10/07/2015 07:12 EDT | Updated 10/07/2016 05:12 EDT

Liberals: CBC Mandate Would Include Promoting, Distributing Canadian Films

TORONTO — The Liberals have promised to undo Conservative funding cuts to the CBC but that money comes with some strings attached.

At a debate on the future of the arts industry, Liberal incumbent Stephane Dion said the party would temporarily add promoting and distributing Canadian feature films to the public broadcaster's mandate.

Dion said the CBC's role as a platform for Canadian arts and culture is "paramount," something he said was made clear during recent consultations.

"The role all witnesses at the hearings wanted the CBC to play in the distribution and marketing of Canadian feature films is something we'll put in the mandate of the CBC — not only the amount of money but we'll negotiate a mandate of five years," he said.

"It will be independent after, we'll make sure that the board is not politicized."

Last month, the party vowed to provide the CBC with $150 million in additional annual funding — $35 million more per year than what was lost in cutbacks.

The NDP has pledged to reverse $115 million in cuts made by the Conservative government to the CBC.

New Democrat Andrew Cash said Wednesday his party wouldn't interfere with the CBC's mandate, saying the broadcaster's board of directors must remain independent.

Conservative Rick Dykstra pulled out hours before the debate, citing a scheduling conflict.

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