Stop the CBC bloodletting

Published on July 4, 2014

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