Save the CBC!
Canada’s national identity, is at best, an identity filled with doubt. At times, we are reduced to enumerating upon the differences between us and our neighbour to the south. Now, whether or not there is an identity that is distinctly Canadian is beyond me (being as I am not, in fact, a Canadian Studies major), but if there is, I have no doubt in my mind that CBC is an integral part of it.
Even the original mandate of the CBC is something that evokes lofty ideals of nationalism. One single broadcasting station, owned by the government, that should be broadcast in such a way that every Canadian everywhere has access to up to date information. One nation under public radio! (Note, though Radio Canada is different in name, it’s the same idea). Since this network is publicly funded, they have no need to cater to advertisers, and are thus free of ads. We are left, in the end with 24 hours a day of publicly owned Canadian Content, broadcast from sea to sea to sea!
With this Canadian content laws in effect, the CBC has been at the forefront of nurturing young talent since it’s inception. We can thank the CBC for promoting names such as Oscar Peterson, Glen Gould, Diana Krahl and countless others that have made immeasurable contributions to our western cultural landscape. The CBC gave us the iconic ‘Talking to Americans‘, putting words to the inferiority complex that is so indicative of our national consciousness. They have always been there safeguarding our notable satirical comedy, with shows like “This hour has seven days” in the early sixties, all the way through 22 minutes, Air Farce, the Mercer report and Just for Laughs.
CBC radio offers a diverse cross section of music, from avant garde free-form jazz, indie rock and even the opera. I can personally attest to its broadening influence on my musical tastes, as I have no less then 5 albums that were purchased as a direct result of their exposure to me on CBC. Where, but on a publicly funded radio station can you get this diversity?
That’s exactly my point though, CBC is free to indulge artists for arts sake, as opposed to some profitable commercial endeavour. And the conservative government seems keen to gut our national institution, by allegedly (at least according to the CBC’s president) refusing to provide the loans necessary to cover the budget shortfall. We’ve already established the shaky relationship between King Harper and the arts during the last election, but now he is kicking below the belt. The money required amounts to a little over six dollars for every Canadian.
If you think that this icon of Canadians is worth more at least six dollars, I’m begging you to sign the petition below. Harper should know that, especially after he suggest bailouts for privately owned Global and CTV, that we Canadians love our CBC!
If you’ll need me, I’ll be crying softly while listening to the radio.