TORONTO, April 8 /CNW/ - A new fund to help local television is a step in
the right direction, as long as the country's public broadcaster also has
access to it, says the president of the Canadian Media Guild, which represents
employees at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other media employers.
"It would be absurd to come up with a bailout program for the media
industry that completely ignores the public broadcaster," says Lise Lareau,
president of the Guild. The CBC is facing 800 layoffs after the Harper
government refused to give the Corporation bridge financing to help it deal
with declining ad revenues stemming from the slumping economy.
"Obviously the government's role is to be the caretaker of the public
broadcaster on behalf of Canadians and so we expect it will fulfill that role
and place the needs of the CBC high on the priority list when it considers any
bailout for local news," Lareau adds.
Lareau was reacting to news reports that indicate the federal cabinet is
considering a $150 million fund aimed at private broadcasters to help them
rescue their local TV operations, and it is not clear whether the rules would
be designed to allow CBC access to the fund.
The upcoming layoffs are having a significant impact on local CBC
operations in small and mid-sized communities across the country, says Lareau.
"This fund would be especially welcome in CBC operations such as Sudbury,
Windsor, Thunder Bay and Sydney."
For further information:
For further information: Karen Wirsig, (416) 578-1651