Delegates in Toronto for the biennial CMG Convention joined their colleagues at CBC/Radio-Canada Toronto for a Rally to make CBC strong again.
The more than 500 hundred marchers heard CMG members from Yellowknife and
Thunder Bay and Cape Breton and from Toronto to Ottawa, all describing the disturbing impact of the CBC cuts on communities across the country: In Thunder Bay, CBC has lost half its programming, and as a result Indigenous communities have lost their connections to Canada.
In Cape Breton, the cuts mean loss of accountability journalism, and of the ability to hear up and coming talent in the community.
Ottawa and Toronto are seeing the impact of the CBC cuts on programming but also on diversity and workload.
In speaking to the rally, CMG National President Carmel Smyth asked: “Do we want to watch U.S. news telling Canadians what’s going on in the world?”
Marc-Philippe Laurin, CMG president at CBC read the CMG letter to CBC President Hubert Lacroix and Chair of the Board Rémi Racine which read in part :
“The Guild believes the time has come to be clear and straightforward with Canadians and CBC employees about the current state and future of the national public broadcaster. It is very troubling to see CBC/Radio-Canada being dismantled before our very eyes and ears.” Read the full letter here.
Martin O’Hanlon, the president of CWA Canada – CMG’s parent union – pledged to provide resources for a major campaign to make the CBC cuts an issue in the 2015 federal election.
Musician and NDP MP Andrew Cash spoke up on behalf of the public broadcaster, as did Liberal candidate for MP Adam Vaughan who spoke to CMG delegates the following day.