CBC is reeling from a $115 million annual reduction in funding from the federal government. A cable tax seems an easy target for the cable and satellite companies to attack and the media would pile on, since no one likes a new (or old) tax. The cable companies and the media might hate the idea but what do average Canadians think about paying a little bit more for better quality Canadian TV programming?
What's the solution to the CBC dilemma? Maybe what needs to be done is that the CBC, which has mutated over time into a multi-platform mega corporation, should be divided into semi-autonomous parts. By breaking the CBC into smaller, tighter organizations (but still associated with the whole) it might actually eliminate a lot of bureaucracy.
So no more hockey for the CBC. For 60 years the mother corp has been permitted to blow millions of tax dollars providing the nation with this redundant subsidized "service" anyway, a more-than-half-century absurdity whose bluff is only now being called. Far from being a stirring symbol of CBC success, Hockey Night in Canada has long been the single most wasteful monument to the network's fundamentally confused mandate.
I am not happy with the cuts to the National Film Board (NFB), CBC and Telefim. It's culturally dumb. It's economically dumb. The cuts will only mean less jobs for the talented people working in this industry. It's time the government's support for telling our stories was not viewed as some fluffy option.
Why has the federal government targeted the CBC, Telefilm and the National Film Board? The only logical answer is that these cuts are purely political and ideological. Ottawa's politicians must stop using the arts as a political football and realize that culture is a profitable industry comparable to any other.
In this budget, we're seeing steep cuts to precisely those areas where the greatest opportunities for growth and evolution reside -- regional services, engaging documentary production, in-depth reporting, and comprehensive news gathering. At Reimagine CBC, we're using this moment as an opportunity for creative intervention.
Apart from the CBC's penchant for secrecy on how it spends the $1.1 billion of taxpayers' money it gets from the government, what I find unacceptable and disgraceful, is the CBC bidding on programs that the private sector would run, but can't match CBC funding which is given to them, rather than earned by them.