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Catherine Tait is the president and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public radio and television broadcaster, since 2018, succeding Hubert Lacroix in that role. She is the first woman to head the organization.[1][2]

Catherine Tait
Catherine Tait - 2018 CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser (30730303098) (cropped).jpg
Tait at the CFC's Annual BBQ fundraiser in 2018.
OccupationPresident & CEO of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Philosophy degree from the University of Toronto, a Masters from Boston University, and a Diplôme d’Études Approfondies in Communications Theory from the Paris-Sorbonne University.[3]

In September 2018, Tait announced a new streaming service, Gem, at Content Canada, an industry event in collaboration with the Toronto International Film Festival. The service will launch in 2018 and will supported by advertisements with a CA$4.99 per month ad-free version.[4]

Comparison of Netflix to colonialismEdit

Tait came under fire for the unparalleled comparison of Netflix to colonial imperialism in India and parts of Africa. She said "I was thinking about the British Empire and how, if you were there and you were the viceroy of India, you would feel that you were doing only good for the people of India. Or similar, if you were in French Africa, you would think, I’m educating them, I’m bringing their resources to the world, and I’m helping them. There was a time when cultural imperialism was absolutely accepted."[5]

TV critic, John Doyle, who has long criticized the low standards of Canadian TV wrote about Tait's ignorant statements saying "CBC's problem is complacency not imperialism."[6]

Tait's comments made American headlines with J.J. McCullough of The Washington Post writing a piece about the incident. McCullough pointed out an important fact about Canada's heavily government-regulated TV industry "Given the sensitivities of our time, one might assume the recent comments of Catherine Tait, president of the state-sponsored Canadian Broadcasting Corp., would provoke calls for her resignation. It is not every day, after all, that one spouts analogies as historically callous as hers." He continued saying, "The guardians of Canada’s domestic entertainment industry cannot handle this reality, however, which is why Tait’s use of an appallingly ignorant slur like “imperialism” to describe Canadians’ love of Disney, Netflix and HBO has caused barely a ripple. As the Globe and Mail report on the Tait comments noted, basically all of Canada’s modern cultural-telecommunication regulatory regime “was built in part as a bulwark against American influence," and one presumably does not build bulwarks against the benign. Since bureaucrats like Tait cannot demagogue against the tastes of a public whose interests they imagine themselves to be serving, the phantom menace of an imperial America conspiring to conquer Canada must be created instead."[7]


  1. ^ "Catherine Tait chosen as CBC/Radio-Canada president". CBC News. April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  2. ^ Stone, Laura (April 3, 2018). "Catherine Tait to become CBC president, the first woman to hold role". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Catherine Tait - Senior Executive Team". Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Gem, CBC's rebranded TV app, to stream 'crown jewels of Canadian content'". September 12, 2018.
  5. ^ "CBC president Catherine Tait compares Netflix to colonialism of the British and French empires". January 31, 2019.
  6. ^ "CBC's problem is complacency not imperialism". February 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "No, the popularity of American TV in Canada is not 'imperialism'". February 7, 2019.
Preceded by
Hubert Lacroix
President of the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation