CBC’s 75th Birthday

Taxpayers are wrapping up yet another gift to the CBC as the state broadcaster celebrates itself.

And you’re invited! (to pay for it whether you want to or not)

Yes, the CBC’s annual budget has ballooned to $1.1 Billion which included a $60 million top up from our new Conservative majority government.

QMI reports that the information commissioner is at war with the state broadcaster over disclosure of its expenses.  The President of the CBC says that they’ll only respond to a court order.

Cabinet ministers won’t even expense lunch if they don’t need to and when they do, they’re more likely to show how frugal they are like when Monte Solberg expensed a $16 lunch for two with a journalist. Even when ministers abuse their expenses, like Bev Oda’s Juno junket, it’s right there for taxpayers to read in black and white online. However, when we grumble about when cabinet ministers get a driver, or fly first class, similar expenses and perks enjoyed by the CBC brass are a state secret.

Yet, our politicians are accountable; we elect them.

If they receive our tax dollars, CBC and any other crown corp should be accountable for every dime.  We don’t elect their boards of directors but we should at least know how they’re spending our money

The National Citizens Coalition is calling upon the government to implement transparency legislation for crown corps including the CBC. Any organization that receives such a beautifully wrapped gift forcefully given by the taxpayer must be transparent to the same.

Last night, I was on Brian Lilley’s Byline on Sun News talking about CBC’s birthday bash.  The hard newsing, straight talking plucky upstart spends in a year what CBC spends in a week. But Sun money is private, the CBC’s money belongs to us.

So, this year the CBC celebrates.  It’s the most lavish office party you’ve ever be told to chip in for.

We celebrated the occasion at Sun News. Our party cost less than $14.

How about those mandatory minimums?

CP reports,

MONTREAL – After preying on 285 young girls, and getting them to remove their clothes in front of their computer, a convicted cyber-predator received his sentence Thursday: two years in prison.

Philippe Truchon, who used Facebook and chat sites to convince adolescent girls to take off their clothes, was handed that penalty at the Montreal courthouse.

The sentence was far more lenient than the five years Crown prosecutors has asked for.

In the 40th Parliament, Bill C-54 was in Senate committee when the opposition pulled down the government.

Bill C-54 sought, among other things,

to increase or impose mandatory minimum penalties for certain sexual offences with respect to children;

Currently, mandatory minimum sentences are not in place for luring a child. Bill C-54 would have put in place a mandatory minimum sentence for this offence. If the law had applied then, on indictment on four counts of cyber-luring (s. 172.1) to which Truchon plead guilty, he would have received a minimum of four years in prison. The judge in this case would have had no other option than to rule that this sentence be served. But, we then learned that this case was even worse after Truchon plead guilty.

During sentencing arguments last week, [the judge] Rheault was informed Truchon approached 285 teenage girls between March and July 2008 through social networks such as Facebook.

Four counts plead, 285 victims, 2 years in prison.

This is not justice.

It’s time to re-introduce and expeditiously pass C-54.

Lemon, lime and whine

In America, they sue when they aren’t warned that the McDonald’s coffee is hot. In Canada, they sue when they can’t get their Pepsi in French:

When Michel Thibodeau couldn’t order a 7-Up in French on an Air Canada flight in spring 2009, the federal-government worker didn’t just grumble about poor service. He and his wife Lynda sued the airline for more than half a million dollars.

They weren’t just upset about the can of pop. The soft-drink incident was one of half a dozen times the couple said they were denied service in French over the course of two trips they took with Air Canada and its contract carrier, Jazz, in 2009.

“If I take a flight and I’m not served in the language of my choice, and I don’t do anything about it, then my right is basically dead,” said Mr. Thibodeau, who is fluently bilingual. “I was not asking for anything other than what I was already entitled to. I have a right to be served in French.”

A Federal Court judge on Wednesday agreed, granting the couple $12,000 in compensation for four occasions when Air Canada failed to serve them in French. The judge also ordered the airline to apologize to the couple and introduce a system to track potential violations of its language duties.

A friend reminded me of a quote from Prime Minister Stephen Harper that might be related,

“After all, enforced national bilingualism in this country isn’t mere policy. It has attained the status of a religion. It’s a dogma which one is supposed to accept without question.” — Stephen Harper

Ahem. Nothing to see here folks…