Thursday, April 5, 2012

CBC Funding Cuts

So the Harper government has finally released the new budget. In the crosshairs was the CBC. After promising to maintain or increase funding (pre-election of course), funding will decrease by 10%. This in spite of the fact that six out of ten Canadians support continued funding for the CBC. And hey, that is a higher proportion of Canadians that voted for Harper in the last election!

I grew up with CBC television and radio and still am an avid consumer. As a child I remember mornings with The Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup. Today I usually watch the National and tend to listen to Radio 2 during the day. With 650 job cuts I wonder which of my favourite programs (Quirks and Quarks, Vinyl Tap or perhaps Q ?) will be axed and whether the quality and scope of news coverage will suffer.

I see the CBC as a core cultural institution deserving of funding. It is part of our heritage and common cultural experience as well a major supporter of the arts in Canada. It is part of the glue that unites Canadians from diverse parts of the country.

I happened to be living in the US in September 2001. In the midst of the media madness that followed my local PBS station started airing the National every evening. It provided a voice of reason - it was comforting and it was home.

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