Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is calling on Twitter to list all accounts owned by the CBC as being government-funded media.
“I believe that Twitter should apply the Government-funded Media label to the CBC’s various news-related accounts, including @CBC, @CBCNews and @CBCAlerts,” wrote Poilievre in a letter addressed to the tech giant.
“Twitter’s Platform Use Guidelines refer to a source that describes the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (the “CBC”) as a publicly-funded broadcaster.”
In the letter, Poilievre links the CBC’s 2020-2021 annual report showing the broadcaster received nearly $1.24 billion in public funding.
Twitter’s Platform Use Guidelines describe “Government-funded Media” as outlets where the government provides some or all of the outlet’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.
“As a result, and in the interest of transparency, I believe that Twitter should apply the Government-funded Media label to the CBC’s various news-related accounts,” wrote Poilievre.
Twitter made waves on the weekend by applying the label to several BBC properties. While BBC is funded by mandatory license fees, CBC is directly subsidized by the government.
As a core promise of his leadership campaign, Poilievre promised that he would defund the CBC.
In February, Poilievre accused CBC president Catherine Tait of smearing his name and called the broadcaster openly biased.
“We need to go around the CBC and other Liberal pamphleteers, and get our message out to millions of Canadians,” Poilieivre wrote in a fundraising email. “That’s why I need your help.”
Poilievre was referring to a recent interview between Tait and The Globe and Mail, where Tait said Canada’s state broadcaster is under fire.
“There’s a lot of CBC bashing going on – somewhat stoked by the Leader of the Opposition,” said Tait. “I think they feel that CBC is a mouthpiece for the Liberal government.”