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CAB urges Manley to address CTF funding crisis

Ottawa, - The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is urging Finance Minister John Manley to call a meeting with broadcast industry leaders as soon as possible to address the fall out resulting from the Federal Budget cut in funding to the Canadian Television Fund (CTF). Earlier this week, Manley indicated that he was considering a meeting with industry executives to discuss this issue.

"Canada's private broadcasters are disappointed by the status of the funding of the CTF, as the future of Canadian television programming hangs in the balance," said Glenn O'Farrell, CAB president and CEO.

"The Minister's willingness to listen to our industry's concerns is greatly appreciated and we urge him to proceed with a meeting with industry leaders next week to resolve this situation."

"The need for a meeting has only grown as a result of no new funding and the announcement by the CTF last Friday implying that the limited funding will leave a number of important Canadian programs sidelined," added O'Farrell.

He called on the government to address the need for new multi-year funding strategies in order to avoid the tradition of ad hoc annual appropriations that have serious negative implications on the development of strong indigenous Canadian programming.

"In a letter sent to Minister Manley, prior to the budget, the CAB argued repeatedly not only for the renewal of the CTF at its $100 million level, but also for the establishment of a long-term funding strategy for Canadian television programming," said O'Farrell.

"Specifically, Canada's private broadcasters are calling on Minister Manley to continue to champion Canadian culture and to strike a Joint Finance and Canadian Heritage Task Force to work with our industry to develop a new multi-year funding model for television program financing."

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