As champions of public broadcasting and CBC/Radio-Canada, we at the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) are encouraged that the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly, has announced an Independent Advisory Committee for Appointments to the CBC/Radio-Canada Board of Directors. CMG has long advocated for a process such as the one outlined by the Minister today.
We commend Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government for following through on an election commitment that will move the Crown corporation towards merit-based and independent appointments to its Board.
CBC/Radio-Canada is not just another player in the media industry. It was created as a public trust, a public asset, to serve people across Canada and it needs strong, vocal leadership from its Board of Directors.
We believe a representative, non-partisan, and fully qualified Board of Directors is an absolute necessity when it comes to restoring and building CBC/Radio-Canada into a point of pride that reflects all that we are and all that we aspire to become.
Worker representatives chosen by unions on the CBC Board
As such, CMG has also called for a Board that includes employee representatives chosen by CBC’s unions. Ensuring employee representation on Boards is a practice that has proven invaluable in other sectors and other countries.
As journalists and media workers, we have a good sense of what is required to do our jobs well. We know that unrelenting layoffs, smaller newsrooms, and diminished resources have taken their toll. Inevitably, the cuts have an impact not only on our working conditions but also on what we can offer our audiences. Still, we bring our passion and skill to work and we get the job done. That commitment is also reflected in the work that we do every day in communities all across Canada and around the world.
This is a perspective we urge the Independent Advisory Committee to take to heart by recommending employee representatives chosen by CBC’s unions.
Our aim, now as always, is to fulfill a key component of Article 1 of our collective agreement with CBC management:
“The Parties to this Agreement share a desire to promote the success of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and CMG members in carrying out the Corporation’s mandate under the Broadcasting Act and the Parties further agree that the Union and its members will fully support the Corporation in maintaining the highest quality programs, ensuring value to the Canadian public.”
A committed and skilled Board of Directors, together with workers at CBC/Radio-Canada and all levels of management, owe the Canadian public nothing less – strong value in return for public investments including the highest quality programming possible.
CBC Branch President, Canadian Media Guild
National President, Canadian Media Guild