Friday, 9 December 2011

What's next for the public broadcaste​r?

I am a Liberal. I look to the political legacies of great Prime Ministers like Laurier, Pearson, Trudeau, and Chretien. So make no mistake when I say this; I have thought it through. It is time to for the Government of Canada to sell the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; otherwise known as the CBC.

Canadians must move away from the simple left v. right dynamic of supporting a public broadcaster. It cannot be a question of Conservatives (or conservatives) disliking a perceived bias of the network. Nor can it be a knee jerk reaction of everyone else to defend the status quo on the CBC.
When we discuss the CBC there a few important questions to address. First; who is the CBC accountable to?

In recent years the answer has been no one. The Harper Government under Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore has only increased the CBC's budget while cutting elsewhere in the department despite increasing scrutiny and criticism of how the CBC spends public funds.

Where does the CBC spend your money?

Good question. Unfortunately no one is really publicly saying. The CBC feels these files are confidential. The opposition seems to agree. Ask yourself if you really see logic in a Crown Corporation actually defending its secretive practices.

Do we get our money's worth?

This one is debatable. We know the CBC receives approximately $1.1 billion from the Canadian public. I watch Being Erica. Its a good show. Its also being cancelled due to an expanding budget that the network cannot keep up with. You know who has a larger budget? CTV. Global. CityTV. You name it. They can all afford to support such a program.

Which leads into our final question. Would the CBC be more successful as a private network?

I believe so. As a private enterprise they would have constant stable funding. They would have access to free market advertising and programming. And frankly; they would get Quebecor off their backs.

I understand that people have concerns about the Government selling the CBC. Notably I've heard about "Americanization". Frankly folks; it is illegal for an American to own a Canadian broadcaster. And I would look at distinctly Canadian broadcasters like CTV and City for guidance on whether privately owned broadcaster must capitulate to American interests.

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