Why is Canada’s government planning to shut down its public broadcaster?
Posted March 02, 2019 05:15:16The Canadian government is preparing to cut off CBC and replace it with a private, government-owned broadcaster, a move that could mean the end of CBC’s coverage of national politics.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has scheduled a public hearing next week on the proposal to shut CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the CBC News Network and the CBC TV network to make the transition to a new, publicly-owned channel.
The CRTC has been conducting an examination of whether it is in the best interest of the Canadian public to replace the CBC with a publicly-funded entity.
The CBC was created by the federal government in 1959 to provide news, information and information-based programming for Canadians.
It is Canada, the country’s national broadcaster.
The new broadcaster would replace the CRTC, which is currently running a national advertising campaign aimed at promoting the Canadian flag, with the government-controlled CBC.
The commission is expected to release its findings at the hearing.
The move to privatize the CBC is a significant departure from the public broadcaster’s traditional role in promoting Canadian values, said David Ritchie, director of communications at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).
“The CBC is an essential part of our democracy,” Ritchie said.
“Its coverage of Canada is of immense importance to Canadians.
Its contribution to our democracy is very important to Canadians.”
The CRTS is set to publish a detailed report in March on how it intends to handle the transition of the CBC to the new corporation.
The report, called a Transition Strategy for Broadcasting and Information, was issued last November.
The transition plan, which was released at the end to the House of Commons in May, outlined the transition in a series of recommendations.
The CRTC said it is working on the report and expects it to be ready in 2019.
The plan calls for a three-year transition period to provide a new broadcaster with the capability to deliver a range of news and information programs that are important to the Canadian people.
The report also suggested a transition period of three years should be considered to avoid “unnecessary duplication of efforts.”
It is not clear what role the new broadcaster will play in the CBC’s news and current affairs coverage, although it is expected that the new entity will be more focused on current affairs than on political coverage.
The decision to close CBC was a key element in the Liberal government’s 2015 election platform, which promised to bring back the CBC.
The party’s current leader, Justin Trudeau, has pledged to keep the CBC as a public broadcaster, while also offering a tax credit to people who pay for its programming.
The Liberals have said they will not privatize CBC.
But the CRTS said the CBC would remain the only Canadian broadcaster to carry the CBC logo, and it is likely that the CBC will remain a national broadcaster under the new arrangement.
The CCLA is challenging the CRCT’s plan to close the CBC, saying the CBC has a “special responsibility to be the voice of the nation.”
In an opinion piece published online in March, the organization argued that the CRCC’s plan “seeks to privatise and consolidate our news, current affairs and social programs and to make CBC the only broadcaster in Canada to carry CBC’s distinctive brand of news, opinion and commentary.”
The group noted that “no Canadian institution, no matter how small, has had the power to control the content that Canadians consume.”
“The public’s interest in the continued operation of the news media is too important to be left to private entities that are beholden to the interests of the powerful,” it wrote.
“The CRCC is attempting to shift the CBC from the role of a credible news provider to a commercial enterprise that would allow it to serve as the public voice of Canada.”
The decision by the CRT to privatizethe CBC was welcomed by the National Post editorial board, which said in a March editorial that it was “time to restore the public’s trust in the media and the government of Canada” to provide it with the information that it needs.
“I am confident that the public will be able to trust the CBC once it is a private company,” wrote Michael Grunberg, the editorial board’s chief editorial correspondent.
“The public is right to have confidence in the public broadcasters and their ability to deliver news, fact-based analysis and informed debate.”
The editorial board added that it would welcome a consultation with the public, including a public-comment period.CBC’s current affairs program is CBC News.
CBC News has been a news and public affairs broadcaster for more than a century.
The news and opinions that CBC produces and distributes have become a cornerstone of the country and of the world.CBC News has a mandate to inform Canadians about what is happening in Canada and to provide the public with a platform for informed debate.CBC is the largest broadcaster in the country, with more than one billion viewers.
It has been producing news, analysis