Despite vigorous and thoughtful opposition to ill-conceived parts of Omnibus budget Bill C-60, the bill – unamended – received Royal Assent on June 26, 2013. The new law allows the government to be at the bargaining table during negotiations between CBC and its unions.
CMG fought for the removal of CBC from the omnibus bill because C-60 clearly threatens the independence of the public broadcaster by introducing political interference in the largest news organization in the country, an unprecedented measure in democratic countries.
“We are disappointed, but we will continue to work for the repeal of this shocking law. We will monitor its implementation over the next two years, to record problems, and publicly share details of what will undoubtedly be the long term and unnecessary damage Bill C-60 will do to the CBC’s reputation, and the reputation of Canada as a respected democracy with a proud history of an unbiased, and trusted media.”
Conservative government tables omnibus budget Bill C-60. There were no consultations on Division 17 which gives the govenrment new powers at Crown Corporations, including day-tod-day operations at CBC.
April 30 – May 22
CMG issues the first of several statements denouncing Division 17 of Bill C-60 as an unprecedented attack on the independence of the CBC which introduces direct government interference in the day-to-day operations of the public broadcaster.
Unions, journalism advocates, Academics, journalists and other concerned Canadians send an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper demanding that he remove from C-60 the provisions that give government unprecedented powers. To date, over 300,000 Canadians have signed several petitions on this isssue.
CMG appears before the Senatorial committee on National finance
MPs vote on the bill: 153 Yes (Conservatives); 119 No (NDP, Liberal, Bloc, Green)
“The CBC is predicated on independence in terms of its editorial content, and that has to continue.”