After eight years of unprecedented downsizing and programming cuts, CBC/Radio Canada’s two largest union are calling for a change of leadership.
The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and the Syndicat des communications du Radio Canada (SCRC), who together represent the majority of CBC/Radio-Canada’s workers, have lost confidence in the President of CBC/Radio-Canada and its Board of Directors, and are calling for their resignations.
CMG leaders and elected volunteers from across the country, have repeatedly raised concerns about CBC President Hubert Lacroix’s vision, “Strategy 2020”, which the CMG sees as an ill-defined focus on digital media, with diminished ability to produce local programming, and increase in purchased content.
The current President and Board have led:
* massive downsizing of CBC/Radio-Canada’s material and human resources. This is incompatible with the structure required to deliver on the public broadcaster’s pan-Canadian mandate under the Broadcasting Act, in two official languages and eight Aboriginal languages;
* a significant and almost total reduction of CBC/Radio-Canada’s in-house production capacity in the areas of arts and entertainment programming, as well as information programming such as documentaries, by largely abandoning its role of producer of content towards becoming a broadcaster of content acquired in the private sector;
* degrading CBC/Radio-Canada’s capacity to deliver over-the-air television and radio programming (which is free to audiences) and its ability to create quality video and audio productions;
* introduction of the concept of local services tailored to commercial criteria such as “ratings”, abandoning the traditional and legal notion of a quality local public service media for all;
* implementation of the so-called “Strategy 2020” which is in fact a strategy without a plan that looks more and more like a cost-cutting exercise;
* implementation of the so-called “Strategy 2020” at an accelerated pace so that it will soon be almost impossible to reverse course in order to make CBC/Radio-Canada whole again;
* a failure to publicly defend the national public broadcaster (their obligation under Article 1 of the CBC/CMG Collective Agreement and the Broadcasting Act) at a time when this was most needed and required.