Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Most of the CBC's real estate holdings are gone.

A website called the "Directory of Federal Real Property" provides a complete list of the Government of Canada's real estate holdings.
Yesterday, I discovered that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been "delisted" from the FDRP. Now I know why---the real estate portfolio has been liquidated:

1140 Yonge Street is now a Staples Business Depot Ltd. and Best Buy Business Depot; 230 Front Street West is a hotel and condo; 354 Jarvis is the Canadian National Ballet School and condos, and condos were constructed on the huge parking lot behind 354 Jarvis Street. Rosedale is one of the wealthiest communities in Canada. (This document is part of the "1992 Federal Directory of Real Property"-stored at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.)

In 1985, the CBC owned 485 buildings and 1,870 hectares of land. (From: The Nielsen Report-1985-Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.)
According to a Globe and Mail article, the Crown corporation is selling the Montreal headquarters and 27 other properties, worth a billion dollars.
     "We've been hacking away at our vast portfolio of real estate" said Maryse Bertrand, CBC vice-president of real estate. (From: "CBC moves to find tenants for extra space at its Toronto headquarters" by Steve Ladurantaye, Globe and Mail June 15, 2012.)

In the year 2000, the CBC was seeking a buyer for a billion dollars worth of communications infrastructure. Not one dime from the sale was deposited into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, Canada's treasury, because of "The Broadcasting Act" (1991):
-608 transmission towers
-750 transmission sites
-2,500 transmitters. (From: CBC/Radio Canada - CBC Seeks Buyer for its Transmission Assets-July 18, 2000.)

The Crown corporation recently decommissioned 620 analogue transmitters, which will negatively impact Canadians who live in the Far North and Atlantic Canada, rural parts of the country and low-income earners. During the 1980's, 99% of Canadians had access to CBC television and radio.(From: The Canadian Broadcasting Company -The Canadian Encyclopedia - Hurtig Publishing Limited, 1985.)

Instead of laying off employees, cancelling television programs, shutting down television and radio stations and selling Crown property, the CBC should adhere to its Official Mandate:
The programming provided by the Corporation should:
Be predominantly and distinctively Canadian, to reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions.---I never want to see "Roseanne", "Friends", "Married with Children", "Frasier" or any other American sitcom on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation channel. And I will never understand why the CRTC and CBC cut funding for local programming in smaller communities.
Be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means...The broadcaster should never have discontinued analogue transmission service.
Many Canadians who cannot afford it will now have to pay for cable or satellite television service.
CBC radio and television provided a vital service, particularly in Northern and Atlantic Canada, when they warned the population about impending weather disasters, such as hurricanes and massive snowfalls.

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