Clear Sailing For The Ceeb… For Now

Speculation has run rampant that Stephen Harper’s majority Tory government would spell certain doom for Canada’s public broadcaster. In light of this fear, former (and presumably current) Heritage Minister James Moore has stepped in to assure Canadians that funding for the CBC will not be decreased.

While it seems likely that a Conservative majority government would have crosshairs firmly planted over the corporation’s exploding pizza, Moore has said that CBC funding will either be maintained or increased in the near future.

“The CBC is the infrastructure around which Canadian arts and culture is built, so of course it is central and it is key… It is essential for respect for all of our official languages and all of the regions of the country — broadcasting in aboriginal languages in the North.”

While he has (rightly) criticized the broadcaster for failing to adhere to freedom of information requests, he has been known to advocate public broadcasting and support their mandate and increasing investment in the station.

Meanwhile, Kirstine Stewart, the new head of the CBC’s English language operations, has also announced a reduced reliance on imported American programming in the near future. While this is essentially the same promise that the station seems to make every decade, it does at least suggest that the station has a future beyond simulcasting episodes of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

Whether or not federal support for the CBC will continue for years to come is still in the air, but it will likely depend on how strong the NDP opposition continues to be under Jack Layton. Harper is intent on retaining majority control for more than just four years, so it is unlikely that his government will make any drastic moves when it comes to divisive wedge issues like funding for a public broadcaster. If anything, the party is likely to toe the centre on matters like these.

Increasing funding to the CBC may actually be in this government’s best interest, especially now that Sun News has, unsurprisingly, proven to be a catastrophic failure right out the gate. Despite all of the hype and endless fear-mongering from critics that the right wing news network would serve as a mouthpiece for the Conservative government and forever warp Canadian news media into a Fox News-style sensationalist frenzy, the Quebecor-run station actually saw a drop in viewership after its first week. The station’s incredibly low production values certainly hasn’t helped matters.

While it’s possible that this is all a big partisan game, the fact that Canada simply does not have enough of an audience share to support yet another 24-hour news network may shed some light on the benefits of public broadcasting to its biggest naysayers.


10 responses to “Clear Sailing For The Ceeb… For Now

  1. Jimmy Grimaldi- Emoemen

    Yea, the CBC campaign to un-elect Stephen Harper failed miserably, the Jack Layton opposition is pretty weak, 18 year olds, Harper will eat them alive. Anyways, I am disappointed that there was no modest cuts to the CBC in this time of fiscal uncertainty, James Moore will be getting a unhappy email for me in the near future about this, you can bet on that. Sad to hear that Sun news isn’t doing so good, I’m a loyal viewer of Sun news and have a gay crush on Theo Cauldwell.

    Increasing funding is in the best interest of Tories? Are you suggesting that the Harper government, take a more hands on approach with the CBC and make changes to it? I’m assuming, where you are going with this is that the Harper gov’t might address the alleged left wing bias of the CBC news, balancing it out by hiring more right wingers. In that case it wouldn’t work because having somebody praising the virtues of free market capitalism on a taxpayer funded tv station is pretty weak, the intellectual hypocrisy alone is too much to bear. Case in point, Kevin O’Leary, the man should on be on saturday morning with the rest of the cartoons.

  2. CBC produces very few shows these does buy some from the USA though!
    Sports actually generates revenue, sop where does all the money seem to go?
    News is the biggest show they have other than sports and most of the money goes there! The fact that most people don’t watch CBC News should be a signal to the CBC that they should cut back on the news budget, and if they aren’t cut back, use most of the money producing shows Canadians used to watch.
    Take a look at the TV guide and see what shows CBC produces now compared to 10 Years ago.

  3. What many people don’t seem to realize is the CBC needs ridiculously large amounts of money to operate because it is one of the most inefficient companies in the world. If the Harper government appointed someone to go in and run CBC like a private company they would only need 1/3 rd of the budget they now have.
    So the money isn’t the issue as much as poor management.

    • Jimmy Grimaldi- Emoemen

      Like a private company? Wouldn’t it be better to make the CBC a private company, instead of pretending it’s a private company.

  4. CBC sucks and Sun News is awesome. I hate your clearly bias news bullshit.

    • Say what you will about CBC, but Sun News is a total joke. I can’t imagine any self-respecting conservative actually thinking that it’s “awesome.”

      • Jimmy Grimaldi

        Why is Sun New, a “total joke”, Pep? I’m an ex-bi, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay marriage, pro-free speech, Christian and fiscal conservative which makes a self-respecting conservative and I would use the word “awesome” to describe Sun News as well as “awe inspiring”.

      • I haven’t watched Sun in a number of months, so I may be out of touch, but from a production standpoint I find it to be very poor. The lighting and camera work tend to be very shoddy. The various programs don’t seem to resonate with each other very well, which is the opposite of what you’ll find on American news networks (which Sun is actively trying to emulate) where each host will pass the baton onto the next. Sometimes they show effort to establish their own voice, but most of the time they get stuck trying to emulate Fox News or CNN in a really stunted, restrained kind of way. Like many Canadian networks that emulate American networks, they often seem to miss the point and ultimately fail at what they set out to do.

      • Jimmy Grimaldi- Emoemen

        Lighting and camera work? I don’t know much about the craft of broadcasting and neither does 90% of the population, I don’t think it’s a big issue and after all it’s content that matters. I watch Sun News almost every day and their programs do resonate, not all the time mind you but when they feel an issue warrants special attention then there is baton passing. Examples being the Occupy movement, French porn on a CBC website and Jesse Sansone.

        No, Sun News isn’t emulating Fox News or CNN, I admit their format is American but their content is Canadian. It seems like it’s emulating because the Conservative movement is basically the same in any western country.

        Missing the point? What point are they missing again, Pep? I think Sun News is succeeding at what it is doing.

  5. We’ll just have to disagree then. Sun News is what it is, and I don’t see the point in dissecting it further.