Funding for CBC/Radio-Canada in 2016 federal budget a step in the right direction: CMG

TORONTO, March 22, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Media Guild applauds the federal government's decision to restore CBC/Radio-Canada funding that was severely cut by the previous government.

The budget fix is consistent with the Liberal election platform recognizing the CBC as "the anchor of Canada's cultural and creative industries" and as a "vital national institution that brings Canadians together."

"We hope the addition of $75 million this fiscal year and $150 million a year until 2021, will allow the CBC to stop the cuts that have crippled its ability to provide quality local news and original programming," said Marc-Philippe Laurin, president of the CBC Branch at the CMG.

"CBC President Hubert Lacroix has said he was shackled by Conservative budget cuts - now the shackles are off. The CMG calls on Lacroix to freeze further planned job cuts and the sale of CBC buildings and assets until a new plan - and a new vision - are in place," he said.

For CMG National President Carmel Smyth, "With the new funding, the focus needs to be on ensuring CBC's continues to produce quality original programming for all platforms – radio, television, and digital - instead of purchasing outside content."

"The concern that the CBC will no longer be able to create Canadian programs is one of the reasons the CBC's two largest unions are calling for an independently appointed leadership that would be focused on ensuring the public broadcaster is run as a public trust for the public good," she said

The CMG urges the federal government to move quickly to change the process for appointing the CBC president and board by adopting a "merit-based" process instead of the current partisan approach.

CMG is part of CWA Canada, the country's only all-media union.

SOURCE Canadian Media Guild

For further information: Jeanne d'Arc Umurungi (jeannedarc@cmg.ca), Communications Director, CMG, 416-708-4628

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