Minister, in my mind, the status quo at the CBC is not going to stand. It cannot stand, and going ad-free is not nearly enough. I think our public broadcaster has a critical role to play in providing quality local and regional news to our communities—we've heard that time and again—especially in more remote and rural parts of this country where, as we've heard, viable alternatives are exceedingly hard to come by, if they exist at all.
I firmly believe that the CBC, as the public broadcaster funded by taxpayers, can fill those gaps in the marketplace. They are no longer gaps; they are gaping chasms when it comes to news. I really do believe, particularly of late, that our democracy is in peril when people do not have viable, critical journalism in the towns and cities where they live, and about the towns and cities where they live.
As Hubert Lacroix, the CEO of the CBC, has said time and again—and I couldn't agree with him more—if not the public broadcaster, who? With budget 2016 pledging $675 million in funding to CBC and Radio-Canada, how do you see that money helping to solve this critical issue of viable local news in Canada?