A CBC spokesman said such a plan could mean anything from unloading Radio 3 to putting a website up for sale.This may all be idle talk and speculation. A campaign to urge additional government funding for the CBC and an unscientific poll in the Globe and Mail yesterday showed overwhelming public support for additional Government funding.
Lacroix refused to delve into specifics, noting the drastic step was just one option as the corporation struggles with a financial crisis expected to plunge the CBC into the red next year.
In his speech, Lacroix said he has requested a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ask for greater financial flexibility that would permit the Crown corporation to sell some assets. He's also seeking immediate access to the next fiscal year's funding for the CBC.
According to a report by Nordicity group the CBC ranked 16th out of 18 countries in terms of per capita government funding for public broadcasting.
"The per-capita comparison demonstrates that, among 18 major Western countries, Canada had the third lowest level of public funding for its public broadcaster in 2004. At $33 per inhabitant (all amounts in Canadian dollars, unless indicated otherwise), Canada’s level of funding was only ahead of New Zealand, and the United States (U.S.) What’s more, Canada’s funding for public broadcasting was less than one-half of the $80 average across the 18 Western countries. And Canada’s level of funding was about one-fifth of the level of the leading country – Switzerland – among those included in the comparison."Clearly there is a need for a substantial funding increase for the CBC, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage clearly stated as much last year.
However, if the Government continues to be irresponsible in terms of Canadian culture, heritage and Canadians right to information the last place the CBC should look for cuts is Radio 3.
I don't think it is much of an exaggeration to say that Radio 3 is the bridge to the CBC's future.
In terms of technology CBC Radio 3 understands the internet and social media better than any other service the CBC offers. They are constantly aware of improvements in technology and shifts in internet culture and strive to keep up.
In terms of the audience Radio 3 is one of the few offerings the CBC has for young people. Sadly, in the CBC's case, when I say 'young people' I mean people under 40-45. The CBC, with the cancellation of Zed and jPod have already told this audience that they are not very important. Killing Radio 3 would be making this statement yet again with an exclamation point and a 'don't let the door hit you on the way out' on top of it.
In terms of the CBC's mandate none of the CBC's other arts and cultural programming (in my opinion) even meets the mandate. Radio 3 not only meets but exceeds the mandate. That mandate says that the CBC should:
I'll stop there, but again - Radio 3 meets the CBC's mandate better than any other CBC service.
So, along side the campaign to persuade Parliament to increase the CBC's funding a campaign is now underway to tell the CBC to leave Radio 3 alone. Killing radio 3 would take the wind out of the sails of the drive to increase CBC's funding and would be a clear, unequivocal declaration that the CBC is content to grow old and eventually pass away with the baby boomers.