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CBC should focus on public affairs, not cooking, sports, game shows: Bernier

OTTAWA — Conservative leadership hopeful Maxime Bernier wants the CBC to refocus its mandate with fewer cooking shows, sporting events and Canadian knockoffs of popular U.S. programs.

The Quebec MP says the Crown corporation should stick to its mandate by upgrading public affairs programming, and not just from Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.

Bernier says the CBC should stop doing three-quarters of what it currently does — which private broadcasters already do — and concentrate on those areas that it's best suited to handle.

Bernier also suggests modifying the Broadcasting Act to get the CBC out of running advertising, moving towards the U.S. funding models of PBS or NPR, which are partly financed by public donations and foundations.

A Bernier-run Conservative government would cancel the $150 million annual boost to CBC funding introduced by the governing Liberals, bringing public financing for the network to around $1 billion.

Just before Bernier's announcement, fellow Tory leadership rival Brad Trost used Twitter to call for the broadcaster to be privatized.

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