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the national cbc

The revamped show will launch on Oct. 30.
Rick Salutin is a journalist, novelist, playwright and critic who's made a writer's living in and around Toronto for some 40 years. He recently wrote a column about Peter Mansbridge, anchor of CBC's flagship news program The National. It wasn't a flattering column.
I went to the Toronto Star's vapid "Whither the CBC" discussion this week. Apparently, the corporation's enemies are right-wing conservatives who ask "Why should CBC get more than $1-billion a year in public money?" Unfortunately, in 2012, it's a valid question, not entirely based on politics and/or greed.
Taking such a drastic step -- killing the CBC's once-revered flagship program -- will signal to the world, the country and CBC employees in all departments that there's a new day, a new public broadcaster in Canada. This would be better than cutting innovate shows like Connect with Mark Kelley and Dispatches.
In the face of this threat, like any other organization struggling to survive, the CBC should be producing excellence. Instead, it keeps pumping out notably mediocre entertainment. And The National, rather than getting better and better at informing and enlightening Canadians, which is what it's supposed to do, keeps screwing up.
With a federal budget coming down in just three weeks, Peter Mansbridge asks the Bottom Line panelists, "What's so bad about running a deficit?" Nearly 20 minutes later, I still haven't a clue. Only bright point is that Mansbridge suddenly becomes a lot more human now he can talk to real people.
The CBC would be wise to "hike up the charm offensive" and "embrace disclosure" in its simmering battle over access to information