The latest poll from the Keep It Canadian coalition reminds Canada's MPs that the way to voters' hearts is by opposing foreign ownership of Canadian media companies, especially in BC. According to the Harris-Decima survey released on Friday from Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), 67% of British Columbians are more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes increased foreign ownership, 5% more than the national average when compared against the poll released by the coalition in December. "This should send a powerful message to candidates seeking to become the new MP for Vancouver Quadra. There's no political upside for any candidate to support the sell-off of our media," says Wendy Sol, administrative VP for the CEP. The coalition revealed the survey results at the Vancouver Quadra candidates debate it was sponsoring. The results also showed that 67% of voters in BC believe broadcasting and communications are too important to our national security and cultural sovereignty to allow foreign control of Canadian companies in this sector, and 60% agree that it is important that the Canadian government work to maintain and build a culture and identity distinct from the US. Both of these values, respectively, are slightly higher than the national average response rates of 66% and 54% respectively to the same questions. "Protecting Canada's cultural sovereignty is a priority for voters, especially in BC where the film and television industry has been hard hit. Most Canadians want action from Ottawa to build a culture and identity that is distinct from the United States. We need more Canada on TV and at the movies," says Stephen Waddell, ACTRA national executive director. The coalition says awareness of this issue is particularly important right now as the federal government has established a panel to review limits to the share of Canadian media and telecommunications companies a foreign corporation can own. "Powerful lobbyists for the cable industry are at work right now, trying to persuade the federal government to allow Americans to buy them out. If they succeed, there's nothing to stop foreign companies from taking control of Canadian media and telecommunications too. And if we lose control of our media, we'll lose control of our culture," says Ian Morrison, spokesperson for the broadcast watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. In an interview with Canadian Communications Reports following the release of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage's February 28 report on the CBC, Morrison addressed the Conservative Government's perceived indifference to Canadian broadcasting. "We know that public broadcasting is popular," he said. "So why would the conservatives not move in the direction of public opinion? The only logic is they have some value that's at odds with majority public opinion. If they would like to cultivate new voters, one thing they would like to address is broadcasting." The data were gathered between November 15th and November 25th 2007 through Harris-Decima's weekly teleVox, the company's national omnibus survey. Results are based on a sample of 2,052 Canadians, and the corresponding margin of error is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. BC results are based on a sample of 250 British Columbians, and the corresponding margin of error is +/- 6.2%.