The CBC scales the heights of Infomercial Journalism

  • Canada’s policy of mass-immigration, by adding 12 million people to our population over the past 40 years, has had a broad array of profound impacts on both the land and the people of this country.

Developers, bankers, cheap labour employers and speculators profit from the resulting inflated asset valuations and a larger commercial economy. But for everyone else, quality of life, a healthy environment, job quality and affordable housing should be the focus of a functioning democratic government.

The CBC, originally created to facilitate conversation across the nation free from commercial bias, has become nothing more than a frontman for the mass-immigration lobby. The latest example is the Aaron Wherry op-ed “There are no simple answers to the immigration and housing question”. It was mis-categorized as “Analysis” but strays far beyond tone-deaf into the realm of “Infomercial”.

It would rate a scene in a dark comedy sendup of Canada’s immigration policy which might be titled “Thank you for Paving Our Country”. For a close parallel, see the movie review of “Thank You for Smoking”.

“Loaded with delightfully unscrupulous characters and a witty, cynical script, Thank You for Smoking is a sharp satire with a brilliantly smarmy lead performance from Aaron Eckhart.”

This movie’s crew would have a field day with the immigration/developer/media cabal in Canada.

The difference here is that the movie is self-aware as a satire whereas Wherry’s piece and the CBC’s hard-right pro-developer stand are a real life tragedy of misuse of a public mandate. It is full-on mass immigration promotion with no apologies or embarrassment delivered with a straight face. It goes beyond even the call by the Globe’s Doug Saunders for a population of 100 million to allow Canada to launch aircraft carrier battle groups to project power around the world. At least that was funny.

The Wherry piece is just an assemblage of denial and distraction boilerplate to keep the naked mass-immigration parade float rolling unchallenged amid tepid applause from the occasional toady. The skewed poll results he quotes were pulled from an immigration lobby-sponsored poll. The Environics survey was conducted in partnership with the Century Initiative and even this survey found declining support for immigration. Yes, the moral and economic bankruptcy of Canada’s population-growth-at-any-cost policy is that tough to hide.

Our Leger poll was much broader based and allowed Canadians to openly speak to their concerns.

It found the following:

  • Canadians are 5:1 against the Century Initiative 100 million target (yet the CBC touts a poll commissioned by that organization artfully crafted to show support for endless population growth).
  • 82% don’t want to live in large cities (and yet what is the CBC promoting?)
  • 80% don’t want immigration to change our culture.
  • The extensive list of population growth-driven impacts gets a firm thumbs down from Canadians but not the CBC.
    • Canadians want lower immigration rather than higher by almost 3:1. (But who would ever ask them? Media corporations vote the other way daily on their pages and content.)

The “consensus” about immigration that the CBC article talks about is not a consensus among Canadians but among the political class sponsored by the profiteers of growth. CBC is the front man for the banks and developers who fund the Century Initiative and the mass immigration lobby objectives that Canadians want no part of by a factor of 5:1. Who is the CBC purporting to speak for?

No promo-piece of mass immigration will mention environmental impacts, well-being, fiscal impacts or anything having to do with the goals of a responsible government. Silence is the best option here.

Canada’s plummeting equality levels (from 2nd in the world in the 1960s to the mid-30s in 2024), soaring debt and close to worst-in-the-world climate and farmland loss/urban sprawl performance never get mentioned in the mainstream press. Certainly the reasons for them don’t.

Cause and effect or follow the money are gigantic elephants in the editorial rooms of the corporate media whose existence it would be unprofitable to publicize. But silence doesn’t equal plausible deniability. They know what they are doing and why.

Ditto the economic impacts of productivity, job quality, and fiscal deficits. (Hint: cheap labour is a money loser for everyone except cheap labour employers who enjoy what amounts to substantial government subsidies.)

Environmental impacts from carbon emissions to urban sprawl to gas plants are strangely absent from media coverage. Moving people from low-consumption countries to high-consumption countries is simply the worst conceivable policy for both global and Canadian GHG emissions. The carbon footprint of our immigrant stream increases by a factor of 4 when they move to Canada.

We should be helping to solve problems where they occur rather than attempting to absorb them. But solving problems isn’t profitable for the elites who count to the CBC.

In fact, as far as the Wherry piece is concerned, Canadians and the land don’t exist outside of the commercial economy. Just consume, acquire debt, pay rent, work cheap and stay quiet.

CBC has fallen from its mandate as the cradle of the national conversation and defender of science and progressive, broad-based discussion to being the leader of the lobby which is doing an immense and possibly fatal amount of damage to the land and the people of Canada.

CBC is in a bit of a quandary having now found itself in a Putinesque dilemma of having gone full-in on a terrible mistake and finding it impossible to back down. The CBC’s growth-forever policy is just as out of

place on this burning planet in the 21st century as is Putin with his imperial war and cannon fodder tactics.

How would Putin withdraw from Ukraine? By pulling the troops back and rebuilding the scores of flattened towns and villages as they went? Not likely. It would be no easier for the CBC to change its tune on immigration and start covering corruption, well-being, biophysical economics and the impacts of growth.

What corporation/elite is going to eat a crow of that magnitude?

But, unlike Putin, who has to win, CBC could be restored to relevance although time is now a factor.

Staying the course of using Canadians as economic cannon fodder simply increases the number of people calling for the corporation’s termination and decreases the number of people willing to support reviving their salvageable assets.

Perhaps giving David Suzuki full editorial control on shows dealing with biophysical economics and the dangerously skewed metrics of a commercial economy could point them back to relevancy. And don’t forget to add reporters who can speak both to and for Canadians and who understand the reality of Canada’s limits and our human predicament. We need real-world literacy in our media services.

The explosive growth of the past is rapidly dying and certainly the 1950s are dead. Let’s just let that period rest in peace and look to a future of progress with a broad-based, well-informed and inclusive national conversation.

CBC, that is what you were created to do.

ps: There isn’t much to say about Wherry’s piece. In contrast, it took considerable time to respond to the Globe’s Konrad Yakabuski’s 5000 word piece, “Canada’s Immigration Plan is a Recipe for Economic Decline” because it had broad content and some solid analysis, i.e. actual analysis and lines of reasoning.

John Erik Meyer

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