Monday, April 13, 2009

Canwest's Ship Starts to Sink

Yet another reason why a fully funded CBC is necessary: the CBC was originally created as a uniting force in a large and sparsely populated country. Even today there is very little that unites this country from coast to coast to coast and reminds us that we are not part of the United States. Some will argue that that we no longer need the CBC, that it's function has been taken over by private broadcasters. Those people are wrong. First of all the private broadcasters primarily show American programs, second of all they are not financially viable: BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Casey wrote in a note to clients today that CanWest's stock is essentially worthless and, whether his analysis is correct or not the company is so deeply buried in debt that its survival in its current form is nearly impossible.
"Canwest has another debt deadline looming Tuesday, by which time it must pay $30.4 million (U.S.) in interest to holders of its 8 per cent senior subordinated notes. The payment was originally due March 15, but the company missed it.

If it doesn't pay Tuesday, the investors can demand the repayment of about $761 million of outstanding principal on the notes. This could further exacerbate the crisis facing the company...
While critical, the looming interest payment is only the tip of the iceberg for Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Canwest, which has a debtload of about $3.7 billion (Canadian), some of it dating back to its 2000 acquisition of newspaper assets from Hollinger International."
Canada still needs a voice of it's own, and a uniting force for the country. A fully funded CBC is the only way to insure that we have that.

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