Good for CBC
Rolling Cabins offer up small solution to a growing problem
I realized back then that Byrd, a tremendously sensible and thoughtful manager, sympathized with my disgust at a double standard, one that would bar commercials from national journalism programs, but would permit their infiltration into local shows as often as the advertisers sought the time.
But we had no choice but to accept the new CBC world, at least in the regions.
Gradually, as most of us are now aware, Canada- wide shows like “The National” were also forced to include advertising, as one federal government after another nailed the CBC with enormous cuts that required the corporation bosses to compromise its ideology of refusing to sell products and services through its journalism.
But now we’ve come full circle, with the corporation wondering aloud once again about eliminating commercials from its television lineup.
( CBC Radio, of course, remains commercial free, delightfully so, if you ask me).
But, as I say, one of the issues that has raised its head during this latest debate about commercials on television is whether the corporation is fulfilling its obligation to provide programming to Canadians that they can obtain nowhere else.
Radio certainly does. But television? Well, that’s an entirely different matter. Newfoundland as an illustration of whether that mandate is being fulfilled, hands up if you believe “Here and Now” is an alternative form of journalism, that you depend on the near legendary supperhour news program to tell you not just what’s gone on in the province on a given day, but to deliver that information with context, with analysis, with a journalistic text not available anywhere.
One could argue, I guess, that if “Here and Now” did not provide competition for NTV, the private station would revert to what it was in the ’ 70s, ’ 80s and much of the ’ 90s: a poor man’s ( or woman’s) version of television news.
But is that a good enough reason to maintain CBC television news and current affairs in its current structure?
You may prefer Ryan Snoddon over Eddie Sheerr or Debbie Cooper and Jonathan Crowe over Lynn Burry and Glen Carter, or vice versa, but such allegiances are not good enough factors to be tossed into the mix of a future CBC schedule.
Perhaps it’s time to at least think about putting the journalistic and technical resources in Newfoundland into real alternative television programming: documentaries, town halls ( imagine if the local CBC had taken ownership of the Muskrat Falls debate several years ago, and organized one public debate after another), or any other journalistic format that could be found nowhere else.
So: if the corporation ultimately travels the commercial- free route, and if its journalistic bosses are told not to concern themselves with ratings, then perhaps that will be the time for local and national programs — even the iconic “Here and Now,” once the most popular supper hour program in the country — to be replaced by more pertinent, and muchneeded, journalistic platforms.
And yes, I can hear my few friends left at the CBC saying it’s “easy for Wakeham” to suggest such a dramatic change in programming, he won’t be affected, and he’d have a different view if he was still picking up his paycheque at the Prince Philip Parkway offices.
Fair enough. But sometimes it takes an outside set of eyes to see the forest for the trees.
In business the term “think big” is a common phase generally meant to encourage success.
But there is a new trend spreading across this big nation. Sean Mercer of Grand Falls- Windsor is hoping it takes hold in this province.
So Mercer wants you to think small, maybe even tiny. As in tiny homes.
Mercer is the owner of Rolling Cabins.
He makes portable, mini homes styled after cabins, but with all the amenities of home.
All packed into roughly 210 square feet of living space.
Mercer has been following the tiny homes movement that has been gaining popularity over the years across Canada.
Mortgage regulation changes made by the federal government convinced Mercer the time is right for the venture.
There has been speculation from the mortgage industry the new rules, which took place in October aimed at making it harder to get a mortgage, will likely have the greatest impact on first-time buyers and singleincome families.
“Mortgages are tying us down and limiting what we can do,” said Mercer. “If you’re looking at a mortgage in the city…, that’s a pretty big payment.”
Low interest, high principal mortgages are chewing away at the disposable incomes of Canadian’s Mercers says.
Mercer says the units aren’t just for homeowners. They also make a great alternative to a traditional cabin or recreational vehicle (RV).
“Anyone that’s into the out- door life will enjoy it,” said Mercer. “Whether it be camping out, or hunting or berry picking…, it’ll suit the needs of anyone from 18 to 80 I’d say.”
Mercer’s first design requires about two months to complete construction. The units can also be customized.
Mercer hasn’t given up his day job, yet. He still travels to Alberta for work, hoping for a big response to his miniature homes.
Mercer says the tiny portable cabins can also be designed to use solar energy.
The units weigh approximately 12,500 lbs., and have been approved for use on roads in the province.
Sean Mercer is thinking big and building small. The Grand Falls-Windsor resident is building tiny portable homes for his new business Rolling Cabins. Mercer was inspired to begin building tiny homes after watching the trend gain popularity across the country.