The old Canadian Broadcasting Corporation English headquarters on Jarvis Street in Toronto used to be referred to as ‘The Kremlin.’ I remember seeing my first videotape machine there. It was almost as big as my car and you edited the huge reels of two-inch tape with scissors. The same capability is now built into cell phones as an accessory. That is history. To-day the English-language CBC rules from fortress-Front Street.
But the proclivity for lies still seems to permeate the corporation. A memory from the Kremlin years might be apocryphal but says it best. At the end of a planning meeting to cover the last Diefenbaker election, the unforgiven was said: “Let’s get to work gentlemen, we have a government to defeat.”
When Pierre Trudeau bought into our concerns that the Board of Broadcast Governors was stifling the growth of private broadcasting in Canada in favour of the CBC, he gave us the quasi-independent Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) and a CBC ready to fight for survival. It might have made the Bassett’s and Shaw’s as rich as Croesus, but the fiction of the altruistic CBC, with only our goodwill at heart, lives on.
But they lie, you know.
I have tried over the years to get the CBC to stop referring to the land-destroying output of the Alberta tar sands as oil. Bitumen from the tar sands cannot become synthetic crude oil until a refinery takes out all the excess carbon and other impurities. It is an extremely polluting process and Albertans much prefer that the process take place a long way from them. Pipelines for diluted bitumen rely on heat and high pressure to force the diluted gunk along and that puts at risk every creek, river or waterway these pipelines cross. Even the Great Lakes are endangered.
Tell that to the CBC and be ignored. They will tell the story their way.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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