Toronto, November 2, 2016 – As we mark 80 years of the first public radio broadcast in Canada, CBC/Radio-Canada employees want to thank Canadians who share our pride at being part of one of the world’s leading public broadcasters.
The Corporation was launched on November 2, 1936 to ensure Canadians had access to news and programming that reflect the country’s values, aspirations and interests.
It became a cultural incubator and proud promoter of programming made by and for Canadians, earning the title of Canada’s leading cultural institution. CBC/Radio-Canada continues to be our country’s living room, where we all meet, laugh and learn together, and where we talk through issues openly.
On this significant anniversary, CBC/Radio-Canada employee unions, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and Syndicat des Communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC) are together celebrating the many media workers past and present who have made CBC/Radio-Canada an integral part of our country for the past 80 years.
Both unions have called for federal government supports to strengthen the public broadcaster for future generations.
CBC started as a radio service and led the way for Canadian media through important technological changes and innovations. Today, the public broadcaster continues to be a leader in telling Canadian stories on all platforms.
“We share Canadians’ pride in the remarkable work of the dedicated media professionals who continue to produce news and other programming in French, English and Indigenous languages, across our vast country, a service unmatched by any other public broadcaster,” says Carmel Smyth, President of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), the largest union representing CBC/Radio-Canada workers. “This significant milestone is a timely reminder of the vital role the CBC continues to play, and the very real threat of its end due to cuts in funding, staff and content production capacity.”
“The public has been promised and expect more from the new federal government,” says Johanne Hémond, President of Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC), the French union for CBC/Radio-Canada workers in Québec and Moncton. “Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly is leading a major review of Canadian news media and culture, and we hope the results will include innovative and progressive policies to ensure citizens can rely on the public broadcaster for original programming that will continue to reflect our country for the next 80 years.”
The unions are also calling for:
• A new non-partisan process for selecting CBC/Radio-Canada President and Board, in place prior to the end of the current President’s term in 2017
• Adequate funding to enhance local news coverage capacity and to ensure all Canadians regardless of geography and technology or financial ability, can access quality news and cultural programming
• Re-investment in original Canadian production and the regulations to support that, to ensure production of diverse, independent content
• Increased funding from the current $29 per capita to $43,50 – half the amount other developed democracies invest on average in their public broadcasters
• A halt to sale of CBC/Radio-Canada real estate and equipment, to the undermining of television and radio platforms in order to support other devices, and all other decisions that hinder the ability to create Canadian content, as they have been outlined in the current CBC Strategy 2020 plan.