It's that time again! CRTC wants to know what you think about the CBC

Offered without comment.

Ok, just a couple of comments: The CBC will be provided, this year, with a subsidy out of general tax revenues of just over $1 billion [PDF]. That’s billion with a ‘b’. One comparison: This year the federal government has allocated about half that — or $554 million for grants to students who need the help to attend post-secondary institutions.  

Now you may think that the vast amount of programming produced by CBC on radio, television and the Internet is a bargain at a billion dollars a year because no other organization in Canada can or does produce the programming CBC produces.  Or you may conclude that, for example, there are probably organizations in Canada that could televise an NHL hockey game every Saturday night. There might even be some broadcasters that would air the comedy show by that Rick Mercer fella without a subsidy. You might live in Toronto and have several dinnertime television newscasts to choose from and wonder why a taxpayer subsidy is being used to add to that mix.  You might be addicted to great radio reporting from foreign locations and can find little evidence that anyone but CBC puts radio reporters in foreign locations. You may want more of your taxpayer resources spent on radio programming you can’t find elsewhere.  

Many of my Sun Media colleagues, as you may have heard, do not believe the CBC spends its billion-dollar subsidy wisely. Other commentators believe the CBC programming approach is fine but its funding model ought to be more based on a user-pay approach, similar to, say, HBO. And there are some Canadians (not as many as you might think, I should caution) who just love the CBC.

As for my position? I’ll paraphrase the best line I ever heard from a politician commenting on a controversial topic. “Well, some of the people are in favour of CBC. Some of the people are against it. And, you know me, I’m with the people!”

So, people, if you’ve got some ideas on how that $1 billion is spent on CBC, why not speak up?

Here’s how:

CRTC to hold public hearing to renew CBC/Radio-Canada’s licences 

OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 5, 2012 – Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is inviting Canadians to participate in the consultation for the renewal of CBC/Radio-Canada’s radio and television licences of. The CRTC will hold a public hearing beginning November 19, 2012 in Gatineau, Quebec.

The CRTC will examine the public broadcaster’s role in the light of the latter’s powers under the Broadcasting Act. The following are some of the issues that the Commission plans to discuss:

  • CBC/Radio-Canada’s overall strategy
  • equivalent quality of services in French and English
  • representation of official language minority communities
  • regional reflection and the services offered in northern Canada
  • the accessibility of information relating to the Corporation’s management and the effectiveness with which public comments are handled
  • the addition of advertising on Espace Musique and Radio 2 and
  • commercial agreements.

Interested persons are invited to submit their comments on any aspect of the renewal of the licences of CBC/Radio-Canada by 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) on October 5, 2012. They may do so by completing the online form, writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or sending a fax to 819-994-0218.

All interventions already received and the comments submitted during the online consultation held in 2011 have been placed in the public record and will be taken into consideration.

Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-379-3

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

Reference Documents:

Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-379
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-379-1
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-379-2

SOURCE: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information:

Media Relations:
Tel.: 819-997-9403, fax: 819-997-4245 

General Inquiries:
Tel.: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
TDD – Toll-free 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)

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