If nobody knows that our films and shows are Canadian, it is impossible to build a category brand around them, no matter how good they are.
What is needed is for the government to define what it expects the CBC to deliver in a way that is both clear and doable. The United Kingdom does this through the Royal Charter, which is, in effect, a contract between the BBC and the government. It specifies what the BBC will do over the next ten years, along with a commitment for funding. It is a mandate with teeth.
Much has been made about the news industry’s shrinking revenues in the digital age. But the chief problem with news isn’t financing—it is trust. A key source of the trust deficit can be found in the Faustian choices that it has made in the social media environment.
Before scrapping the CBC entirely, we should discuss fixing the funding disparity between French and English programming. The CBC is chronically underfunded compared to its Radio-Canada counterpart.
The sad truth is that Pierre Poilievre may be right. Perhaps it’s time to eliminate English TV. What is the point in maintaining all of its infrastructure, personnel, and unwatched shows if nobody cares? Perhaps it’s time to try something new.