The Conservative Government of Canada is secretly taking over the CBC
As Canadians we respect our crown corporations. We take pride in owning our own national and provincial services such as Canada post, Via Rail and Hydro Quebec. Owning these companies ourselves ensures we pay bottom dollar for high quality services we all need.
The Canadian Broadcast Corporation is no exception. The publicly funded broadcaster has been around for more than seventy-five years providing us with uniquely Canadian content, news and entertainment. Despite the fact that we pay roughly a billion dollars a year to keep it running, nearly 70% of Canadians wish to see its funding increased or remain the same. Only 12% of us wish to see it defunded completely.
Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government cut the CBC’s budget by 10% with their first majority budget last year. It’s long believed that the conservative government desires to fully privatize the CBC, after all privatization is part of their small government ideology. Harper knows the public wouldn’t stand for a privately owned CBC, but I’m afraid what they’re doing instead could be much worse.
The Harper government has been quietly seizing greater control of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and has been doing so since it was first elected. Since 2006, Harper has been stacking the CBC board of directors with conservative supporters.
Currently, all eleven board members began serving since Harper’s first election victory and according to the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting; eight of them have made political donations to the Conservative Party.
It gets worse; Harper has revealed his latest omnibus budget bill (Bill C-60). Deep inside the bill is a provision giving the Conservative Government new powers to direct how the CBC spends the 80% of its budget dedicated to its labor costs, including its vast amount of journalists.
By giving the government complete control over the wages and working conditions of all CBC journalists and staff, Harper becomes the definitive boss of every CBC employee. After nearly eighty years, Canada’s public broadcaster is in serious danger of becoming the Conservative’s state broadcaster.
“This is an outrageous and unnecessary violation of the principle of public broadcasting,” said Carmel Smyth, national president of the Canadian Media Guild.
The CBC along with every other crown corporation has always been kept at an arm’s length of the federal government. While the directors and the amount of funding is decided upon by the governing party, wages, budgets, working conditions and company direction is not.
The CBC provides the last independent news service in Canada. By independent, I’m referring to the CBC not being part of the corporate media. They’re among the last news services with real investigative journalism in the country and they do not have to answer to corporate sponsors in the same fashion as CTV or Global.
The Harper Government is defending their actions by stating the move was meant to help the government rein in spending at Crown corporations that receive taxpayer funds. This asinine response couldn’t be further from the truth. The directors of crown corporations know ahead of time what their available funds will be, how they choose to budget it is up to them.
Marc-Philippe Laurin, the Canadian Media Guild’s president at the CBC wasn’t buying it either “Make no mistake; this is not about the money. The Conservative government is effectively modifying the Broadcasting Act to inject itself into decisions such as staffing that have a major impact on everything that’s done at the CBC.”
It’s as if Harper doesn’t understand, but more likely doesn’t care to understand that the federal government doesn’t own the CBC, Canadians do. The CBC is publicly owned, but what Harper is on the way to achieving is turning Canada’s voice into his own.
For more information, please check out the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting website and sign their petition by clicking on the image below. This is not an issue we can afford to turn our backs on, Harper’s government has moved to limit debate of Bill C-60 in the House of Commons and time is running out.
Omygod you are hilarious – in the US the media is torturing that poor Lefty Obama guy and they are terrible for doing that and calling it Scandal. But the CBC and their ilk are fine in Canada because they are after the Right. What hypocrits you people are.
Give me an example of how the CBC is going after the right…
For one, Obama is a pretty sad excuse for a “lefty.” Second, its not necessarily the media going after Obama because he’s a Democrat that upsets people, but the fact that the media goes after Obama aggressively over things that his predecessor George Bush did quite regularly without major scandals. I actually don’t have anything against what is happening to Obama, as government officials should always be held accountable. But in this case, the media is right in going at Obama for all the wrong reasons. Mainstream American media is not about news and accountability, but about sensationalism and selling something.
all the show you mention, can be done just as easily by a private broadcaster, although some of them are not worth doing, but that’s a personal opinion. As for journalism give me a break. The CBC journalists are just part of an incestuous press brigade that doesn’t really break new stories or report anything. The chase each other around over the flavour of the day story and then repair to the bar for another drink. Journalism in this country is a joke and independant journalist is an oxymoron.
Here’s what one newspaper owner had to say about them,
“My experience with journalists authorizes me to record that a very large number of them are ignorant, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest, and inadequately supervised. The ‘profession’ is heavily cluttered with abrasive youngsters who substitute ‘commitment’ for insight, and to a lesser extent, with aged hacks toiling through a miasma of mounting decrepitude. Alcoholism is endemic in both groups.”
There are no real journalists in Canada anymore and the CBC types sucking on the public teat are the worst of them. At least in the private sector, it’s not my tax dollars being used to encourage mediocrity!
Those shows I mention wouldn’t be done in the private sector, there is not enough profit in a small Canadian market that would warrant producing them. haven’t you ever wondered why there is so little Canadian content on Global or CTV?
The CBC is the only place where you can still find investigative journalism. Since you come down so hard on them I’ll just presume you don’t watch them. I don’t see how you’re going to convince me otherwise simply by posting the opinion of a random newspaper owner.
Should have read a billion plus bucks – same idea though.
I don’t want the Conservatives to take over the CBC.
I’d rather they save us a million plus bucks and get rid of it.
It’s only an outlet for the Left and the union bullys who demand you join before you work. And then neither group will tell you what they spent your money on.
With all the media today, who needs a state supported broadcaster
anyway? They are only using our tax dollars to compete with folks who spend their own money and rise and fall on providing quality programming, that advertisers will support. If the CBC is to continue to exist it should be privatized and not just a toy for the left wing socialist. Maggie Thatcher had it right they are great at spending until they run out of other people’s money.
Margaret Thatcher never privatized the BBC did she? If you think the CBC is an outlet for the left,then how do you explain heartland or Don Cherry? Or shows like the Air Farce and 22 Minutes insulting liberals every chance they got when they were in power.
Privatizing the CBC would mean an end to independent journalism and the end to Canadian culture on television. A privatized CBC would mean a lot less Canadian shows and more American ones. they are cheaper to buy and more profitable. I thought you conservatives like to conserve your culture?
With all the services the CBC provides, a billion dollars is small drop in the pond for one of the wealthiest countries on earth.You spend more money at McDonalds for one meal than you do funding the CBC.