The the House of Commons Heritage Committee has waded into the battle over proposed CBC cuts to regional programming, demanding the CRTC intervene to prevent any scale-back of local newscasts. Sources within the CRTC say they would like to take on the CBC, which, they believe, arrogantly brushed aside the CRTC’s licence renewal requirements to increase local programming. The heritage committee has been one of the most vocal supporters of supper-hour news shows. It called the corporation’s new president, Robert Rabinovitch, to its hearings this spring to pressure him into dropping the proposed cuts to newscasts. Wendy Lill, MP for Dartmouth NS and the NDP’s cultural critic, wanted to know how the CBC can cut local news shows when in January the commission stressed that the CBC should reintroduce regional weekend newscasts by the beginning of the second year of its new licence term. "Our regulator is giving us a pretty strong indication of what they believe is necessary to maintain a public broadcasting presence," Lill told the Heritage committee June 13. "At the same time, we are dealing with the CBC taking some very draconian steps in terms of that exact issue, which is local newscasts." Clifford Lincoln, a Liberal MP and former Quebec provincial cabinet minister who heads the committee, has written to CRTC chair Françoise Bertrand to ask the commission to push for the retention of one-hour newscasts. He said the MPs are not satisfied with the CBC’s compromise of 30-minute local shows and a half-hour national broadcast out of Vancouver. Lincoln told Bertrand that the committee is also calling on the federal government to expand and enhance its regional English and French television production capacity, and wants "adequate and stable funding" from the federal government to pay for the CBC to expand and enhance regional television production capacity. Lincoln asked Bertrand to review all recent CBC announcements relating to local programming. He also asked the CRTC to review the CBC’s English Television Transformation Plan to "determine if the plan respects the broadcasting licence of the CBC". The committee wants the CRTC to quickly report back its conclusions.