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Cut the CBC’s public purse strings 5 by Eric Duhaime

May 8, 2014

Source: Edmonton Sun

If we needed another good reason to cut public funding at CBC/Radio-Canada, we got it last weekend.

“Tout le monde en parle” (#TLMEP) has been the main talk-show of the public broadcaster for 10 years with more than one million viewers every week. The French CBC’s flagship.

Last Sunday, they invited not one, not two, not five, but NINE anchors and journalists to explain the impact of their 10% cuts over three years and denounce the Conservatives who made such a decision.

They claimed they wanted a public debate. Nine against zero is not what I call a fair debate. Not one guest got invited to defend Stephen Harper’s austerity measures to rebalance the federal budget.

By doing so, TLMEP shows once more the need to stop forcing every Canadian to pay on average close to $30 per year for a biased and partisan media.

Like more and more Canadians, I am sick and tired of seeing my tax dollars used to promote political opinions that are against my personal beliefs.

Over the last three years, the federal government has cut more than 20,000 public servant jobs and made cuts of 10% or more to many departments and Crown corporations.

Years after the announcement of such cuts, guess who are the only ones still blubbering and refusing to make an effort to balance the books? Those who have a microphone in their hands paid by your taxes!

Not one of the nine anchors and journalists present on the studio set of TLMEP proposed one measure other than giving more money to CBC/Radio-Canada to solve their problems.

It took another guest that night, a humourist, Marc Labreche, to say that to reduce its spending, the public network should focus on its mission and stop doing things that could be better done for less money by private networks.

Propose a cut

If the employees of CBC/Radio-Canada are so concerned about the loss of jobs, why don’t they propose a 3% cut to their own income, which could save all the 657 jobs at risk?

Why didn’t the union initiate the reopening of the collective agreement since their members are the best-paid of the industry?

Why? Because it’s always easier to syphon off the taxpayer’s wallet than their own.

Another easy thing for CBC’s bosses to do is to cut the muscle instead of the fat of the obese Crown corporation. Cutting good investigative journalists of a great TV program seems easier than reducing the oversized bureaucracy of the management team.

Firing the younger ones that do not have their tenure is also easier than touching useful unionist dinosaurs.

Let’s also not forget that CBC’s managers gave themselves over $18 million in bonuses over the last two years and CBC’s president, Hubert Lacroix, had to recently repay $30,000 in expense claims that violated the corporation’s own spending rules.

What CBC/Radio-Canada desperately lacks these days is not public money but common sense, decency, transparency and political neutrality.

© Edmonton Sun