TORONTO, April 30, 2013 /CNW/ - The Conservative government's budget
bill contains disturbing changes that introduce direct government
interference in the public broadcaster's activities. It is a move that
should concern all Canadians.
The new changes would allow the government to directly interfere in the
day to day running of the Corporation. At the heart is a plan for
direct interference in collective bargaining between the CBC and its
employees. The legislation even goes so far as to place a member of the
Treasury Board at the bargaining table. CBC's government appointed
Board of Directors would now have to seek government approval to reach
any agreement with CBC employees.
The legislation tabled yesterday effectively eliminates the arms-length
relationship with government that's at the heart of public
"This is an outrageous and unnecessary violation of the principle of
public broadcasting. It undermines nearly 80 years of public
broadcasting in Canada and around the world by meddling with the
essential arms-length relationship between the CBC and the government
of the day. The change is disturbing as it has all the markings of an
attempt to turn the CBC into a state broadcaster," said Carmel Smyth,
National president of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), the largest union
that represents CBC workers.
Marc-Philippe Laurin, CMG Branch president at CBC, calls the change
unprecedented. "This is a dangerous road to go down," he comments. "And
make no mistake, this is not about the money. The Conservative
government is effectively modifying the Broadcasting Act to inject
itself into decisions such as staffing that have a major impact on
everything that's done at the CBC."
Smyth noted that besides this aggressive intrusion into public
broadcasting, there are other recent examples of this conservative
government interfering in the labour relations process such as at
Canada Post and Air Canada, and all Canadians should be concerned. "We
oppose this change vigorously and are looking at all our options," she
We are 6,000 journalists, hosts, producers, technicians, videographers,
editors, librarians, programmers, sales reps, administrative staff and
freelancers. We believe a quality media system that serves all
Canadians is built on healthy organizations that treat workers fairly. www.cmg.ca.
SOURCE: Canadian Media Guild
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