CBC revenue plummets amid requests for more taxpayer money
The CBC’s TV ad dollars have plummeted by 37 percent as fewer than 1 percent of Canadians tune in to watch local newscasts, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
In the latest annual report, the CBC asked whether it could remain sustainable without the help of more Canadian tax dollars. In 2016, the Federal budget allocated $675 million to the state broadcaster, however, it seems this is not enough to keep the CBC above water.
Trudeau purchased some doughnuts recently at a local doughnut shop in Winnipeg. You’d think that wouldn’t make the news with all the more prescient issues at hand but it seems the pettier the better in our clickbait world. Critics wasted no time chastizing the prime minister for his decision to buy doughnuts on taxpayer dollars.
I want to be clear that I don’t like Justin Trudeau. I didn’t vote for him the first time around. I didn’t like that he ran on his father’s legacy. I don’t like his pious cadence. I don’t like his inability to answer basic questions. He is at worst corrupt and at best, a plug.
One thing I do like, however, is consistency. I want people to hold one another to the same standards as they would anybody else. The political polarization that is often discussed in regards to the United States has undeniably seeped into our home and native land as well. People get in their camps, left or right, and they stay there. Wilful blindness, logic twisting and “whataboutisms” plague the public discourse and there is no better platform to sling mud than Twitter.
It has become increasingly clear that in today’s political climate you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The Liberals are having a cabinet retreat in Winnipeg and Trudeau stepped out to grab some doughnuts and no doubt a much-needed photoshoot. He and the shop in question, Oh Doughnuts posted about the transaction and lo and behold people on the internet got upset about it.
I don’t wish to advertise for bitter Twitter users in this article but if you happen to be a fan of faux outrage, the hashtag is #doughnutgate. In this thread, you’ll find people whining away, primarily about the cost of the doughnuts which came in at a whopping $47 a dozen. That is what we are squabbling about, the difference of thirty some odd dollars it would have cost if he’d bought the doughnuts at Tim Hortons.
Tim Hortons, the famously Brazilian-owned coffee and doughnut chain was surely open and operating just as close by many complained, so why didn’t he go there and save his compatriots the pocket money? Because he’s an elitist, that’s why. It could also be that Tim Horton’s employees in Winnipeg are currently on strike or the franchisee refusing to raise their wages. It could be because the Prime Minister wanted to photo-op of him shopping locally.
I don’t understand why or how, any Canadian could criticize a politician for shopping locally, I can’t even play devil’s advocate momentarily on that one.
Sure the guy likes to spend our money, there are plenty of vacation receipts to prove that, but it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff.
One Twitter critic complained about the fact that Trudeau was out shopping himself, claiming he could have got one of his assistants to run the errand. The tweet also opened with “Elitist Trudeau.” It’s hard wrap your head around some of this stuff. How can a politician be elitist for not sending his assistant to run an errand but instead opting for a chance to connect with his fellow citizen? It’s absurd.
Again, I’m no fan of Trudeau or of politicians in general for that matter but my disdain for hypocrisy far outweighs any political leanings. I wonder how positively effective social media could be as a forum for communication if the majority of users weren’t operating through an us vs. them scope. The truth of the matter is that we all have more things in common than we do things uncommon.
The next time a politician, or anybody for that matter that you don’t like is doing something just ask yourself, “how would I feel if it was my politician or my friend in this exact scenario?” I’d be willing to bet it would change your perception of it a great deal.
I think we’d all be a step closer to harmony if we seek truth and fairness over a momentary ‘victory.’
CBC is scrapping its flagship show The National’s new format that had a four-host format that slowed down the program to include long features.
The show was created in the fall of 2017 after Peter Mansbridge retired. The CBC cited negative audience feedback for the decision to scrap the new format, according to the Globe and Mail. The National had been losing tens of thousands of viewers over the past two years, as less and less Canadians have been tuning in.
Rosemary Barton has been moved from an anchor position to the position of chief political correspondent for CBC News. Barton was embroiled in a controversy during the 2019 election after she was named as a plaintiff in a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Conservative Party of Canada after the party used some CBC footage in a campaign attack ad, something all political parties do, which copyright experts said is likely acceptable under fair dealing.
Conservatives have long complained that Barton is partisan for Trudeau’s Liberals, citing her softball interviews of Trudeau, her taking a selfie with him in Washington, and dismissing the Liberal’s large deficit spending as not a problem.
“Television news viewership is driven by consistency, both in format and in presentation. Our audience told us they want to know what they can expect night to night: who will bring them the news and how it will be delivered. We listened. This season we have slowly introduced measures that lead to a more consistent program – including tweaks to our format and sharpened hosting roles,” executive producer of The National Chad Paulin wrote in an internal memo to CBC staff.
Paulin’s memo also addressed Barton’s move.
“Rosemary will bring her unmatched political insight to all of CBC News–including digital, podcasts, radio, and television political specials. She will continue to bring analysis to The National, including contextual reporting, long-form stories and key political interviews. Rosemary will also continue to host At Issue.”
At Issue is a segment included on The National in which political pundits give their opinions on Canadian politics.
Adrienne Arsenault and Andrew Chang, two of the four co-hosts of the scrapped format, will be the two hosts of the program from Monday to Thursday. The other co-host, Ian Hanomansing will be The National’s anchor on Fridays and Sundays.
By the summer of 2019 The National had lost nearly 25 percent (about 124,000 viewers abandoning the program) of its viewership from when the new format was launched, despite the CBC spending a lot in a promotional campaign to sell Canadians on the new anchors and format.
Many Canadians feel the CBC is biased and doesn’t live up to its own standards and practices. Many Canadians have taken action: writing their MP’s, filing complaints, and taking to social media.
But now, with the CBC scheduled to appear before the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to have their licence renewed, an unlikely corner of the internet–#Gamergate–aims to take things to the next level with a co-ordinated campaign to file complaints that they’re calling “#OperationCanadianBaConII”.
They take issue with coverage of gamers on the CBC, stretching all the way back to 2014 when the Canadian public broadcaster first promoted the narrative that #Gamergate was about harassing women (although there were undoubtedly misogynist bad actors within the amorphous internet group), and not about conflicts of interest between video game developers and video game journalists.
They’ve waited until now because the CBC has delayed the date of their consultation period for several years following a “regime change” at the CBC in 2018.
Lead #OperationCanadianBaConII organizer @LunarArchivist hopes that the complaints will prompt an official response from the Canadian government, and lead to the CBC revising their Journalistic Standards and Practices.
“CBC had done several hit pieces on #GamerGate and several supporters, including myself, had filed complaints with the CBC Ombudsman, Esther Enkin, only to have our concerns downplayed and dismissed in her reviews, which were always in favour of the CBC,” he said.
“After speaking with my local Member of Parliament, the idea occurred to me to take a page from the handbook of Operation Disrespectful Nod–a #GamerGate e-mail campaign where supporters were encouraged to inform advertisers of the dubious ethical standards of the websites who had employed smear tactics against us.”
@LunarArchivist says that there are at least a dozen people working together across multiple Discord servers involved with the operation. They’ve got until 8 p.m. EST on February 13 to get their submissions in.
“One hurdle has definitely been trying to convince non-Canadian #GamerGate supporters that they’re allowed to submit interventions despite not being from Canada,” he says.
“The announcement about its start was rather sudden and we’re still working on establishing a distribution network for the archive of all of CBC’s anti-#GamerGate coverage for use as a reference for those who want to concentrate on that aspect of things.”
The #OperationCanadianBacConII crew have been working to transcribe over six hours of audio and video broadcast and prepare a list of specific ways in which the CBC breached their own standards of practice, such as including the false claim that programmer Eron Gjoni accused game developer Zoe Quinn of sleeping with game journalists for good reviews in their reportage.
They’ve also noted when pieces critical of #Gamergate have disappeared from the CBC’s website, and documented how three separate CBC radio interviewers conducted the exact same interview with an anti-#Gamergate “pop-culture expert.”
“We want to raise public awareness of the fact that #GamerGate’s situation isn’t unique and the CBC tends to use the same tactics on others,” @LunarArchivist says.
“First impressions are important, and a bad one can do lasting or permanent damage to your cause or reputation. The longer false information is allowed to marinate in the public consciousness, the more likely it is to get accepted as ‘truth’, regardless of the facts. And the likelihood of this increases if the CBC doesn’t correct the record within a reasonable amount of time.”
This negative impression of gamers as a whole, perpetuated by the CBC is what really bothers the members of #OperationCanadianBaconII.
@LunarArchivists believes that while CBC employees were allowing their anti-gamer biases to seep into their reporting even before #Gamergate started to trend, the real issue is that CBC was just following the leader instead of asking critical questions about the narrative being spread.
“Many CBC journalists just threw due diligence to the wind and ran with the baseless claim advanced by Anita Sarkeesian and other social justice advocates for years that gamers were opposed to mainstream feminism and identity politics and harassing them.”
@LunarArchivist hopes that the operation will not only lead to more balanced coverage of gamers, but will also help other Canadians who are upset with the CBC’s coverage.
“I’m hoping that not just activists, but regular people will start taking a more active role in taking the CBC to task, especially since they get over a billion taxpayer dollars a year.”
Conservative MP Jeremy Patzer is the representative for Cypress Hills—Grasslands (Saskatchewan).
We are now entering the second year of living under Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax regime in Canada. The beginning of a new year is a good time for us to step back and reflect on how federal policies are affecting the lives of everyday Canadians. At the same time, we are only a few months away from an annual carbon tax hike coming in April.
While firmly believing that this tax is generally harmful and ineffective, I want to focus on a telling feature of the Liberals’ so-called plan for reducing Canada’s carbon emissions. When the Liberal government first introduced their carbon tax in the last parliament, they reassured Canadians that it would be revenue neutral. Related to this claim, they announced that Canadians would receive a rebate in proportion to the amount collected from each province. According to them, it should acknowledge and adequately offset the costs of the tax on consumers.
Right before the end of 2019, we learned that the government is walking back their previous projections for the rebate a family of four could receive. Coincidentally (or not), the rebate happens to be going down for all the provinces that have not gone along with putting their own carbon tax into place. My home province of Saskatchewan is getting the biggest decrease in rebate money.
While the cost-increasing effects of the carbon tax can hurt many vulnerable members of our society, it is particularly making life harder for families and seniors. I have seen and heard about the damage it is causing my constituents and others living in rural Canada. I come from a riding and a region of the country where, along with making everything more expensive, the carbon tax is delaying economic recovery and draining away our agricultural and resource-based economy.
Of course, this is just another insult added to injury. The Liberals have also said that most households would receive more money back than they are paying under the tax, despite some indications to the contrary. After regularly spending extra for home heating or driving long distances in a part of the country where both are necessary, the full compensation through a rebate is questionable at best. On top of that, there have also been farmers calling attention to paying hundreds of dollars in additional tax for drying their grain after a difficult harvest year, which must be done if they want to make a living. Is there real compensation for them?
Considering all this, it gives us a perfect picture of how Canadians can expect the carbon tax to work in actual practice. As the tax rate and costs are on the rise, there is less support for taxpayers and struggling families. So far, the carbon tax rebate is turning out to be another letdown.
As tax season approaches after the first year of living under this policy, we are left to wonder if this discouraging trend will continue.