DAILY NEWS Apr 30, 2013 3:01 PM - 3 comments

Government Plans to Run CBC -- Media Guild

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The Conservative government's budget bill contains disturbing changes that introduce direct government interference in the public broadcaster's activities. It is a move that should concern all Canadians.

The new changes would allow the government to directly interfere in the day to day running of the Corporation. At the heart is a plan for direct interference in collective bargaining between the CBC and its employees. The legislation even goes so far as to place a member of the Treasury Board at the bargaining table. CBC's government appointed Board of Directors would now have to seek government approval to reach any agreement with CBC employees.

The legislation tabled yesterday effectively eliminates the arms-length relationship with government that's at the heart of public broadcasting.

"This is an outrageous and unnecessary violation of the principle of public broadcasting. It undermines nearly 80 years of public broadcasting in Canada and around the world by meddling with the essential arms-length relationship between the CBC and the government of the day. The change is disturbing as it has all the markings of an attempt to turn the CBC into a state broadcaster," said Carmel Smyth, National president of the Canadian Media Guild, the largest union that represents CBC workers.

Marc-Philippe Laurin, CMG Branch president at CBC, calls the change unprecedented. "This is a dangerous road to go down," he comments. "And make no mistake, this is not about the money. The Conservative government is effectively modifying the Broadcasting Act to inject itself into decisions such as staffing that have a major impact on everything that's done at the CBC."

Smyth noted that besides this aggressive intrusion into public broadcasting, there are other recent examples of this conservative government interfering in the labour relations process such as at Canada Post and Air Canada, and all Canadians should be concerned. "We oppose this change vigorously and are looking at all our options," she said.

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Reader Comments

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Richard Clifford

The Conservative government wants to run the CBC like Obamacare here in the USA! This is even worse than privatizing it!

Posted May 10, 2013 02:26 PM

Concerned Canadian

I guess when we hear of the 'hidden agenda' of Mr. Harper many of us were getting somewhat complacent. Most of what he has done could be seen through and 'un-done' when he leaves office. Now that he is showing his true colours the time has come for Canadians to take their MP's to task locally. I for one am more than concerned.... what I can't understand is why our opposition parties and the mainstream media are not far more outraged at this latest action against our collective rights and the right of Canadians to access unbiased journalism. There should be much screaming yelling and kicking from all of us. We sit back and allow this PM to eradicate all that is good and fair in this once great country .... it's time to stand up and hold this government and each MP accountable.

Posted May 2, 2013 07:25 AM

Randolph Taylor

To be renamed the Conservative Broadcasting Corporation... Sad times in Canada, sad times indeed...

Posted May 1, 2013 09:05 PM

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