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CMG will continue to fight against government interference at CBC
By  CMG  •  Posted on  June 26, 2013

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.

Quote:

“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.”

Carmel Smyth
CMG President

BillC60

Timeline

April 29

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.

A table put together by CMG lays out how bargaining at CBC involves discussions on the definition of news, news programming, how assignments are made, the role of producers.

“Other  organizations including unions, journalism advocates, opposition parties, citizens from all walks of life as well as CBC’s CEO follow suit and call for the government to stop the destruction of a decades-old arms-length relationship with Crown corporation including the CBC.

Quote

The CBC may think it is a special, independent, Crown agency. This is wrong”

Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

 Ottawa plus ads May 27May 27

Journalism advocates from across the country including CMG  go to Ottawa to make the case for the removal of CBC from the omnibus bill.

They run ads across the country telling the government to stop interfering with CBC and asking Canadians to call their MPs and weigh in.

May 27 in Ottawa

June 2

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.

 

CSandjdu

 

June 7

CMG appears before the Senatorial committee on National finance

 

 

 

June 10

MPs vote on the bill: 153 Yes (Conservatives); 119 No (NDP, Liberal, Bloc, Green)

 

June 17

Quote

“The CBC is predicated on independence in terms of its editorial content, and that has to continue.”

Treasury Board President Tony Clement

 

June 26

Bill C-60 receives Royal Assent becomes law

 

News clippings

Journalistsgroups say government should not be sitting in on CBC

May 27, 2013 – Arnold Amber, the president of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression who is also a former union leader a former executive producer at the

Bill C-60: CBC Should Remain Free Of Political Interference

May 27, 2013 – OTTAWA – A number of journalist groups are asking Canadians to write to their MPs to demand changes to a controversial bill which would give

John Doyle: Ottawa kicks the CBC, a wounded critter on a short leash

May 29, 2013 – Hubert Lacroix’s request for an amendment to a budget-implementation bill didn’t get the attention it deserved.

Bill C60: An attack on CBC’s autonomy | rabble.ca

May 28, 2013 – The main piece of outstanding government legislation in this session of Parliament is the latest budget omnibus bill, C60. This one is much

Press freedom groups demand removal of CBC from budget bill

May 27, 2013 – CJFE President Arnold Amber holds up an ad urging people to contact their local MPs about removing CBC from Bill C-60 during a press

Bill C60 will make the government the “effective employer” – J-Source

May 28, 2013 – ShareThis. Several media organization, including the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Canadian budget bill contains rude shock for the CBC | Toronto Star

May 30, 2013 – Government could end up sitting at the management table of the largest news organization in the country.

 

Harper tightening reigns on CBC, Via Rail and Canada Post
Globe and Mail
“has some struggles of its own” and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. of the Canadian Media Guild, a union that represents many CBC workers.

 

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