|Bill Tieleman with Mark Kelley in April 2011 shooting |
a show in Vancouver during federal election
We often hear the bad news about job losses and cutting spending in an abstract way - today I learned that the great CBC TV NewsNetwork show Connect with Mark Kelley has been cancelled as part of federal budget cuts - and it stinks.
I have been honoured to appear on the show with Mark several times - most recently last Thursday about the F35 fighter jet controversy - and think Mark is one of the brightest lights at the CBC.
Now he and his staff have been driven into the ditch by Conservative government budget cuts and CBC management decision making.
And Mark's many fans from coast to coast have been deprived of an intelligent host with an engaging show that looked more in depth at a variety of issue on a daily basis.
Mark is too talented to stay off air - so I hope he remains in a new role somewhere in CBC TV - but he is also someone that any network in the world would love to add to their staff.
Mark's dedicated on and off air colleagues may not be as fortunate, though they are very skilled and hard working. I wish all the producers and other staff I've dealt with good luck in finding new work.
But for viewers, well, there isn't going to be any good luck. We've already suffered from ongoing cuts to CBC TV and Radio - and I sadly note also the loss of Dispatches with Rick MacInnes-Rae on Radio One - and it is far from over.
More Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune - cheap American game show TV - is what we will get instead of real news and current affairs reporting, original Canadian drama and comedy and a commitment to public broadcasting.
I urge you to support Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the non-profit group fighting to save and improve the CBC and public broadcasting in this country - before it's too late.
Lastly - the only thing for those of us who oppose the Conservatives shortsighted and wrongheaded position is to make it vote determining in the next election.
Not only are these CBC cuts wrong - they are another broken election promise. On May 3, 2011 Conservative Heritage Minister James Moore stated:
Moore, Member of Parliament for BC's Port Moody-Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam riding, should be held accountable for what he promised.