Sunday, June 19, 2011

Official Notice of the CBC Summertime Hearings at the CRTC

The actual announcement of the forthcoming CRTC hearings on renewal of the CBC licences was published one level down on the CRTC website under “Today’s Releases” on June 17, 2011 under the captivating title of Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-379.

My prediction on the timing and schedule - if not the if not the actual location of the announcement website - was accurate. My "informed sources" deserve an "A" grade - though not an "A+" this time.

This announcement should not be confused with the CRTC’s prominent front page portal leading to a special CRTC site concerning the CBC, which is apparently intended to provide the opportunity of “consultation” for those who wish to make such points as:
●    i don’t watch cbc i don’t like it and i wonder why i should have to bankroll what they want to do, especially when they are very biased against the montreal canadiens

●    The CBC should be disbanded or sold! They are so outdated and so very Eastern biased that they have no use whatsoever in a modern Western Canada. The exhorbident money spent on useless garbage programming especially French in Western Canada is a giant waste of taxpayers dollars. Get rid of the CBC forever!
These are actual comments, with which I obviously disagree. There are already hundreds of other comparably incisive, constructive  - ;-) - and mostly anonymous offerings - and it’s only day 3. There is even a very elaborate YouTube video presentation about the CBC, complete with dramatic synthesized music.

For those who wish to provide more traditional submissions, here are the deadlines:

Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-379

Ottawa, 17 June 2011

Notice of hearing

12 September 2011
Gatineau, Quebec
Licence renewals for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s French- and English-language services
Deadline for submission of interventions/answers: 18 July 2011
Deadline for postings to online consultation: 18 July 2011

Interested potential interveners who wish to put together a reasoned and professional quality brief have exactly one month in the summertime to do so. That includes finding coalition partners if necessary, arranging funding if necessary, retaining experts if desired, and the other things that are likely to be required to make essential points in this instance. The requirements for a full intervention are set forth here.

There are actually 11 (eleven) different appellations. Therefore, some interveners may need to respond to several of these different applications.

The CBC has had all kinds of time and all kinds of money to prepare for this. By remarkable coincidence, the CBC released just this week of a report from Deloitte & Touche that purports to show that the taxpayers’ subsidy of $1.1 billion per year yields benefits of $3.7 billion per year by way of “gross value added” to the Canadian economy though “multiplier effects.”

Ironically, the report is so locked down with Adobe security that one can’t even cut and paste helpful excerpts from it, which I would otherwise gladly do. Oddly enough, the French version of the report is not presented in lock down mode. Is this a new development in official languages policy in Canada? One hopes that English language Canadians will have the same access as Francophones to this document in due course.

The disclaimer is rather striking - but alas I can’t cut and paste from it. Essentially, it says that the report was based mostly upon information provided by the CBC that is not audited or verified and is only for use by the CBC and should not be relied upon for any purpose by anyone else. According to the CBC, President Hubert Lacroix of the CBC “refused to disclose what the study itself cost”.   

Then there’s the Nordicity report conveniently released in April of 2011 which shows how the CBC receives very little taxpayers' money compared to other public broadcasters in the developed world.

There can be little doubt about one thing at least. The multiplier effect of public funding for the CBC is certainly working well in the consulting sector in Canada.


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