It is time to sell off some of the CBC

Back in late December of last year, I asked: “Is it time to get rid of the CBC?

My answer was, and remains, a bit complicated but, essentially, I think that what passes for news and entertainment on CBC Television and on its on-line services needs to be defunded, now, and sold off.


Well, just as one example: this story …

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… seems to me to be all the proof that anyone needs to demonstrate that the CBC News service is a colossal waste of money. I don’t know who Lucas Powers is, his bio says that he’s a “senior writer,” whatever that is, and it says that he “is a Toronto-based reporter and writer. He’s reported for CBC News from across Canada.”Mr Powers says that while Andrew Scheer’s proposed tax cuts “would affect all Canadians who pay income tax, that’s actually about two-thirds of tax filers. In 2017, more than nine million of the nearly 28 million tax filers had no federal income tax liability, according to the Canada Revenue Agency …[and] … An example of a truly universal policy was the Harper government’s move to cut the GST rate from seven to five per cent after the 2006 federal election. Those savings were passed on to all Canadian consumers, whether they paid any income tax or not.” In other words, Scheer’s “universal tax cut” isn’t universal if you don’t pay taxes. I’m sorry, that but that goes beyond ‘picking the fly sh!t out of the pepper‘ as we used to say in the Army, and it crosses the line into the terminally bloody stupid zone.

This, alone, it seems to me, is sufficient evidence to say that Canada doesn’t need a publicly funded news agency that delivers adolescent claptrap. Technically, of course, he’s correct … “universal” means that everyone is covered and, clearly, children who don’t file tax returns don’t benefit, directly, do they? But going much beyond that … it’s pure, bloody rubbish!

I continue to believe that there is a real, valid “need,” a national requirement, for a national, over the air, radio broadcasting service, with a series of local news service providers and a national news service provider, to give almost all Canadians news, weather and entertainment, especially those living or working in rural and remote areas where private broadcasting might not be profitable. The news services could be some combination of the Canadian Press for national and regional news and small, local, new-rooms, for community news; the latter has been a traditional breeding-ground for broadcast journalists. I suspect that no private broadcasters could provide that 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week coverage all across Canada, so a publicly funded, over-the-air, radio broadcasting service is still required.

I also believe that we need an international radio (over the air and internet-based) radio service ~ something akin to the BBC’s World Service and Deutsche Welle. It, too, I think, must be publicly funded.

What we don’t need and what we, taxpayers do not need to pay for and should stop funding, right now, is the CBC‘s over-the-air and cable TV services, all of them, and it’s online news services, all of them, too.

Canadians make some very good TV ~ I’ve been watching “The Bletchly Circle: San Franciso” which was produced in Canada using many Canadian actors and locations and film crews and so on. It’s first-rate entertainment, but it’s not a CBC production. Canadian film and TV producers, actors, directors and crews are all good. The CBC is not so good. CBC News is less than just “not so good.” Canadian also produce some good news programmes, the CBC is not needed. I’m not talking about bias, just about the need for publicly funded TV and on-line news. The market is well served without the CBC.

There are many, many expensive promises out there, including Justin Trudeau’s implied promise to keep funding the CBC. The sale of the CBC’s TV broadcasting licences and the sale of its production facilities would help to pay for some of them.

Published by Ted Campbell

Old, retired Canadian soldier, Conservative ~ socially moderate, but a fiscal hawk. A husband, father and grandfather. Published material is posted under the "Fair Dealing" provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act for the purposes of research, private study and education.

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