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CBC has filed a claim with the Department of Industry to trademark the word “Oh” and “Radio-Canada Oh-dio” with the department’s intellectual property office.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Erin O’Toole recently called for the privatization of the publicly funded TV service.
CBC’s potential new “Oh” marketing campaign is reminiscent of the network’s earlier attempts to boost sales with previous trademarks such as“Fall for CBC” in 2014, “Canada’s Own” in 2011, and “Trusted, Connected, Canadian” in 2001.
In 2013 the public broadcaster sued a Montréal cable station for $50,000 over the trademark “Ici” (“here”) which they used for their French-language service according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
“Our public broadcaster is stuck in the past,” said O’Toole in a campaign video on February 14. “An O’Toole government will modernize and reform the CBC,” said O’Toole. “We will end funding for CBC digital and we will cut the CBC English TV budget by fifty percent. Our plan will phase out TV advertising with a goal to fully privatize CBC English TV by the end of our first mandate.”
The CBC receives $1.2 billion grant per year from the government, however, their English-language television ad revenues fell 37 percent last year.
O’Toole said he would keep CBC French-language services and the Crown broadcaster’s national radio network as it is.
In 2017 a Conservative bill to privatize the CBC as an entire corporation was brought forth but was defeated.
Former Conservative MP Brad Trost was a sponsor of the bill, “The Mulroney administration philosophically should have done it, just as the previous Harper administration philosophically should have been prepared to privatize the CBC,” said Trost, in an interview at the time. “Someone needed to take the first steps to get things going.”
“The late former finance minister Jim Flaherty actually broached this subject a few times in the past,” said Trost. “He spoke to me about how it was one of his wishes to privatize the CBC. Jim and I discussed it.”
Bill C-308 An Act To Provide For The Incorporation Of The CBC would have reorganized the network under the Canada Business Corporations Act with plans to have a final sale within the following three years. The bill was shot down in the Commons by a vote of 260 to 6.