Stop the CBC bloodletting

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Something has to be done to stop Stephen Harper before he destroys the CBC. The recent cuts of  657 jobs aiming to trim another $130 million from the budget is the latest bloodletting venture for this leader who needs to wake up and realize what he is doing.

John G. Diefenbaker once called the CBC “the greatest unifying force in Canada.” Subsequent prime ministers that followed, including Pierre Elliott Trudeau, all agreed and continued to build our national identity and community, until Harper came along.

 In 2012 the Tories cut $115 million from CBC’s already strained budget and now it seems it won’t let up as year after year there it’s more of the same. This round of cuts proves my point.

I spent a career of 30 years with the CBC in Newfoundland and Labrador and those were exciting times and valuable times for our growth and the development of our Newfoundland identity and our culture.

The main station in St. John’s (CBNT) and the other locations across the province (radio and TV) connected our province together through local and regional programming.

We were also contributing daily to the CBC radio and television national networks (English and French), helping Canadians everywhere to know and understand us, our rich history and colourful past.

The current staff of CBC radio and television is trying to maintain that legacy but are having a tough time to do their planning as their legs are being cut from beneath them by these budget cuts and non-stop layoffs.

The same scenario holds true for every CBC location across the country from St. John’s to Victoria, B.C.

Thousands of hours of programming each year identify us for who we are — distinct cultures — hard-working people and a geography second to none with an incredible vastness of mountains, lakes, rivers and oceans.

We are the true North strong and free. We must continue to reflect that to the world.

There are things you can’t put a dollar value on and, in my opinion, our national broadcaster is one such. It is the very spine of our country.

Let’s let our MPs know how we feel and help stop the bloodletting of the CBC before it is too late.

Fragment it now, destroy it in the not too distant future.

Then again … that seems to be on the way to becoming the “Stephen Harper legacy.”


Bill Westcott

Clarke’s Beach

Organizations: CBC

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Victoria

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Recent comments

  • Jeff
    July 08, 2014 - 14:28

    Those who are concerned with the financial cost of running CBC are not up to speed on true government wastage. Battleships and helicopters are are far greater waste of money than anything else could hope to be. Money spent on public broadcasting saves lives, unlike military spending. M obviously has no concept of the importance of balanced new broadcasting. If all news and information was available only from corporations with personal interests biases how are we ever to get information that is balanced? It is not easy now, mostly because of cuts to CBC, we have to dig deep into the guts of the internet now to find real news that isn't a story about potholes!! To hell with Afghanistan and military expenditures. Finance public broadcasting so we may all be better informed.

  • M
    July 04, 2014 - 16:13

    Keep CBC radio but close out TV. No need for it at all. Every genre of show available on the network is available from multiple competing private sources. If having an independent news source is important the radio can provide. Other then that, no need for this over funded, under performing relic of the past.

  • joe
    July 04, 2014 - 12:03

    All western nations with decent standards of living having a public broadcaster because they are important to national identity, values and an objective, reliable news source. CBC covers topics not "sexy" enough for private media outlets because they don't generate enough ratings, but those stories are important none the less. I'll gladly give a few hundred of my taxes each year to exposure of gov't corruption. anyone who doesn't should go watch his Real Housewives of Whatever.

  • Ken
    July 04, 2014 - 11:48

    Well said Doug Smith. Thank God we have Harper to stand up to this bottomless tax pit. If Trudeau 2 gets in (heaven forbid) he will pour every cent he can in the CBC.

  • Jeff
    July 04, 2014 - 09:56

    What is it they say about people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing? Tots in Tiaras and My American Gypsy Wedding.... So long as I don’t gotta pay taxes…

    • gb
      July 04, 2014 - 12:42

      I suppose....

  • Politically Incorrect
    July 04, 2014 - 09:49

    Excellent letter. The CBC provides relatively insightful news and Canadian programming. The corporate owned media’s news is filtered through a lens which avoids any criticism of those in power (i.e. Itself) and the status quo. There is no hard-hitting journalism as news people defer to fluff pieces about sport or entertainment. World news comes to us from American private broadcasters who, likewise, see everything through a corporate American point-of-view. The Canadian Government subsidies amount to $800 million for private broadcasters that do not much more than simulcast American shows. The CBC has been cut to the bone over the past couple of decades making it more and more difficult to fulfil its mandate – a mandate that private broadcaster cannot and are not expected to fulfill. Quality continues to decrease, such as with the dumbing-down of Radio 2, leaving the government to declare it moribund and not worth reviving. All other western countries, with the telling exception of the United States, continue to support their public broadcasters while we continue the race to the bottom.

  • gb
    July 04, 2014 - 09:22

    Not only should the federal gov't stop all funding to this dinosaurbut when they do they should credit this savings to all Canadians via tax credits andlet all Canadians know how much tax they will be saving when they pay their income tax. I will take the savings and buy a HD package from my cable supplier.

    • BRT
      July 04, 2014 - 22:13

      gb, the CBC costs you $29 per year. You should also be aware that CTV and Global receive about as much tax money as the CBC does which is around $1 Billion. So much for private sector broadcasters. At least the CBC employs Canadians to produce Canadian programs and not just rebroadcast American CRAP.

  • Doug Smith
    July 04, 2014 - 08:40

    Mr. Westcott, I find your letter totally without merit. The CBC costs the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars and gives the Canadian public extremely little that can’t be had from other sources. There is nothing special about the CBC except the cost to Canadians. Your mentioning Pierre Trudeau’s endorsement of the value of the CBC is sickening. Trudeau was the guy who was quite content to see NL to always be a “have not” province. You and every other citizen of this province should never forget that. Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

  • Bill
    July 04, 2014 - 06:51

    I say cut away! Why is government in the communications business anyway? It's competing with private enterprise. The typical CBC person I have met is an overpaid snob. Send them all home for all I care.

    • Bill Westcott
      July 05, 2014 - 09:14

      The other Bill Hey Bill.. if you call me a snob at least have the decency to print your name.