WORLD NEWS Letters to the editor: ‘Do we have our priorities...

Letters to the editor: ‘Do we have our priorities straight?’ CBC cuts and layoffs, plus other letters to the editor for Dec. 6

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The CBC logo is projected onto a screen in Toronto on May 29, 2019.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

Speak now

Re “Conservatives, Bloc call for House Speaker’s resignation over video tribute to outgoing interim Ontario Liberal leader” (Dec. 5): The seminal point should not be whether Speaker Greg Fergus intended to use his non-partisan parliamentary role for a partisan purpose.

Far more important should be what his action in making the video, irrespective of intent, says about his judgment. And sound judgment, rigorously applied in every instance, is the singular essential skill required of any speaker of the House of Commons.

If Mr. Fergus didn’t see this mistake from a mile off, what confidence can Parliament have in his judgment when a delicate and important issue, such as one residing in a grey area, comes before him?

Eric LeGresley Ottawa


Sadly Speaker Greg Fergus, as with former speaker Anthony Rota, for reasons sincere and lacking malice, seems to have failed the speaker test, one steeped long in parliamentary tradition. “I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this House is pleased to direct me.”

My words express my profound distress explicit to the integrity entailed to only the office of speaker, not to Mr. Fergus whom I recognize meant no harm. In the end, Mr. Rota resigned in recognition that the office is greater and more substantive than the individual occupant (”House Speaker Rota resigns after MPs call for his exit for honouring man who fought with Nazi unit” – Sept. 27).

Therefore I most ardently encourage Mr. Fergus to resign immediately, notwithstanding my confidence in that he is a decent individual, who alas failed the test that ensures the office of speaker is respected without fear or favour by elected parliamentary peers.

Monte McMurchy Toronto

Fly to Dubai

Re “Canada to draft new methane targets, force sector to cut emissions” (Report on Business, Dec. 5): Despite the federal government’s rhetoric of working with industry and the provinces, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault chose not Saskatchewan, Alberta or even Ottawa to make this announcement, but rather halfway across the world in Dubai at the COP28 conference.

Following recent court losses on environmental regulation by the federal government, distrust toward Ottawa within the provinces seems close to an all-time high. Making announcements in front of the international community for photo ops and pats on the back will likely not help mend divisions here, but only help fuel it.

The next time government decides to impose regulations, it should at least provide the simple decency of facing us when it does.

Rob McCullough Edmonton

Hindsight

Re “Federal government inks deal with U.S. for new Boeing surveillance aircraft” (Report on Business, Dec. 1) and “Good choice” (Letters, Dec. 5): Successive federal governments have failed industry by not planning to replace military equipment within a realistic timeframe. Canada’s failure to better plan a CP-140 Aurora replacement has left the government with no other option than a sole-source deal with Boeing.

Had a search for replacements begun 20 years ago, a fair competition might have been held, including proposals from domestic manufacturers. Then our $10.4-billion might remain at home, providing jobs for bright young Canadians and a financial boost to a highly desirable, domestic aerospace industry. Potential export sales of such a product would be a boon to the Canadian economy.

Instead, we see government panic-buying for our armed forces, from the very company that drove a knife through the heart of the domestic civil aerospace industry in 2017 (”Boeing-Bombardier dispute is Trumpism at its worst” – Sept. 28, 2017). Providing domestic industry with the opportunity to compete, by planning for inevitable equipment obsolescence, would prop up Canada without costing a penny.

Nigel Bain Guelph, Ont.

The first cut

Re “CBC to lay off hundreds, cut production costs as it faces financial strain” (Dec. 5): The CBC will cut 800 jobs because of a $125-million budget shortfall.

That would not even amount to the cost of one soon-to-be-obsolete F-35 fighter jet (”PBO pegs lifetime cost of Canada’s new F-35 fighter jets at $73.9-billion over 45 years” – Nov. 3). Do we have our priorities straight?

Michael Dettman Vancouver


I thought that CBC was making significant cuts and becoming more responsible. Reading further, I discovered that layoffs include only 600 positions; in reality, 200 other jobs are vacant positions and most layoffs will occur over the next 12 months.

As of April, president and CEO Catherine Tait had a base salary range between $442,900 and $521,000. Two executive vice-presidents collected between $284,000 and $436,500, and five vice-presidents between $258,000 and $436,500.

The CBC’s government funding totals $1.27-billion. By some estimates, little more than 4 per cent of the population watches CBC television in English, but all Canadians fund it.

The CBC, then, didn’t do anything significant. While there is a great deal of posturing by senior management about cuts, the show still goes on.

Kensel Tracy Ottawa


Despite efforts from recent CBC CEOs to destroy it, I believe radio services in English and French are worth saving – but only if the CBC stops behaving like a commercial broadcaster and hires more talent back. Where are today’s versions of Peter Gzowski and Andy Barrie?

As for the television service, I think the less said, the better. Any public broadcaster that throws away excellent teaching resources such as Canada: A People’s History (”Why is the CBC letting ‘Canada: A People’s History’ die?” – June 22, 2021) should not be worth saving.

CBC TV services in both languages should bear 100 per cent of the cuts.

Ritchie Leslie Vernon, B.C.


Unfortunately, I don’t see how the cuts are going to be distributed other than between English and French services at the CBC. My interest is in how the cuts are to be handled between radio and television.

Radio has no advertising sources, while TV does. I listen to CBC radio quite a bit (even though I notice its quality has dropped due to past budget cuts), while the only thing I find on TV is news and some imported shows.

While listening to CBC radio, it is apparent to me that Canadians across the country participate in this media, allowing us to see how similar we are to each other. This is important in these days of divisive politics. The TV side I don’t see as doing this so much.

So my plea is don’t defund radio at the same rate as TV. Let us keep seeing our unity.

Chris McCabe The Blue Mountains, Ont.


Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Keep letters to 150 words or fewer. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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