In the age of advertising supported television, the CBC was the alternative. But now the alternative is pay TV and the Internet. Is there an audience that isn't served? I enjoy programming on the CBC, PBS and the BBC that arguably wouldn't exist without subsidy. But the opportunity cost is high. I submit we should lower taxes to allow poor people to purchase the shows they want to see or spend the tax dollars on more valuable services like education and heath care.
It's the fourth way. Almost all Via Rail destinations are reachable by car, bus and plane. In many places, Via actually competes for rail space with suburban rail. Most Via Rail trains compete for space with freight trains. Heavy trucks damage roads and cause deadly accidents. The more freight transported by rail, the better. The bus is cheaper, driving more convenient and flying usually faster. Intercity rail is such a niche service that it really doesn't deserve to be subsidized.
Canada is a big country. But what country would invade Canada? Imagine the logistics involved in taking over Wood Buffalo and exploiting the tar sands. We could outsource the defence of Canada and save a fortune. At the very least we should downsize the military until we get a credible enemy. We need a few ships to protect our fishery and ports. But tanks?