Monday, November 17, 2014

The Day Thousands Took to the Streets to Defend the CBC

It was a stirring sight. And for the beleaguered CBC it couldn't have come at a better time, or be more welcome.

Thousands of people marching in streets of Montreal and other places, to demand that the Harper regime stop killing the corporation.

CBC/Radio-Canada supporters gathered in Montreal, Matane, Sept-Îles, Quebec City, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Rimouski, Gaspé and Moncton in New Brunswick to protest against deep cuts and job losses at the Crown corporation.

And all I can say is it's about time.

Because the cuts the Cons have inflicted on the CBC have been brutal.

The corporation is slowly bleeding to death. 

Last summer, CBC/Radio-Canada president Hubert Lacroix announced his plans to trim staff, cutting 1,500 employees by 2020.

And to make matters even worse, as a former Radio Canada manager points out, the assault is coming from without and within. 

To reduce the corporation’s independence, what better way than to name a president and CEO, Hubert Lacroix, who is prepared to implement the wishes of the current government and have his mandate renewed for another five years as a reward? To ensure the support of the board, the government also appointed those who contribute financially to the Conservative party.

From the Cons, the CBC President himself, and the Con board. 

CBC/Radio-Canada is probably this country’s most important institution and it is seriously threatened because the arm’s-length relationship between the government of the day and CBC/Radio-Canada has never been as fragile as it is now.

And this too is true: if Canadians don't do more to defend that precious national institution, which as flawed as it may be, is still OURS. 

Stephen Harper and his alien cult WILL kill it.

Or slowly cook it in its own blood... 

It is high time for all Canadians to realize that this precious resource, this essential national institution, their voice and their eyes and ears on the world, is truly in danger of disappearing forever.

Because for Harper the CBC is one of the threads that holds this country together, and makes it more than just a collection of provinces.

And he hates everything it stands for with a passion.

Oh boy. You know there's one thing I REALLY admire about the people of my province.

When the Cons threaten the institutions and the values they believe in, they are willing to take to the streets to defend them...

And I only wish that more Canadians in the rest of the country were like them, instead of being so passive.

But if that is the way it is, and we can't change the way we are, let's at least make a solemn vow.

Let's promise that in the election campaign our poor battered CBC will not be forgotten.

And that we will make this ghastly leader pay for what he has done...

Let the Great Canadian Resistance send that little monster this message, in our quieter way.

He will not destroy the CBC.

And he will be defeated.

Before he destroy this country...

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  1. After all the boot licking of the two mainstream parties, the libs and tories by the cbc, I would not miss it. Its an outdated idea in the era of netflix and youtube.

    Seriously the cbc series I like I watch on Netflix or youtube, I wish the government money that went to the cbc went to the people who actually produce the content instead turning the cbc into sonething akin to netflix, but free and without commericials.

    1. hi Gyor...I don't agree. Netflix may be fine, but it can't bring this country together like the CBC can. If the CBC was properly funded,it could do great things. And its news service is head and shoulders above the rest. It certainly is not perfect, and I too would like to see more money for content producers, but it is ours and it's the only one we got...

    2. Anonymous7:00 PM

      But Simon..... the CBC is just a goebbellian Liberal propaganda organ being subsidized by the Canadian taxpayer by some Billion$$$$ every year.... to keep about 7000 jobs which if averaged out over the subsidy is ~$140,000 per CBC job!

      If you average out the Billion$$$$ subsidy over faithful CBC audience that would amount to ~$1,500 per CBC user !!!!!!

      The CBC is a failure to bring the country together.... just look at Quebec separatism, aboriginal discontent, agism per Justin Trudeau .... and the CBC is mired in sex scandals ...!!!!

  2. Anonymous9:34 AM

    If I had been there I'd have marched. I love CBC radio. It has nourished me in the isolated places I have lived. It is steadily deteriorating - less good public affairs programs, more treacly stuff from private sources. Like the Monocle programs. White bread stuff. Dumb us down. Ill inform us. Evan Solomon us. Good for those folks for fighting.

    1. hi anon...yes I too would have liked to be there. Despite the state it's in I treasure that national institution and to me standing up for it means standing up for Canada...

  3. Anonymous10:51 AM

    Radio Canada, more informative than the English CBC, more profitable, less biased, better news coverage and does not suck up to Harper the way CBC does. Always the first to be axed though...

    1. hi anon...I realize that Radio Canada plays a larger role in the life of Quebecers than CBC does in the life of other Canadians. Because the Quebecois have had to produce more of their own programming, it's a essential cultural institution. I was recently very upset to hear that they have been forced to see their amazing collections of costumes, which is also part of our cultural heritage. But I support both RadCan and CBC and would hate to play one against the other. In this bilingual household we enjoy both of them...

  4. I couldn't attend because, like many freelancers, I've had a rush of work after a dry spell. Some say there were over 20,000 people! Extraordinary for a cultural issue.

    I think that this illustrates, other than the importance of culture and public broadcasting (and webcasting) the fact that we cultural workers are WORKERS, despite the fact that many of us are considered "travailleurs autonomes", tiny small businesses often hovering at the poverty line. A minority of people working for or with Radio-Canada are "vedettes", and many well-known personalities don't really make a huge salary.

    1. hi lagatta....I thought the demo was great and would have given anything to be there. All the people I know at CBC and RadCan are all on contract and some on very short ones. So they have no power and can be easily intimidated. In fact, I have blamed that for helping to enable predators like Ghomeshi. When I lived in Montreal I used to visit a friend at the Maison, and have lunch in their cafeteria. And while vedettes and stars bore me, some of the camera people and video editors are totally brilliant. They deserve to be treated better and have better managers...

  5. Hello Simon,
    Can I email you directly?
    A fan visiting Toronto, and a kindred spirit.

    1. hi Sunita...yes you can, at

  6. I so agree with you Anon 9:34. I am an avid CBC Radio 1 listener and grew up a CBC Radio 2 listener. I am always so dismayed by the changes and dumbing down that has gone on in the last decade most significantly. I was also a huge fan of documentaries and original dramas on CBC TV (This is Wonderland, DaVinci, Intelligence, Arctic Air, Republic of Doyle). I cannot see destroying the CBC as a good solution for my complaints. All other news sucks no matter how bad CBC is doing lately. Getting rid of a national public broadcaster is akin to giving up and becoming more like the US.

    Just the other day, I joked that Hubert Lacroix's vision for CBC was to reduce it to Facebook pages and twitter accounts. Sometimes I wonder if such a ludicrous thought is closer to the truth than I ever would have imagined.

    1. hi Beijing....I feel like you do, the CBC's quality has been compromised over the last few years, with programs I consider unworthy for a public broadcaster. From what I hear the CBC managers are a useless lot, and their efforts to "popularize" their programming, i.e. dumb it down, has been a total failure. Whoever thought of hiring Kevin O'Leary for example, should have been fired immediately. But as you say, they still have the best news in Canada, and I hate to imagine what it would be like without them...

  7. e.a.f.8:25 PM

    perhaps the Greens, Liberals, NDP could come out and say where they stand on the CBC and what they would do for the CBC if elected to office. It is not enough to sit on the side lines and say nothing. CBC has to go, from the con perspective. Its independent news can not be tolerated. Those documentaries are much too educational, hell they do not reflect the great hide in the closet p.m. in a positive light and that Rick Mercer, well he is so Canadian, he certainly must be turfed. Can not have him going around the country doing shows which show how great a country this is and making people laugh. My god did you see the one where he joined a family of farmers during harvest, how proud they were of their work, how hard they worked, what good people they were. harper and his herd can not have that. might make people think Canadian farms were worth having.

    1. hi e.a.f....the hatred so many Cons have for the CBC is almost beyond belief. It's irrational, it's idiotic, and I believe it's un-Canadian. As I said in my post, it's not perfect but it is ours. And letting the Cons destroy it would be a real tragedy...

  8. I think that when Mansbridge is appointed to the senate by his good friend 'Steve' that the CBC "news" with Wendy will be easier to watch. It's hard now, except on Senator Mansbridge's days off.