CBC is a Crown Corporation that comprises two English language networks, radio and television, and two French language networks, radio and television--called Radio-Canada. This is public sector broadcasting.

Almost 50 years old, the CBC, particulary the Toronto radio-television complex, the television station known as CBLT, was a creative and technological center until the mid-sixties. After the first of many budget cuts, a cadre of creative and technical workers went to California to make great contributions to the American industry. (This was not unlike the contribution that Canadian, and British personnel from the terminated Avro Arrow program, made to the American Moon Program.)

The variety of programming, able to compete in one of North America's most competitive media markets, even before cable, produced people well-respected throughout the industry. Public Affaires and Current Events, Children's, Variety, Drama, Music, Sports--it all was broadcast from Toronto.

As with all the other great, and successful, experiments in public ownership, this one couldn't be allowed to survive. In the sixties, broadcasting licenses were issued to private entites that grew into networks. Now, the fashion doesn't permit the government to do what the private sector can do to make a profit.

So the CBC was starved of money--as medicare is being starved for money, as public education is being starved for money. Just today, May 16, 2000, another series of budget cuts has been announced--and lo and behold, it is justified by the fact that the CBC can't make enough money to be a private broadcaster, and besides, no one watches it anyway.

And so, the forces of privatization have another victory, the culmination of a decades long policy. Whether intentional or not, the effect is the same. Beaten down to the American Model.