Canadian Gender Report (CGR) offers this report to the CBC in hopes that the CBC will improve its coverage of issues related to gender identity. The CBC’s approach to the contested issues surrounding the ability to self-identify one’s gender is often biased and fails to deliver on CBC’s mandate. CBC has been actively putting forward a narrative that is not balanced and does not take into consideration the severe implications for women and children in our society.
The recent opinion piece the CBC published covering the radical trans activism that has overtaken our society is a welcome change, however, only brushes the surface of the debate that needs to be had in Canada to resolve many critical issues that are surfacing now that gender self-identification has become the law of the land.
We define the “gender identity debate” in terms of the social change being imposed upon Canadians by the adoption of self-declared gender as a replacement for biological sex throughout society. The imposition of gender theory in Canada is having a profound effect on human interactions and relationships and is transforming social and cultural institutions. The issues surrounding this transformative change are numerous, complex, and contested. People on all sides feel under threat, while divisions seem to be growing wider and animosity increasing. The CBC could and should be helping the country to grapple with contentious issues related to the debate around gender self-identity. The CBC could and should use its role as a public (and publicly funded) broadcaster to generate light, not heat. The CBC could and should support the country in exploring the multi-faceted issues related to gender self-identity including, but not limited to: rights, ethics, medical treatment pathways, and mental health support. These issues are decidedly undecided, despite what the CBC chooses to report.
Specific gender-related issues include but are not limited to: medical treatment of gender-questioning youth, same-sex spaces, balancing competing Charter-based rights, gender theory in schools and throughout society, and changes in language.
The CBC has the following mandate as defined in the 1991 Broadcasting Act…
“…the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, should provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains.”
Canadian Gender Report (CGR) has produced this research report on the CBC’s output on gender identity issues and analyzed CBC’s coverage of these issues against the stated mandate of the broadcaster:
When it comes to the gender self-identity debate, the CBC has failed to meet its mandate in several key areas and therefore has failed Canadians.
We found that occasionally the CBC covers this issue solidly; however, more often it does not, being biased, poorly informed, and at times patronizing. Frequently, the CBC’s coverage of issues related to gender self-identity fails to report on important and relevant developments or competing perspectives. The CBC’s reporting on issues related to gender identity is at best imbalanced and at worst propagandist.
As a publicly funded agency, the CBC has a critical role in Canadian public life. Further, it is our view that the CBC has an ethical responsibility to Canadians to provide well-researched stories without political or ideological slant. The CBC’s journalistic integrity could and should illuminate sensitive issues in a way that promotes audience understanding of the issue at hand. Understanding comes from more information, not less. Understanding includes considering multiple, not fewer, perspectives on contentious topics. As a public broadcaster, one would expect the CBC to provide complete and balanced information, thereby supporting a deeper understanding of the issues at play about any topic. Canadians may never agree on a topic, but it is the mandate of the CBC to provide information from a neutral stance, not to determine which information is acceptable for Canadian consumption.
Sadly, on issues related to the gender identity debate, the CBC is demonstrably a partisan player, not an impartial convener. The CBC can and must do better. We hope the CBC accepts this report as our way of offering support to the CBC to better meet its mandate.
This report does not cover Radio-Canada or coverage in French.
Canadian Gender Report parents and contributors to this report thank Mark Lehain and the Campaign for Common Sense, a British organization that recently published a similar report about the BBC in the UK. We acknowledge and are grateful for their kind permission to model our report about the CBC in Canada on theirs.