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Do Canadians just not want the CBC anymore?

SATURDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — Will the CBC’s pain ever end, or will it quietly bleed out and fade away?

This week, CBC president and CEO Hubert Lacroix announced a five-year plan that will cut between 1,000 and 1,500 more jobs by 2020.

Too much news?

Too much news?

But that’s good news, he said, because it will provide CBC with the stability it needs in order to survive. It’s part of a shift toward a leaner, meaner Mother Corp that will focus on a mobile-device audience.

“You’re going to see us lead with mobility and digital,” Lacroix was reported as saying.

This will sound familiar to anyone who has lived through corporate job cuts clothed in redesigned strategic plans. The common line is that job cuts are good because they preserve the jobs that remain.

It was only in April that the CBC cut 657 jobs. Anyone working for the CBC must surely wonder from day to day whether he or she will have a job by tomorrow.

Maybe Lacroix is right. Maybe the CBC is in need of some serious changes. The many nightly news television shows are valued by news junkies in order to get regional perspectives, but maybe we can’t afford them any more, at least not all of them.

And, maybe we can do with fewer documentaries.

Sure we can. But are these cuts really being driven by a loss of loyalty from the CBC’s traditional audiences, or by the federal government’s determination to reduce funding?

Last year, the feds decided to take away $115 million in funding over three years. The April job cuts were an attempt to cut $130 million this year in order to keep the CBC’s head above water.

If Canadians truly don’t want to pay for the CBC any more, if they’d rather put their tax dollars into other things, OK. But the Harper government has been hitting the CBC particularly hard.

Whether that reflects the wishes of Canadians is very much open to question.

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About Mel Rothenburger (6701 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

8 Comments on Do Canadians just not want the CBC anymore?

  1. Carole Gilis // June 29, 2014 at 9:22 AM // Reply

    I want the CBC. It has been a link among my family members scattered across the country. I value the radio programming, the documentaries, and original television that reflects us to ourselves and helps define us.

    That said, I’m not sure what more I should do. I donate money to Friends of the CBC, I voted against Steven Harper and his disregard and destructive plans for the CBC, I promote CBC to my friends, I tell pollsters that I would be willing to pay higher taxes, and I write letters to my MP. How else can I show my opposition to its dismantling?

    • Can subscribe to CBC/RDI online news service if that’s how you read the news. Also gives you access to a live stream of the channel (in cbc or rdi apps) can’t remember off the top of my head, but I think it was 5 or 10 dollars a month.
      Plus make sure you download the apps they make for major events (like the sochi app or right now the fifa app) the apps are free, incredibly well made and give you everything you need to experience the games in English or French.

      They’re making good on their promise of “mobility and digital”, but its wasted effort if no one uses it.

  2. The CBC does not pander to the partisan views of the Conservative Party (or any party), and therefore is a thorn in the side of Harper’s government. Now more than ever we need neutral, objective reporting. I would be happy to pay more taxes to keep the current level of service, if that’s what’s required. Our collective apathy is enabling government to dismantle the institutions which made this country great. Let’s speak up before it’s too late.

  3. Lyman Duff // June 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM // Reply

    Do not forget that the CBC’s current president is a conservative hack. The rest matters none.
    Long live the CBC.

  4. Pierce graham // June 28, 2014 at 8:43 AM // Reply

    Cbc is the most valuable asset in Canadian culture. do not allow Harper to kill it or further maim it!

  5. Shirley Sanderson // June 28, 2014 at 8:06 AM // Reply

    Canadians love the CBC, it’s the voice of Canada and an integral arm of the democracy we enjoy. To have the CBC free-weilding about with what they say, along with the Supreme Court of Canada, is anti productive for the Conservative agenda. Without the voice of the CBC, we’re Americans.

  6. Lawrence Beaton // June 28, 2014 at 7:19 AM // Reply

    I congratulate the CBC for the excellent work that it does. Keep up the good work, especially at the local level. Great work and reporting from CBC Kamloops.

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