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Musk responds over Twitter labeling Canada“s public broadcaster “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

Twitter owner Elon Musk on Monday responded to Canada’s public broadcaster saying it will pause activities on the social media website, a spat that has also drawn in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Conservative rival Pierre Poilievre.

On Sunday, some CBC Twitter feeds started carrying the label “government-funded Media”. 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.

The broadcaster also said advertising helps cover its costs across all platforms.

“Just trying to be accurate. Would they be ok if we said 70% govt funded?” Musk tweeted.

Earlier on Monday Trudeau accused Poilievre of enlisting U.S. billionaires to attack Canada’s public broadcaster, after Poilievre prodded 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”.

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”.

Speaking to reporters, 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 its content.

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