Former Head of News for Radio-Canada, Alain Saulnier, has translated his book Ici Était Radio-Canada into English and published under the title Losing our Voice.
Several ex- executives and -board members at CBC attended the recent launch of the English version in Toronto, including former CBC board chair Robert Rabinovitch, former board member Trina McQueen, former vice-president Richard Stursberg, and former editor-in-chief of news Tony Burman.
I invite you to read the following remarks delivered by Alain Saulnier at the event:
Carmel Smyth National President, CMG
Thanks for your support.
“Losing our voice, Radio–‐Canada under siege” is not my story alone in that essential institution.
It’s our story.
It is about the difficult, persistent tension between CBC/Radio‐Canada and the political power of the day in Ottawa.
From my point of view, this tension has never been greater than since the appointment of Hubert Lacroix as the head of our national broadcaster.
Before him, several presidents had defended the independence of the institution against all governments of the day, be they Liberal, Progressive Conservative, or Conservative. They understood this as their duty.
Tonight, we are privileged to have with us Robert Rabinovitch, a president under whom I served. Thank you, Bob.
You can read what he has written on the cover of my book: “A public broadcaster must at all times maintain an arm’s length relationship to the government if it is not to become a state broadcaster.”
He always knew how important it is to protect Radio‐Canada and CBC.
By contrast, Hubert Lacroix was appointed and obtained a renewed mandate because he agreed with Mr. Harper to dismantle Radio‐Canada and CBC.
I have been asked: what should Hubert Lacroix do now?
If Hubert Lacroix is really committed to CBC/Radio‐Canada, he should resign, because nobody wants to follow him. He has lost the legitimacy necessary to lead CBC/Radio–‐Canada into the future.
And how the Board and the President should be selected?
For now, the only known route is for a parliamentary committee to review a list of impartial candidates familiar with the current media universe.
My wish is that “Losing our voice” can become the story of the past at CBC and Radio‐Canada.
We must now return control of CBC and Radio‐Canada to the people.
Now, more than ever, we need a strong public broadcaster – a solid and vigorous foundation for information and culture in the digital age.
We need it especially to counter both the disinformation that is rampant on the web, and the massive amount of content that the web giants and their algorithms impose – In their own interest, not ours.