by Brian Lilley
It’s time to have a real discussion about CBC.
Most discussions about the future of Canada’s state broadcaster turn quickly to emotional arguments about the role CBC has supposedly played in building this country.
According to supporters, without CBC there would be no Canada, or at least a diminished Canada.
I don’t buy that.
For the last two years I have been documenting the waste at CBC and their refusal to comply with the letter and spirit of the law that allows any Canadian to see exactly how our tax dollars are spent.
For most of that time, I simply called for CBC to live up to the transparency they and their reporters demand of government. Now I think the answer for curing what ails CBC is more drastic: They need to be sold off.
For the last several months I have been working on a book that documents stories about CBC that most Canadians should know but don’t.
Available now, CBC Exposed (Freedom Press), details the millions upon millions wasted on lawsuits that could have been settled with apologies from CBC executives.
Did you know that CBC was forced to pay the largest award ever in a lawsuit against a media company?
CBC had maligned the reputation of an Ottawa doctor so badly that the judge in the case called the state broadcaster “parasitic sensationalists” and awarded almost $1 million in damages.
With legal fees and court costs, the final bill that taxpayers had to pick up was estimated at closer to $5 million.
Considering that the lawsuit could have been settled with an apology and a few thousand dollars in legal fees, CBC’s behaviour, their cavalier attitude to the use of taxpayers’ money, remains inexcusable. Of course, this isn’t the only case where CBC wasted taxpayer dollars. They do it every day.
I detail all these cases in the book and try to make the case that CBC needs to be sold off.
To CBC’s biggest fans, selling off the corporation is akin to shutting it down, but that is simply not the case.
Just because you may like watching a soft left, anti-business, Toronto-centric, politically correct television network doesn’t mean that I should have to pay for it.
Now, in case you think I’m being harsh in calling CBC a soft left, anti-business, Toronto-centric, politically correct network, understand that those are not my words but the words of the former head of CBC’s English programming: Richard Stursberg. CBC has proven time and again that they not only fit that description, but are also biased against conservative-minded Canadians, against Christians, against gun owners and against the state of Israel. If that’s what they want to be, fine, but that is not what a broadcaster owned by the government and funded by all the people of Canada should be.
In my view, CBC and all of its specialty channels and radio networks should be broken up into smaller groups and sold off. If the people of Canada want to support it, they will and CBC will flourish.
In CBC Exposed I detail each of these claims against CBC in the hope of starting that national conversation.
Why do we have a state broadcaster?
Is it still needed?
It’s time to have that national conversation but let’s leave the emotion out and have a discussion based on facts.
— Lilley is the host of Byline on Sun News Network. CBC Exposed can be purchased at www.freedompress.ca