BUSINESS

'Free The CBC' Ads Calling On Feds To Stop Political Interference Won't Air On CBC

07/22/2013 12:49 EDT | Updated 07/22/2013 12:53 EDT

An ad campaign calling on the federal government to "free the CBC from political interference" rolls out Monday, but the public broadcaster itself won't run the advertisements, reports the Ottawa Citizen.

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, an "independent watchdog for Canadian programming," is lobbying against parts of the government's omnibus Bill C-60, passed in June, which give the Treasury Board a role in the CBC's contract negotiations.

“I’m a little surprised and disappointed that they wouldn’t take our money for the ads,” Ian Morrison, a spokesperson for FCB, told the Citizen.

“It proves our point a little bit about the nature of the problem.”

The broadcaster is not airing the ads to "maintain its neutrality" and, according to the Globe and Mail, has said it will share its concerns with the government privately, although its top anchor Peter Mansbridge expressed his frustration at FCB's message on Twitter in May.

"Insulted by suggestions by so called "Friends" that CBC journalists' day to day integrity is negotiable. Pathetic," he tweeted.

The campaign's video, released Monday, features a man peppering Prime Minister Stephen Harper with questions on topics like the "G20 abuses," "the F-35 boondoogle, and "now turning CBC into a state broadcaster" before being whisked away by two men and thrown into the trunk of a car.

The campaign's website states that the bill "gives Stephen Harper an unprecedented capacity to undermine the CBC’s editorial independence and turn our national public broadcaster into a government propaganda machine – a state broadcaster!"

The CBC must now "contend with more political interference than any public broadcaster in the free and democratic world," the website adds.

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