WATCH: Erin O’Toole pledges to privatize CBC English television
Conservative leadership candidate Erin O’Toole has pledged to eliminate 50 percent of the CBC’s English-langauge television, with a plan to privatize it over the course of a four-year government.
If elected prime minister, O’Toole will also cut the budget of the CBC’s digital programming, whilst preserving components of the public broadcaster, which continues to remain in the national interest.
Conservative leadership candidate Erin O’Toole has mocked Trudeau, saying that an empty building in Calgary should be renamed the “Trudeau Tower.”
On Sunday, Teck Resources announced it was withdrawing their oilsands mine application after years of political delay from a disinterested Trudeau government. Although Teck Resources diplomatically blamed “political turmoil,” it remains unclear whether the Liberal cabinet would have offered the final approval.
“Teck’s decision to withdraw the Frontier mine application is more devastating news for Albertans, Indigenous people and all Canadians,” said Conservative leadership frontrunner and former Harper minister Peter MacKay to the bad news for economic development.
Thanks, in large part, to the government’s pipeline inaction, the Albertan economy has suffered. In January, for instance, data revealed that Alberta’s economic activity was at its lowest since the 2015-16 recession. As well as this, the province lost more than 18,000 jobs in January, despite the rest of the country adding over 34,000.
“The fact that Teck Resources has publicly announced that it is pulling its application for a $20 billion Frontier oil sands project is further proof that Trudeau cannot or will not fight for Canada and Canadian jobs,” said Conservative MP and leadership candidate Marilyn Gladu, who used to work in the oil and gas industry for years.
Erin O’Toole has been vocal about the damage Trudeau has done to the province. After Teck Resources pulled their application for the oilsands mine in Alberta, O’Toole said “We’re watching our economy crumble as the government stands by.”
“Thousands of jobs, billions of dollars of investment and billions more of government revenue just disappeared because of Trudeau’s failure to uphold the rule of law. ”
CBC Kids News has published an article in favour of Canadian teens embarking on a hunger strike. The hunger strike was scheduled to start on Sunday; its purpose is to protest the now-cancelled Teck mine project in Alberta. The article details famous, historical hunger strikers, their achievements, and what happens to the body when it is denied food.
The fact that CBC decided to cover a hunger strike involving the participation of children is irresponsible to say the least. That this was promoted on their children’s news platform makes it even worse. Teens are already at higher risk than adults for eating disorders, which are typically about a person wanting to take control over their bodies when they feel they have no control over anything else. This hunger strike is in service to something teens absolutely have no control over, energy policy.
It’s absolutely unconscionable to advocate for children to starve themselves to get the government to change its energy policy. And it is absurd to expect the government to change its energy agenda based on this kind of advocacy. The teens are basically taking themselves hostage, holding their breath until they get their way.
Twitter users were quick to point out how irresponsible and dangerous this article is.
It’s been a few years now that people are so freaked out by climate change that they’re willing to sacrifice their children. But while pundits and armchair climate activists may advocate for the Greta Thunbergs of the world to give up their futures in service to environmental activism, parents are not so sure.
In fact, the article on CBC Kids News had to be amended to account for a parent’s concern. One of the students who intends to participate in the hunger strike was noted to have the support of his mom. However, after the article was published, his mother wrote to say that “she is extremely worried about her son going on a hunger strike and, ‘even more disappointed that young adults feel they need to engage in self harm to be heard by the media and government on this issue.’”
She’s right to be concerned. As a matter of fact, all Canadian parents should be concerned. CBC has crossed a line by promoting unhealthy behaviour directly to young people. They should be ashamed of themselves.
CBC has filed a claim with the Department of Industry to trademark the word “Oh” and “Radio-Canada Oh-dio” with the department’s intellectual property office.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Erin O’Toole recently called for the privatization of the publicly funded TV service.
CBC’s potential new “Oh” marketing campaign is reminiscent of the network’s earlier attempts to boost sales with previous trademarks such as“Fall for CBC” in 2014, “Canada’s Own” in 2011, and “Trusted, Connected, Canadian” in 2001.
In 2013 the public broadcaster sued a Montréal cable station for $50,000 over the trademark “Ici” (“here”) which they used for their French-language service according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
“Our public broadcaster is stuck in the past,” said O’Toole in a campaign video on February 14. “An O’Toole government will modernize and reform the CBC,” said O’Toole. “We will end funding for CBC digital and we will cut the CBC English TV budget by fifty percent. Our plan will phase out TV advertising with a goal to fully privatize CBC English TV by the end of our first mandate.”
The CBC receives $1.2 billion grant per year from the government, however, their English-language television ad revenues fell 37 percent last year.
O’Toole said he would keep CBC French-language services and the Crown broadcaster’s national radio network as it is.
In 2017 a Conservative bill to privatize the CBC as an entire corporation was brought forth but was defeated.
Former Conservative MP Brad Trost was a sponsor of the bill, “The Mulroney administration philosophically should have done it, just as the previous Harper administration philosophically should have been prepared to privatize the CBC,” said Trost, in an interview at the time. “Someone needed to take the first steps to get things going.”
“The late former finance minister Jim Flaherty actually broached this subject a few times in the past,” said Trost. “He spoke to me about how it was one of his wishes to privatize the CBC. Jim and I discussed it.”
Bill C-308 An Act To Provide For The Incorporation Of The CBC would have reorganized the network under the Canada Business Corporations Act with plans to have a final sale within the following three years. The bill was shot down in the Commons by a vote of 260 to 6.
Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay is facing some online backlash and general confusion after deleting a tweet supporting fed-up Albertans who tore down a blockade set up by anti-pipeline protestors on an Edmonton railway.
“Glad to see a couple Albertans with a pickup truck can do more for our economy in an afternoon than Justin Trudeau could do in four years,” the tweet read.
The now-deleted tweet referenced a viral confrontation between protestors and counter-protestors which stopped a train in its tracks earlier that day.
Global TV’s Nicole Stillger tweeted “Counter-protestors hauling away the blockade and loading it into this truck.”
There are more and more instances of everyday Canadians confronting blockades throughout Canada.
Earlier today, a Quebec man confronted a group of protestors at a scene which was described as “carnival-like.”
“You are blocking billions of dollars from our economy. A thousand people have just lost their jobs. I don’t care about Legault and Trudeau, what I want is that you leave here safely, that’s all,” said David Skitt to protestors, translated from French.
CN confirmed that it has obtained an injunction to clear blockades on their Saint-Lambert railways.