Blog Case Studies

Addressing Media Subsidies in Canada

The Complaint

Around the time of the introduction of Canada’s first ‘mega budget’ (or ‘omnibus’, as the Conservatives like to call it), many people around the country were busy attacking the CBC because they receive public funds.  The basic view from this side is that many folks want to shut down public broadcasting because it doesn’t help them further their agenda (whatever that agenda might be).

Despite these complaints, the fact remains that Canadians want a publicly-funded media organization.  Other organizations – like Leadnow – are working to defend the CBC in a comical campaign designed to boost public awareness about the values of having a publicly funded broadcaster.

With this context in mind, I’d like to flip this question around and ask:

How much are we spending in terms of taxpayer dollars to subsidize the financial activities of Canadian media companies?

Addressing Media Subsidies in Canada

Subsidies for content creation and media in Canada have grown substantially over the years and it’s time we start looking a little closer at who the beneficiaries of these handouts are.

There are at least three ways in which media corporations in Canada receive handouts from various levels of government in this country:

  1. Direct subsidies
  2. Indirect subsidies
  3. Advertising

The goal of this researcher is to identify the flow of funds from our governments to media companies and help the public understand that it’s not just the CBC that receives a lot of funding from the Canadian public.

Objective Research

Over the coming weeks, I welcome your feedback on this topic, with a particular eye on sources and legitimate data that helps make the case in either direction.  I’d like to look at this as objectively as possible and truly understand the Canadian media landscape from a funding perspective.  Please post comments below or email me directly at bill AT bottree DOT com.