Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Harper Edges Closer To His Goal

That goal would be the destruction of the CBC, an ideological (i.e., publicly-funded) and political (Terry Milewski's fearless journalism) thorn in Dear Leader's side.
A Senate committee that spent 18 months studying the CBC and its place in the media landscape is recommending the public broadcaster explore alternative funding models, shake up its governance structure, be more transparent in its operations and air more amateur sports and high-quality arts.
A closer examination reveals that it is, in fact, a blueprint for eradicating the public broadcaster:
The senators, who travelled to England to study the BBC’s funding models and programming strategy, suggested a so-called “external superfund” be created by setting aside a portion of the CBC’s funding to pay for Canadian content “such as Canadian history and nature documentaries and high-quality comedy and drama, which could then be broadcast on CBC/Radio-Canada.”

The Friends of Canadian Broadcasting watchdog group called that proposal part of “a thinly disguised cut to CBC’s parliamentary grant that could never be implemented without a major contraction of the services that our national public broadcaster offers to Canadians every day.”
But it doesn't stop there. Another Trojan horse lurks in the report:
The Senate’s communications committee is also calling on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to find new ways to fund its operations in order to limit the amount of funding it receives from the federal government.

The committee rejected the idea of stable, multi-year funding for the Crown corporation, saying funding is based on “the fiscal demands of the federal government.”

Senators raised the possibility of using the PBS funding model — where viewers donate money or pay for sponsorships of programs — or charging a license fee to every home in the country with a television, which is how the BBC receives some of its funds.

“Even though it’s more subtle, this is proposing to cut CBC’s budget,” said Ian Morrison of the advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
To further erode public confidence in the broadcaster, the report seeks to sow dissension:
There were also testy exchanges between senators and CBC president Hubert Lacroix during his two appearances before the committee, and threats the committee would use its parliamentary powers to force the CBC to hand over the salaries of Mansbridge and others.
And lest we forget,
The Senate report also refers to scandals involving former radio host Jian Ghomeshi and business correspondent Amanda Lang in calling for stricter policies to prevent problems rather than having to react when they become public.
Senator Art Eggleton, whose recommendations were not included in the report, calls the report a missed opportunity,
blaming Conservative senators for spending “too much time denouncing the CBC and not enough on a way forward.”

Sen. Art Eggleton rejected some of the recommendations and says the government should increase funding to the CBC by almost one-fifth.

Eggleton said the government should spend about $40 per capita on the CBC, above the $33 per capita the report notes the broadcaster received in 2011, which would be half of what other industrialized nations spend on their public broadcaster.

He also said the funding should be adjusted to inflation and help the CBC eliminate commercial advertising.
The CBC itself weighed in, expressing its disappointment with the report:
"Frankly, we were hoping for more," said spokeswoman Alexandra Fortier, manager of media relations and issues management.

"CBC/Radio-Canada provided senators with detailed information on audience patterns, broadcasting trends, budgets, and strategies for addressing the challenges of the future," Fortier said. "It explained what it does to maximize the efficiency of its operations, and its accountability to Canadians."

"This report fails to propose constructive suggestions to address any of the real challenges facing the broadcasting system," said Fortier, who until a few months ago worked as the director of communications to Conservative minister Jason Kenney.
I suspect many Canadians will share the public broadcaster's disappointment.


  1. It is very disturbing what King Harper is doing with regard to CBC. He wanted to close CBC the day he became P.M. I understand he has cut the CBC funding by $200 million. He also wanted to fund Sun News. Thank God that sun has set on Sun News. It is probable that P.M.O was behind Evan Solomon's firing as Solomon was quite objective when interviewing Cons on his program.

    1. Sun News TV being one of his chief propaganda outlets, LD, I am sure Harper was much pained by its demise. Now he has to find his ranting aggrieved white guys elsewhere, I guess.