Scheer says he would axe CBC news division

Conservative leadership candidate Andrew Scheer suggested that if he were to become prime minister, he would axe the news division of CBC.

“I think taxpayers are very frustrated by how much the CBC costs,” Scheer said in an interview with Hamilton Community News. 

“I don’t know why this government is in the news business in this day and age with so many platforms with so many ways to disseminate information,” he told the paper, adding that,  the government has a “glaring” conflict operating the CBC.

Scheer was in Hamilton last night, and according to the community newspaper, he spoke to about 35 members of the Macdonald-Cartier Club at Carmen’s C Hotel. In his speech, Scheer took a swipe at rival candidate Kellie Leitch.

He called her idea to screen newcomers for “anti-Canadian values” an attempt at politics.

“It’s not authentic,” he told the audience. “Canadian values? I’ve never heard her articulate what those Canadian values are.”

Scheer is the latest candidate to reveal his distaste for the public broadcaster — a favourite theme of the Conservative base.

Leitch said that she would scrap the “bloated” CBC, but keep some of its emergency services. Leadership candidate Brad Trost wants to privatize the CBC and Maxime Bernier would kick the CBC out of the ad market.

Conservative leadership candidate Michael Chong is perhaps the only candidate to sing the broadcaster’s praises.

Chong said in an earlier statement to iPolitics that threats to dismantle the CBC are “another distraction from what we need to be focused on in this campaign and in 2019.” He said the CBC plays a “vital role in the unity of our country.”