The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) is deeply disturbed by the continuing trend to reduce the size of CBC/Radio-Canada at a time when it ought to be growing.
Today, CBC/Radio Canada announced 40 CMG positions are being eliminated, mostly from the Toronto Broadcast Centre and Halifax.
This however, does not tell the full story.
In addition to cutting 40 positions, there are job cuts from other sectors in the corporation, as well as retirements, and vacant jobs that haven’t and won’t be filled.
This is the latest example of a steady slow drip of downsizing of Canada’s public broadcaster.
More of our colleagues will be losing their livelihoods and leaving the corporation forever, and there is impact on the volume and depth of stories told to Canadians, especially from the smaller regions of our country.
The successive cuts affect CBC/Radio-Canada’s ability to play its vital role at the heart of the media and news sector in Canada, particularly amid the current uncertainty of the media market.
We are also concerned that the cuts will hurt efforts to make improvements in the working conditions of temporary workers at CBC, many of whom are young and come from diverse backgrounds.
Six months into the pandemic, we have yet to see the full return of all local television news programs, and there are questions surrounding the future of any non-news production in the regions.
With a shrinking advertising revenue market and federal government funding that does not take inflation into account, the public broadcaster struggles to meet its mandate, extend coverage to lesser served markets, and reflect Canada to Canadians. It is the responsibility of parliamentarians to properly fund the work of Canada’s public broadcaster.
Through its expansive web, radio and television platforms, the CBC is the single largest network in Canada, and during this unpredictable period of a global pandemic, disinformation and uncertain economic future, it’s vital to expand its reach.