After over seventy-five years of invading our eyes, ears and minds with national and international news and information, the CBC is ready to open its own mind to a larger dialogue.

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting (FRIENDS) hosted a public forum dubbed “The CBC We Want” Tuesday afternoon in Innovation Park. The goal of the event was to foster an open discussion between key Hamilton media personalities and any Hamiltonians who had a bone to pick with the national media organization.

This dialogue was spurred on by the upcoming CBC license renewal, an event that is the first of its kind, as the CRTC reviews the funding allocated to the non-profit media provider. This event promised the direction of major concerns and suggestions towards the CRTC in time for the review process, the deadline for which is this Friday, and facilitated the procedure through the use of an individual video booth where attendees could film one-minute proposals to the review board.

“For many years, the CBC has been an integral player in promoting discussion,” said McMaster President Patrick Deane, as he commenced the event and welcomed to the stage the moderator and former prima ballerina Veronica Tennant.

“Many of us are disappointed in the continued budget cuts to the CBC,” said Tennant as she introduced the six panelists responsible for responding to questions raised by the audience later in the event, each an expert in the field in their own right.

The event marks the penultimate stop in the eight-city tour that has already hit Victoria to Halifax and most of central Canada, ending in Kingston on Oct. 11.

After a brief recess to meet the panelists, the event resumed and the floor was open to questions from the audience.

An audience member asked the panel if the CBC would become irrelevant in the future due to subsequent budget cuts. Philip Savage, McMaster Associate Professor of Communication Studies answered, “Canada and the CBC is the most efficient by far [in their funding model], the problem is when you get to that point when CBC can no longer work from a [non-profit] basis.”

The CRTC review process will begin after the deadline for submission closes this Friday, Oct. 12. For the first time in 76 years citizens of Canada have a chance to either redefine or maintain the mandate of the CBC to educate, enlighten and inform.

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