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LILLEY: Canadians are ditching CBC, so why do we keep funding it? – Toronto Sun



Every single time I critique CBC, I’m told that we need to have the state broadcaster, that Canadians rely upon it.

But the numbers would beg to differ.

Whether we are talking audience share or advertising revenue, CBC is a broadcaster in decline.

Did you know that across Canada, over a total of 27 stations coast to coast, the average audience for CBC’s supper hour newscast was 329,000 people? That’s not 329,000 people per market, that is across the country.

Compare that to just one of CTV’s local supper hour newscasts, CFTO in Toronto, which averaged 1.4 million viewers per night in the first week of 2020. That doesn’t include other major markets like Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary or Ottawa where CTV outstrips CBC. It doesn’t include Global News, which is dominant in Western Canada and like CTV doesn’t take a $1.5 billion per year subsidy from the taxpayers.

These CBC ratings aren’t numbers that I’ve made up, they were contained in CBC’s most recent annual report and highlighted by Ottawa-based media outlet Blacklock’s Reporter.

Other nuggets in that annual report include that CBC’s prime-time audience share in television was 5%, down from 7.6% in 2017-18. We also learned that CBC News Network’s total audience share is 1.4% of all TV viewers.

These slumping ratings mean slumping ad sales, the report says advertising revenue is down 21% overall — the decline in English Canada was actually much bigger, a 37% drop. If it were not for CBC’s French language division having a pretty good year, things would have been much worse.

Ad revenues dropped from $318.2 million in 2018 to $248.7 million in 2019 and things are not likely to get better. Well, except for the increase in government revenue.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were elected on a promise to increase CBC’s base funding by $150 million a year. That promise has been met and I’m sure Trudeau will soon be considering more money for his favourite news and media outlet.

Meanwhile, as I reported about two weeks ago now, CBC is asking the CRTC for permission to broadcast less Canadian content on TV even as they take more of our money. As part of their broadcast licence renewal application, the state broadcaster is asking the broadcast regulator for permission to show less “mandated content,” meaning less Canadian content.

Would we even notice?

CBC’s latest attempt to get ratings heading in the right direction has seen them bring in Family Feud Canadian Edition. Nothing says telling Canada’s stories to Canadians quite like importing a dated American game show and selling it like it is something new.

What’s next? Showing Home Alone 2 and editing out Donald Trump?

CBC does well in radio — as someone who worked for years in private radio and competed against CBC Radio, I can say they have an audience and do a good job.

Yet on TV, Canadians are voting with their clickers.

Long before cutting the cord became a concern for TV executives, CBC was the third horse in a three-horse race. They were the least preferred option for comedies or dramas and the least preferred for news.

This may come as a shock to some media folks, especially on Parliament Hill, but CBC’s The National has been the third most watched national newscast for decades. Their recent reboot has only made things worse, pushing ratings below 400,000 viewers a night and at times I am told below 300,000 viewers.

CBC is out of touch with Canadians and what they want to see.

Their supporters may say ratings shouldn’t matter for a state broadcaster like CBC but if they aren’t producing shows we want to watch with their massive subsidy then what is the point of continuing to fund them?

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Canadian travel restrictions extended until Halloween – Canada Immigration News



Shelby Thevenot

Shelby Thevenot

Kareem El-Assal

Kareem El-Assal

Kareem El-Assal

Published on September 28th, 2020 at 09:02pm EDT
Updated on September 28th, 2020 at 09:20pm EDT


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Canada is once again extending travel restrictions to foreign travellers as cases of coronavirus continue to rise.

A new Canadian government Order in Council states that coronavirus travel restrictions will be extended until Halloween, on October 31.

Canada initially closed its borders from March 18 to June 30. Since then travel restrictions have been rolled over on a month-by-month basis.

The border is closed to foreign travellers who are coming to Canada for a non-essential reason such as recreation, tourism, or entertainment.

Some people are exempt from travel restrictions, such as:

  • Canadian citizens (including dual citizens) or permanent residents;
  • certain people who have been approved for Canadian permanent residence;
  • certain temporary foreign workers;
  • certain international students;
  • protected persons;
  • immediate family members of Canadians; or
  • anyone else who falls under the exemptions listed on the government’s webpage.

Everyone who crosses the Canadian border must still quarantine for 14 days. The only exemptions to the mandatory quarantine requirement are:

  • crew members;
  • people invited by the health minister to help with the COVID-19 response, and other healthcare workers;
  • members of visiting forces who are coming to work;
  • people coming to receive medical services within 36 hours of their arrival;
  • crossing the border in a trans-border community;
  • people crossing into Canada aboard a “vessel” for the purposes of research, as long as they stay on the vessel; and
  • other circumstances listed in the Order in Council.

Canada has a separate order in place that has also limited cross border travel between it and the U.S. since March. This order was also extended again earlier this month.

The decision to extend Canada’s travel restrictions come as no surprise in light of the rising COVID-19 cases in Canada and abroad.

Canada was able to successfully flatten the coronavirus curve from late May until August.

However, COVID-19 cases have been steadily increasing since late August.

Canada’s largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, have announced stricter measures in recent days to try and reduce the significantly higher levels of COVID-19 cases they have experienced over the past month.

Canada is still issuing new permanent residence invitations throughout the pandemic.

These invitations are being issued to individuals currently in Canada as well as those abroad, although the number of individuals completing their permanent residence landing in Canada is much lower than usual due to the pandemic.

In addition, the travel restrictions stipulate that only those who received their permanent residence approval prior to March 18 are currently eligible to travel to Canada.

As such, Canada’s ongoing Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws are meant in part to facilitate the arrival of immigrants in support of Canada’s economy after the pandemic.

In a speech last week, the Canadian government stated it plans to continue to welcome global talent to drive the country’s economic growth.

Two major events in October will provide more clarity on the Canadian government’s immigration plans following the pandemic.

Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino has made a series of remarks throughout the pandemic suggesting that immigration will be vital to Canada’s economic recovery.

COVID 19, the Economy and Immigration with the Hon Marco Mendicino

Since 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal government have regularly and widely championed immigration to Canada and the welcoming of refugees. Now, …

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

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  • Shelby ThevenotShelby Thevenot

    Shelby Thevenot

    Editor, CIC News

    Shelby is an Editor at CIC News.

    Shelby has worked as a freelance writer, photojournalist and staff video journalist before she came to CIC News in 2019.

    She has lived in Manitoba, Alberta, B.C., and now Quebec. Her exposure to life in multiple communities across Canada
    helps her connect readers with the places where they may end up living someday.

    Helping people navigate the complex Canadian immigration system is what drives her to create new, engaging, and comprehensive content for CIC News readers.

    Talking to people with interesting stories and insights is the best part of her day. Send story ideas to

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World must get COVID-19 under control before winter comes to Northern Hemisphere: WHO doctor – CTV News



Countries with rising COVID-19 numbers – Canada among them – must get the curve under control before hospitals are inundated with huge numbers of people battling either the novel coronavirus or winter’s seasonal sicknesses, says a doctor with the World Health Organization.

“Well, certainly the winter months are very important because that’s when other illnesses appear,” said Dr. Margaret Harris, who spoke to CTV’s Your Morning from Geneva on Monday.

“That’s the time when respiratory illnesses really love to circulate in our communities.”

That includes colds, flus, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

The world is rapidly closing in on a million deaths from COVID-19 and has surpassed 33 million cases, according to WHO numbers updated Monday.

“So we’ve already got this terrible virus, and as you said, we are reaching an awful milestone.”

Case numbers are rising in Canada and in many countries around the world. On Monday, Canada recorded 1,450 new cases in just Ontario and Quebec. Ontario’s 700 new cases is the highest single-day COVID-19 increase ever recorded in the province.

Canada has now recorded 154,575 cases and 9,270 deaths, according to figures compiled by CTV News. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that a second wave is already underway in most of Canada that could make the fall “much worse” than the spring.

Canada’s seven-day tally of new cases – 8,897 – places it No. 26 on that score, according to WHO numbers. The U.S. ranks worst, with 305,412 new cases in the last week, bringing its total to more than 7 million. 

The WHO has called surging coronavirus cases in Europe a “very serious situation.”

Harris says caseloads are rising because people are spending more time together, and holding more mass gatherings.

As COVID-19 numbers climb, it will place a heavy burden on hospitals that will also be dealing with seasonal illnesses. Cold weather can even bring an uptick in heart attacks because cold weather can constrict the flow of blood to the heart.

“Your hospitals won’t be able to deal with all the things they have to do,” said Harris. “So that’s why it’s so critical to really suppress transmission of this virus right now.”

It’s just as important to seek out knowledge from reputable sources, says Harris, including the WHO, national health departments, and universities.

“One of the biggest problems right now is that misinformation is flying around the world a lot more quickly than the right information,” she said.

“We all hear all sorts of stuff from friends and neighbours and social media and everything else, but go check it first, and before you pass anything check whether it’s true.”

Harris says there is reason to be optimistic on the vaccine front.

The WHO is tracking more than 170 COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are being developed and tested around the world.

“Never have there been so many vaccines, so many scientists, so many groups working so hard to create such an important tool for humanity.”

Nine vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials, says Harris, meaning they are being tested to see if they work “out in the wild” to protect against transmission of the virus.

“To really know that, you have to give it to a lot of people, between 30,000 and 60,000. And half of them have to get the vaccine and half of them have to get something else, and you look to see if there is a difference.”

To be really effective, the trial needs to be “double blinded,” where neither the researchers nor the trial participants know whether or not they got the vaccine.

Harris says it’s expected that results from the first of the Phase 3 trials will begin to be known at the end of this year or early next year.

“It’s still a while yet, but it’s still very good news.” 

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Ontario sees single-day record of 700 new COVID-19 cases as calls grow to return to Stage 2 –



Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the province’s record-setting new COVID-19 case count Monday “deeply concerning,” but announced no new public health measures, despite a group of doctors and medical experts calling for a return to Stage 2. 

The province reported an additional 700 cases of coronavirus on Monday, the most on a single day since the outbreak began in late January. 

Speaking to reporters, Ford said Ontario is indeed embarking on its second wave, which will be “more complicated, more complex — it’ll be worse” than the first.

Still, asked about calls by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) to re-implement restrictions meant to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Christine Elliott said, “We don’t want to turn back a stage unless we absolutely have to.”

As for how high the case count needs to climb to get to that point, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams wouldn’t say. Williams suggested the province is considering “targeted” measures, but didn’t specify what measures might be under consideration, where, or at what point they might be implemented. 

WATCH | ‘We’re in the second wave,’ Ford says of COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario:

Ontario is now in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Doug Ford and health officials said Monday. 1:21

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Williams reiterated the importance of wearing masks and washing hands, urging Ontarians to limit their contact with people and only attend essential gatherings — even though most businesses and establishments in the province are open.

Williams also cautioned against contact with anyone who is not taking the risk of COVID-19 or the associated public health guidance seriously.

“I would avoid contact with those people,” he said. “They may be someone you know.”

Also Monday, Williams urged the public against “nice-to-know” testing, saying the province is working to increase testing capacity. Until that happens, he insisted testing should be done on a “need-to-know” basis, meaning anyone seeking a test who does not fall into the current testing criteria should not be tested right now.

The province also announced the recruitment of 3,700 more health-care workers and caregivers, including nurses and personal support workers (PSWs), at a price tag of $52 million.

“Your province needs you right now,” Ford said, calling for more Ontarians to consider becoming health-care workers.

Monday’s count of new cases surpasses the previous high of 640, which came on April 24, when community transmission of the virus was thought to be at its peak in the province.

A majority of newly confirmed cases are concentrated in four public health units:

  • Toronto: 344
  • Peel Region: 104
  • Ottawa: 89
  • York Region: 56

Other areas with double-digit increases include:

  • Niagara Region: 20
  • Halton Region: 15
  • Hamilton: 13
  • Simcoe Muskoka: 12

Elliott said in a series of tweets that about 60 per cent of new cases today were found in people under 40 years old.

Thirty-six are “school-related,” according to the ministry, including 27 students, three staff and six people categorized as “individuals not identified.” A total of 224 of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly funded schools, or about 4.64 per cent, have reported at least one case of the illness. 

The news comes as Ontario’s labs processed around 41,111 test samples for the illness, with another 49,586 in the queue waiting to be completed. The positivity rate in today’s report is 1.7 per cent, markedly higher than on any day since the province ramped up testing significantly in June. 

More than 40,000 test samples have been processed on each of the last four days. Elliott has previously said the province hopes to reach capacity for up to 50,000 tests per day in the coming weeks.


The number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to steadily rise, and now sits at 128. Twenty-eight of those patients are being treated in intensive care, while 17 are on ventilators.

Further, data from some 40 hospitals around the province was not submitted in time to be included in today’s report, the ministry says.

Meanwhile, 44 long-term care facilities throughout the province are reporting outbreaks, a figure that has been slowly increasing in recent weeks. During the peak of COVID-19 cases in Ontario, long-term care residents accounted for about two-thirds of all deaths. 

Ontario has now seen a total of 50,531 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the entirety of the outbreak. Of those, about 85.3 per cent are considered resolved. Another 331 were marked resolved in today’s update.

The province also recorded one new official COVID-19 death, putting its death toll at at 2,840. A CBC News count based on data from public health units, which helps avoid lag times in the provincial reporting system, puts the actual toll at 2,880.

There are currently about 5,571 confirmed, active infections of the novel coronavirus provincewide. The most active cases ever observed were 5,669 on April 23.

WATCH | Infectious disease specialist Isaac Bogoch explains if targeted restrictions will be enough to keep cases in check:

An infectious disease specialist answers questions about the COVID-19 pandemic including if targeted restrictions will be enough to keep cases down. 4:04

OHA calls for tighter restrictions

Shortly after the Ministry of Health published its daily report, the OHA released a statement calling for stricter public health measures in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa.

“A return to Stage 2, with restriction on indoor dining and bars, places of worship, weddings, gyms, movie theatres and other non-essential businesses, is needed now to keep schools and prevent a further acceleration of infections,” said Anthony Dale, president and CEO of the organization. 

The OHA said it has heard from member hospitals that administrators and staff are concerned that a rise in infections will inevitably lead to higher admissions, putting unsustainable strain on resources and care.

“We’ve seen in jurisdictions around the world how acute care capacity can be easily overwhelmed if the number of positive cases rises too sharply,” the statement said.

“While Canada’s health-care system has many strengths, our capacity is limited, and we can no longer sustain a false sense of security and belief that this will not happen to us.”

Dale said the OHA understands how a return to Stage 2 in these areas could negatively impact businesses but said public health considerations must come first.

Several casinos reopen

Several Ontario casinos reopened on Monday, even as a surge in COVID-19 cases was reported in the province.

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation said it reopened 11 of its properties, including Casino Woodbine in Toronto and Casino Ajax.

Ontario allowed casinos to reopen as parts of the province moved into Stage Three of their pandemic response this summer. The province has, however, prohibited table games at the establishments.

Great Canadian Gaming said it will have a limit of 50 guests indoors at its casinos and is focused on reopening safely.

Still have questions about COVID-19? These CBC News stories will help.

Is another lockdown coming in Ontario? What do we know about the Ford government’s fall plan?

CBC Queen’s Park reporter Mike Crawley obtained a draft copy of the plan

What’s the latest on where I should get tested?

It’s confusing, but here’s an explainer complete with a flow chart

What’s the most recent guidance on mask use?

Reporter Lauren Pelley took a look at what the experts are advising

What should I do about my COVID-19 bubble?

With cases going up, even small gatherings are getting riskier

Who is getting COVID-19?

CBC News crunched the data from across Canada to get the clearest picture possible

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