At a time when our consumption of the news is at an all-time high, the very institutions at the heart of our news media are in crisis -- and demanding the attention of our political leaders. Postmedia combined newsrooms in Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in a move that not only saw many talented and dedicated journalists pushed out the door, but also saw distinctive voices quieted.
These comments, these opinions, by CBC journalists unequivocally violate CBC's long-standing, public and incredibly clearly-written policy statement that its journalists and the organization itself must not take any positions on issues in the public life of the country. CBC's senior news managers need to get serious about this.
I watched CBC TV's coverage of Remembrance Day on Parliament Hill Wednesday. Several vets in their late 80s and early 90s told some of their stories. But in a few years, millions of untold stories about our fathers, grandfathers or great grandfathers, will be gone. And simply because we didn't ask to hear them.
In light of recent announcements that the current government plans to sell off the CBC buildings across this land -- the very art of cultural commentary might not be long for this nation. As Harper slowly dismantles every political and cultural institution intrinsic to the Canadian way of life I wonder -- will the future Joni Mitchells, Leonard Cohens and Neil Youngs be left to fend for themselves?
My Internship in Canada focuses on the experiences of Souverain Pascal, recently arrived from Haiti on a mission to secure an internship in Canadian federal politics. Souverain receives a single response from Independent Member of Parliament, Steve Guibord. Souverain is thrust into the deep end when MP Guibord -- through a series of unlikely and surprising events -- holds the deciding vote in whether Canada will send troops to support the looming war.
In Canada, arts and culture are at a crossroads. They can either move forward or backward, depending on the choices we make. For them to move forward, it will be more than ever necessary for the federal government to play a leading role. The Liberals, under Justin Trudeau's leadership, are determined to make Canada, more than ever, a place where cultural expression is created and enjoyed whatever its roots, foreign or domestic.
Some would say, so what, it's the best the CBC can do in an era of shrinking budgets and audience fragmentation. Besides, that's what the audience wants. True, people love sports but has CBC ever asked the audience if all the sports programming could be found on other channels, would they prefer a CBC focused more on quality drama and entertainment?
Canada does not follow the U.S. in spending astronomical amounts of funds to develop and purchase weapons and use them in wars. Our health care expense is way lower than that of the U.S. The U.S. spends about 17 per cent of its GDP on health care, whereas the Canada medical share is around 11 per cent. So where has the Canadian government's money gone?
Canadians of all political stripes have voiced their overwhelming support for the public broadcaster. But the voices of advocates are all but absent from mainstream media. Unless the parties themselves and their leaders are prepared to engage in open, competitive debate on the future of our public broadcaster -- our single most important cultural institution -- there is no hope of anything more than the minimal measures of support being offered in the Liberal and NDP platforms from being realized. And the Conservatives will continue to dream of dismantling the institution which has for generations appealed to our better angels, and done so much to make us who we are.
We have seen how "Islamicism" has become a convenient tool for the government to employ a more aggressive foreign policy. Although it's easy for Canadian Muslims to lay blame on the Conservatives and Stephen Harper for such discriminatory and exploitative tactics (and doing so would be justifiable), it would also be disingenuous. The current situation is simply a culmination of years of political apathy from the Muslim community whose voter turnout is consistently below the national average.