Canadian TV Is A Place Of Squalor and Neglect

A squall of knowledge recently struck the chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. In a speech, Jean-Pierre Blais declared that he is pretty sick of broadcast executives appearing in front of the CRTC to moan that the “cupboards are bare.”

He was speaking in particular about the issue of local TV news coverage, a task that Canadian commercial broadcasters don’t want to fulfill. “Local television news is failing us. But it need not. The system sits at a position of strength,” Blais said.

Then came the kicker: “I listened as Canadians spoke with intelligence and passion, while corporate executives who own luxury yachts and private helicopters came looking for subsidies.”

I’m surprised it took him so long to recognize that Canadian TV execs are extremely rich and don’t care much about fulfilling their mandated obligations to the Canadian culture. It’s a lucrative racket. If we see television as a landscape filled with a variety of buildings and edifices, then Canadian commercial TV execs are slum landlords, getting rich by bilking pitiful tenants. What they own and manage, in terms of Canadian content, is a place of squalor and neglect. A slum.

- John Doyle: Canadian TV is a place of squalor and neglect, Globe & Mail


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