As representatives of employees of CBC/Radio-Canada, we are shocked by prime minister Stephen Harper’s inappropriate remarks targeting thousands of people who work for Canada’s national broadcaster.
The Prime Minister’s public accusation that “many Radio-Canada employees detest conservative values” is absurd and unfounded. Thousands of people work at the CBC/SRC across Canada, and their political opinions are as varied and as private as every other Canadian. For the Prime Minister to single out and disparage a group of workers for not supporting his values, is tantamount to schoolyard bullying, in our view, unbecoming of the office.
We expect an apology, and an assurance our Prime Minister respects our right and the right of every Canadian to a personal and private political view, without being lambasted in the press for it.
The Prime Minister’s comments are just as troubling with regards to the independence of the public broadcaster, and that is why we demand an apology but also a correction of what he had to say in relation to the independence of CBC/Radio-Canada and its employees within the Broadcasting Act. The national public broadcaster must not be a megaphone for a particular ideology, it exists to allow for the expression of a large range of points of view, and that is what it does.
We note the comments were made in a radio interview in Québec where the Conservatives have only five of 75 seats. And in recent weeks there have been several massive rallies, and public concerts supporting the CBC/SRC and highly critical of the Conservatives debilitating funding cuts.
A growing majority of Canadians across the country state that CBC/Radio-Canada is important for their identity and culture (88%), appreciate the Canadian perspective provided by the public broadcaster (83%) and approve of the courageous reporting by CBC/Radio-Canada (90%).
Association of Professionals and Supervisors (APS)
Association des Réalisateurs (AR)
The Canadian Media Guild (CMG)
Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique – SCFP 675
Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC)
Syndicat des technicien(ne)s et artisan(e)s du réseau français de Radio-Canada (STARF-SCFP 5757)