PM Steve Harper’s hatred for anything of benefit in the public domain has manifested itself through an intended assault on the CBC and its’ programming is unprecedented in our history.
Here from Press Progress is a sobering history of the CBC and an ananlysis of what is at risk.
Get used to a lot less CBC.
That’s a key takeaway from the public broadcaster’s new five-year plan that will see between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs eliminated by 2020 (on top of 657 staff already cut earlier this year).
No wonder CBC is slashing its total workforce by 25%: the board of the directors (all appointees of Stephen Harper, most of whom have contributed to the coffers of the Conservative Party) has seen CBC’s budget cut by a quarter of a billion dollars since 2012.
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting calls the cuts “a betrayal of the values of public broadcasting.” The Canadian Media Guild says this “scorched earth policy” will make it difficult for CBC “to deliver on its mandate” and “permanently change public broadcasting in Canada.”
Unlike private broadcasters, the CBC is governed by a mandate that strives to “be predominantly and distinctively Canadian, reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences” and ”contribute to shared national consciousness and identity.”
Much of this goes back to the findings of the 1951 Massey Commission report, which recommended that the CBC should aim “to avoid excessive commercialism and to encourage Canadian content and the use of Canadian talent” in order to focus on its main goal: telling the stories of Canadians to Canadians.
It’s those stories that knit a country together. And that’s really tough to do when you’re readying to cut back evening newscasts and shut down in-house production of documentaries altogether at a downsized public broadcaster.
Here are 7 ways CBC has helped build the Canada we know today — great viewing just in time for Canada Day!
7 ways CBC helped build the Canada we know today