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Trudeau, rival clash over Twitter labeling CBC “government funded“


Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during an announcement at the offices of telecommunications firm Ericsson Canada in Kanata, Ontario, Canada April 17, 2023. REUTERS/Lars Hagberg

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday accused Conservative rival Pierre Poilievre of enlisting U.S. billionaires to attack Canada’s public broadcaster, after Poilievre prodded Twitter owner Elon Musk to label the CBC “government-funded.”

Poilievre said on Twitter last week that he had written to Musk to request that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation be labeled “accurately”. On Sunday, some CBC Twitter feeds started carrying the label “government-funded Media”.

Poilievre, who took over the party last year and is campaigning to defund the CBC, celebrated the decision, saying on Twitter that “now people know that it is Trudeau propaganda, not news”.

CBC replied that it is not government funded, but is “publicly funded through a parliamentary appropriation that is voted upon by all Members of Parliament.”

“Our journalism is impartial and independent. To suggest otherwise is untrue. That is why we are pausing our activities on @Twitter,” the CBC said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Trudeau said: “Attacking this Canadian institution, attacking the culture and local content that is so important to so many Canadians, really indicates the values and the approach that Mr. Poilievre is putting forward.

“In order to attack this institution that is important for many, many Canadians, he runs to American billionaires, the tech giants that they continue to defend.”

Trudeau’s minority government is supported by the left-leaning New Democrats and an election is not officially due until 2025.

Last week, U.S. broadcaster National Public Radio said it will no longer post content to its 52 official Twitter feeds in protest against a label by the social media platform that implies government involvement in the its content.

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