Vive Le Canada

CBC Last Bastion Of The Neo-Cons
Date: Saturday, September 03 2005

by Rick Salutin
September 2, 2005

It's touching, during the current strike, to see CBC management hold the fort for the antiquated economic gospel of the 1980s and '90s, when even its original boosters are fleeing the ship.

Listen to the clichés in their “open letter to Canadians,” paid for by us: “the need for change in today's fast-evolving . . . meeting the significant challenges . . . using public funds responsibly . . . become a much more flexible, agile, nimble operation . . .” I like the last the best. It always means: Kick around employees as if they're spare parts, not human beings with families and responsibilities, while hectoring them to accept the inevitability of change, i.e., total lack of control over their fates.

It sounds as if CBC bosses have been to the Niagara Institute courses on management, which, in fact, they have, again on our dime. There they learn to produce little skits and cheers, anything to make the work force feel better rather than do something to concretely improve their lot. A CBC journalist says: We used to expose those places; now we pay to get in.

This is the language free trade was sold with, back in 1988, when it sounded mildly fresh and energetic. It was never really about trade, which was already pretty free. It was about a business vision of reality, a cultural revolution. Its agenda included smaller government, death to deficits, declining taxes and public funds, gettin' lean and mean, letting the free market solve social and individual problems. What's wild is that the original missionaries for the position have expressed doubts lately in the wake of U.S. behaviour, wondering whether free trade was a mistake we should retract: Pat Carney, Derek Burney, even Tom d'Aquino.

But CBC president Robert Rabinovitch (in The Globe and Mail) still talks like a Reaganomics zealot: “Make the money the CBC has go further . . . internal efficiencies . . . generating income from existing assets — from programming content to real estate . . . entering into new entrepreneurial partnerships.” There's a mite of deference for the CBC “mandate,” but all his passion goes to the “efficiencies,” like renting out some of the floor space. What tiny thinking.

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email Martin to replace the CBC management there now and you can sign letter to Paul Martin to save OUR CBC here

[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on September 5, 2005] http://www.publicairwav...

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