Ahead of CBC CEO Hubert Lacroix’s scheduled announcement on Monday of his plans for the new CBC funding, CMG is reminding management that this is an opportunity to rectify the decisions of the last decade with the goal of restoring and rebuilding the public broadcaster. Canadians in communities across the country have been clear about that, especially with their votes in the last federal election.
The continuous cuts of the last 8 years have been devastating for the thousands of people who have lost their jobs and for those who remain at CBC/Radio-Canada with unsustainable workloads and precarious employment, and for the level of programming Canadians get from their national public broadcaster on radio, television, and online.
As a result, there is no question that the next chapter for CBC/Radio-Canada must first involve a clear break from the previous government’s view of a privatized, weakened CBC. Instead, we must set out how to rebuild a public broadcaster that is ready to fulfil its mandate for Canadians with original, independent programming regardless of how and where they listen and watch.
Instead of using the catch-all word “digital” to justify questionable cuts, this is the time for CBC managers to rely on our members who have been working on multiple platforms for many years to create trusted, innovative programming on all platforms.
This is what Canadians have every right to expect.
Based on that, here are the priorities CMG believes should form the first step in rebuilding CBC :
*Stop the cuts and reinstate jobs in local news
The reality is that the cuts of the last 8 years have damaged the very foundation of the public broadcaster : the capacity to produce independent, original programming in the public interest.
Hubert Lacroix must move away from a mindset of shrinking CBC and work to develop a solid plan that’s designed to serve Canadians on radio, television, and online
Therefore, restoring “feet-on-the-ground” in communities across the country is a top priority. Real reinstatements will benefit all platforms. The technical capacity that makes the work high-quality and competitive must also be restored.
*Restore the documentary unit and foreign bureaus
We are reiterating our call to CBC management to reinstate CBC’s award-winning documentary unit in order to build on its decades-long excellence in independent documentary production. As well, CBC must invest in ongoing, expanded foreign coverage.