Fostering conversations, debates and creative expression is what we do every day at CBC/Radio-Canada. We work in an environment of constant change and outside pressures and we do our best because we believe that public media is as important as ever.
And pressures on the public broadcaster are immense right now. We are facing a federal budget cut of at least $55 million and maybe $110 million or more, or 10% of the parliamentary appropriation. The budget is likely to be announced around the end of February and we won’t know anything concrete about the impacts until then. Meanwhile, we are being targeted by one of the biggest private media companies in the country, Quebecor.
This week, our parent union provided funding to support a national public campaign that will be underway in the next few weeks. You will hear more about this, and how you can get involved, shortly.
As a union, we will fight to secure a future for what we do in Canada. We will help provide ways for Canadians to express their support for public broadcasting — and polls consistently suggest a majority of them do support it. We will also reach out to other groups who share our values so that we can unite around the issues that are mobilizing people across Canada, namely changes to how we are governed and how economic and social priorities are set.
As a union, we will also keep the lines of communication open with you, our members, and with CBC management. The CBC’s plan for 2015 involves more local and regional programming and more digital and online and “creative disruptions” to get us there. We have been told that even if the government proceeds with cuts, the 2015 plan goes ahead. The Guild will be at the table to represent and defend our collective interests and to ensure individual employees and groups of employees are treated fairly.
If you have questions, concerns or ideas, please get in touch with us. We all need to do our part to keep moving forward together.
Carmel Smyth, National President
Marc-Philippe Laurin, President, CBC Branch
Dan Oldfield, Senior Staff Representative