I have one friend who dislikes it when I use ostentatiously Canadian terms, such as "metre" or "Sam Roberts". Well, he's going to hate this idea. But write it I must, for it has seized me as few other ideas ever have.
It's clear that the CBC engages actively promotes the "Canadian Image", even if it's restricted to the image the government longingly wishes were true (i.e. more like New Brunswick). But what if the CBC's plan didn't stop there? Surely more goes on behind those closed doors than contract negotiations...
Ladies and Gentlemen, I contend that the CBC has a Black Ops division.
* * * * *
It was formed in the early 1980s. The British Invasion was over, and America wanted its MTV. The culture wars were over, and Canada had lost before it had even fired a shot. There were still some resistance fighters struggling in the mountains, but the main priority now was simply to hold the defences, and set up a skunkworks to develop as much quality Canadian Content as possible. The man chosen to lead this project was none other than the Voice of Doom himself.
With Mr. Greene at the helm, the project (nicknamed the "New Wilderness") became a huge success. The staff was confident that in another few years of genetic, cybernetic, and social engineering, they'd be ready to bring their creations out into the world. In fact, the workload was so great that the Director was forced to fake his death in 1987 so that he could continue his work uninterrupted.
Unfortunately, the New Wilderness was still a government program at heart, and a few years later, it was all but eradicated by budget cuts. A few projects were brought out before they were ready to make a half-hearted attempt, but most were released harmlessly into the wild (i.e. Vancouver).
A few, however, had been incarcerated. These were the defects, evil recreations of beloved Canadian icons. There in the basement of the New Wilderness they languished, until the cutbacks gave them a chance to escape. Resentful of the government which had betrayed and abandoned them, they named themselves The Hinterland, and went underground to assemble a few soldiers of their own -- and undoubtedly plan their revenge.
I'm sure someone must have filed a report about that, but, this is the government, after all. The decommissioning was quietly forgotten and laid to rest.
Then, in September of 2001, it was woken up. While CSIS frantically researched every Canadian security initiative in the last thirty years, the existence of the Hinterland was rediscovered. They had been making inroads into music and television, using the low Canadian dollar to finance their projects with American investors. The time for defence was over -- the CBC had to act. They re-commissioned their Black Ops division, now with a new mandate: they were no longer meant to nuture quality Canadian programming, but suppress it -- until the Hinterland was cut off from its source of revenue and brought to justice. Also, the world was now speaking of war. Whatever the CBC did, it had to do so quietly, and without attracting American attention.
They needed a new Director. One who knew how Americans thought. One who knew the art of blending in, becoming someone else. One that could inspire absolute loyalty from an organisation rife with informants. The CBC knew who they wanted, and when he agreed, they wasted no time. On Sept. 18, 2001, a press release was issued, sadly informing the people of the nation that their beloved friend and teacher, Ernie Coombs, had passed away.
The next day, Mr. Dressup assembled his agents inside the building once known as The New Wilderness -- now re-christened as Butternut Square. There, he drew out their assignments on an easel, and outfitted them each with their Tickle Trunks: high-tech disguise kits that let them wear any identity they needed. Any other spy gadgets they needed, they'd have to barter for with "Alligator" Al at the Trading Post. They were still running on a government budget, after all.
It wasn't much, but they had one last asset: One of the first things Mr. Greene had done in his tenure was set up a children's creche in the middle of downtown Toronto. There, children who showed the right potential were quietly sent to live together, to be monitored as they relentlessly tested each other. For the most part, it had been a disaster, with one child after another getting lost in the melodrama their surroundings provided. But there was hope still, and Mr. Dressup was confident that he could find some youth there with the ability and the desire to accept the code name... Agent Casey.
With a whistle, Mr. Dressup put on a hat, and stepped out the door. He was going to Degrassi Street.