I have an idea to help solve a bunch of Canada’s problems.
Here are a list of the problems:
- One of the largest media companies in the country, CanWest, is (apparently) hovering on the brink of bankruptcy.
- The Canadian Government and financial analysts are anticipating record federal deficits.
- American visitors must now have a passport to visit Canada.
- The website for the Canadian Government is stupidly branded as www.canada.gc.ca.
Here is my bold (and a wee bit crazy) plan …
The Government of Canada buys Canada.com from CanWest Publishing. The value of this property to CanWest is really the content, which can be moved elsewhere. OK, OK, there is some inherent value in the name, but, honestly, it’s not really ideal for what CanWest is selling.
It is worth a considerable amount of money, which the Government should pay (one time), and this would help bail out CanWest (somewhat), thus solving problem #1.
With this new acquisition, the Government of Canada should put together a tourism website a la Australia.com, and use it to promote Tourism to Canada to the world, thus alleviating problem #3, and growing this sector of the economy (alleviating, somewhat, problem #2).
This website, naturally, would incorporate some fancy social media features, too! Anything is better than the crappy website (Copyright 2007, no less) that Tourism Canada has now.
What about the acquisition cost and development of this tourism portal?
That will certainly hurt the bottom line in the short term, but I think it’s a good long term investment. Besides, the Government is busy spending money to help the economy anyway, so why not on something like this? It beats the hell out of a traditional corporate subsidy or bailout (like the crap going on with the automotive companies).
As for problem #4, the Government of Canada has full rights to using the name Canada.ca, but chooses the brand Canada.GC.ca. Why? I can only assume it is because of the concern that Canada.ca might be misheard, leading hapless Canadians to type in Canada.com instead, and end up, confused, on CanWest’s web portal.
Saying Canada.GC.ca makes people stop and think “hmmmm”, so they tend not to mistype it as a result. Theoretically.
If my grand scheme went forward, problem #4 could be solved, the Government of Canada’s web portal could be re-branded (not just re-directed) to Canada.ca. If people mistype it as Canada.com, well, they get the Tourism Canada site, and can click on a link that connects them to the right place. Done.
And the world’s problems are solved.