The CBC is not taking long to spend that extra $650 million dollars the Liberal government allotted to them in the recent budget. Next Friday CBC is releasing the Syrian Refugee 2016 app for iPhone and Android devices. Riding on the success of feel-good, low quality, “news” stories such as “Syrian refugees experience hockey for first time”, “Refugee family checks out Tim Hortons for the first time”, “Syrian children takes first toboggan ride”, and the very popular “Syrians skate on ice for the first time” this app appears destined for success.
The premise of the app is simple: first you choose any one of 25,000 government sponsored refugees (more expected to be released in 2017), then you choose an activity from a list of over 300. CBC will then send a news crew out to that refugee and their family and film the family taking part in whatever activity is chosen. Want to see Syrians ride a skateboard for the first time? Hit a raccoon with their car for the first time? Awkwardly try to order something in French and have the cashier begrudgingly respond in English? It’s all available on the app.
Every Syrian Refugee in Canada had to sign a contract in exchange for the large amounts of money they received upon entry to the country. This contract allows the CBC to film them at any time of day and anywhere they are. Most Canadians believe that Syria is either on a different planet or is devoid of anything that Canada has so they always believe that anytime they see a Syrian taking part in any activity, it’s their first time.
However, the CBC does not have a successful history in creating mobile apps. The Hockey Night in Canada app suffered many glitches and problems while their “Guess Who – Niqab Edition” was only popular among certain ethnic groups. Despite these former set-backs CBC CEO Hubert Lacroix believes that this new App is going to be a winner.
“This has been one of our most popular news segments since the election. Canadians just can’t get enough of people who look different than them doing things we think are normal. In the same way that dogs wearing people clothing, or monkeys riding bicycles, used to be popular now we believe that Syrians, especially children, doing things that they either couldn’t or didn’t do back in Syria is the most amusing thing in the world. Canadians eat that shit up like it’s an apple fritter.”
Early reviews are mostly positive. Select smart phone users in Toronto, Edmonton, and Montreal had a chance to test out the app and confirmed that their white guilt went down tremendously after only 4-5 uses. The freedom to watch a refugee go to a Vancouver medical marijuana shop and pretend to have glaucoma at any time of the day was a major selling point for some users, while others enjoyed making them discuss how they’re better than Americans as is the Canadian tradition (Note: this feature is currently disabled as it led to unintended and somewhat violent results).
When asked how this app would make money the CBC CEO appeared confused about the question. He told metacanada.ca that he’s never considered that question in all his years of being a CEO.