Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda and NDP Critic Charlie Angus were back sparring over fundraising yesterday during Question Period in the House of Commons. The exchange – in which Oda tries to make Angus' support the issue – went as follows:
Angus: Given the regulatory free ride the broadcasters already enjoy, why would she put the interests of the people who hold her fundraisers ahead of the needs of Canada's domestic television production sector?
Oda: Mr. Speaker, it amazes me that the critic does not understand that it is the CRTC that is having these hearings, not the Minister of Canadian Heritage. In fact, if he has a problem with legitimate fundraising, maybe he would like to return the money he received and his leader received from the artistic community.
Angus: Mr. Speaker, another swing and an ethical miss. If the heritage minister does not know the difference between receiving a donation from industry and having industry host fundraisers in her boardroom, then God help Canada's artistic sector. Let us get back to the point. She is dragging her feet on renewing the television fund. She is dragging her feet on the new media fund. She is dragging her feet on the video fund. Meanwhile, broadcasters have declared open season on Cancon. Why would she impose a television tax on viewers while doing nothing to promote domestic Canadian television content?
Oda: Mr. Speaker, obviously for that member, consistency is not important. He said that regarding fundraisers, a critic should not be receiving funds. As I just said, he himself has received funds from artists, photographers, creators and musicians. He would then support us in our movement. He would work positively on committee when it was working on broadcasting issues. In fact, instead of misleading the House and Canadians, he would recognize he has his work to do as well.