24 March 2016

A long overdue budget break for the CBC

 Of all the items in the new federal budget, the one that jumped out at me, and caused a whoop of delight, was the $675-million over five years of new investment in the CBC. For years, Mother Corp has been increasingly starved of funds—finally some much-needed relief.

The October election illustrated yet again the need for an independent voice in the mass media. The daily press, despite being treated with contempt for years by Stephen Harper, overwhelmingly supported re-electing his government. Their duty to their corporate masters reduced them to an unseemly masochism. The CBC is the only truly independent mass medium in the country—the others answer to and are the property of media barons.

But the struggle is far from over. The current CBC Board of Directors is stacked with Stephen Harper's partisan appointees. Nine of the eleven directors, including President and CEO Hubert Lacroix, have contributed to the Conservative Party. The Board must be reformed into a merit-based, non-partisan body.

The watchdog Friends of Canadian Broadcasting has vowed to "make sure that the government fulfills all three of its CBC promises—new funding, meaningful consultation and governance reform." I wish them luck and will continue to support them, and in the meantime rejoice for a revitalized public broadcaster.


  1. Yes great news. Hopefully the next move will include developing some in house ability to edit and not seek the low hanging sensational fruit news. This is our national broadcaster not our state broadcaster. Since the last election the tone has been decidedly conservative. A rethink of the talent on air might include some return to emphasis on journalism. All that might pretty well eat up the funding increase. A long road back to pre conservative respectability.

  2. I must agree, the recent tone of CBC TV news has been decidedly Conservative since the election. I refuse to watch and listen to the pop-eyed apolplectic face of Andrew Coyne on the panel skits anymore. Mansbridge, the very lightweight thinker that he is, nods sagely at Coyne's ridiculous outbursts. And the other panelists hardly get a look in. Not good enough, Reform needed.