. This can slap an additional $7 to every cable bill in this country. Canadians will not get better service, will not get better choice, and will not get better Canadian content. They will just have an extra bill at the end of the day. In fact, they are going to get nothing, zilch.

Will the minister kill this crazy TV tax right now?

Hon. Bev Oda (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the CRTC's deliberations are independent of the government. This minister will be monitoring those proceedings and we will act accordingly.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, when it is a bad idea, it does not have to be monitored, it can be stopped. This TV tax is another Conservative cash grab from ordinary Canadians.

Speaking of letting working people down, when will the government announce a new CRTC chair? We know that it has met and interviewed candidates and I know one of those candidates, Mr. Perrin Beatty, seems like the perfect partisan match. This is the same Perrin Beatty who opposes the federal accountability act and the same Perrin Beatty who did nothing for our public broadcasters as Liberals removed millions from their coffers.

Will the minister admit that Mr. Beatty is going to be the new czar of the Conservative TV tax?

Hon. Bev Oda (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, the government believes in accountability and transparency. That is why we will allow the CRTC to do its job. That is why we wanted a proper appointments process, which the opposition parties did not support. We will, in an accountable manner, appoint a qualified CRTC chair as well as monitor the CRTC.

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