The federal government has delivered a punishing cut to public broadcasting in the budget delivered today. CBC will receive $115 million less in 2015 that it received this year, which will have a devastating impact on programming and services. The 10% cut to CBC is proportionally much higher than the 6.9% cut overall to federal program spending. This is the biggest government cut to CBC since the mid-1990s.
“This is a sad day. We don’t yet know exactly what these cuts will mean for CBC/Radio-Canada services and employees,” says Marc-Philippe Laurin, president of the Guild’s CBC branch. “However, this is a major cut that will surely have a devastating impact on CBC services by 2015.”
Funding to CBC has already been declining relative to inflation for the past decade. In that same decade, the media industry has been undergoing major technological shifts and CBC has responded by introducing services not contemplated when its mandate was set.
This is a reversal from what Heritage Minister James Moore said just after last year’s election that his government would “maintain or increase support for the CBC.”
“Canadians are way ahead of the government on this issue and recognize that public media is an important part of our economic and cultural future,” says Carmel Smyth, CMG national president. “We are heartened by the fact that thousands of Canadians have been participating in the project to Reimagine CBC. Once the dust settles on this budget, we will work with Canadians to rebuild CBC’s mandate and its relationship with Parliament.”
The Guild plans to meet with CBC management early next week and will be involved in every step of the unfortunate downsizing to come. We will keep members informed of all developments.
For more information, contact the Guild (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.