CBC/Radio-Canada reinforces the need for a contract with Canadians

    OTTAWA, Nov. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - CBC/Radio-Canada needs a contract with
Canadians if it is to reach its potential as the national public broadcaster
Canada needs. This is the message that Robert Rabinovitch, President and CEO
of CBC/Radio-Canada, delivered today on behalf of the Corporation to the
Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as part of its review of the role of a
public broadcaster in the 21st century.
    Today's appearance was the second and final occasion for CBC/Radio-Canada
to make the case for a new contract.
    "The Broadcasting Act has not changed in more than 15 years,
CBC/Radio-Canada has not received an increase to its base operating
appropriation in more than 30 years, and the broadcasting environment is
shifting dramatically and rapidly," Mr. Rabinovitch told the Committee. "The
national public broadcaster needs to remain relevant and to ensure that
Canadians have access to its content when, where and how they want."
    Today, Mr. Rabinovitch asserted that a contract reviewed on a regular
cycle would provide direction on what Canadians could expect from their
national public broadcaster in return for a clear commitment from Government
with regards to funding commensurate to the mandate.
    "Such an approach is essential if CBC/Radio-Canada is going to be able to
continue to respond to the needs of Canadians," Mr. Rabinovitch said.
"Countries such as the U.K., Ireland and South Africa have already followed a
similar path, conducting mandate reviews that include widespread consultation,
resulting in clear, contemporary mandates that equip public broadcasters for
the future."
    Mr. Rabinovitch was accompanied by Executive Vice-President of English
Services, Richard Stursberg, and Executive Vice-President of French Services,
Sylvain Lafrance, who provided additional insight into issues of interest to
Committee Members.

    Mr. Rabinovitch's opening remarks are available at

    Previous documents on the topic tabled last March are available at

    CBC/Radio-Canada's submission outlines why Canada needs a public
broadcaster; the role and value of public broadcasting; some of the more
pressing challenges that the national public broadcaster faces; an overview of
its 28 services; and, audience performance information.

    About CBC/Radio-Canada

    CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its
largest cultural institutions. With 28 services offered on Radio, Television,
the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record
and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services,
CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.
    Through this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse
regional and cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in
English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its
international Radio service, Radio Canada International, and in eight
languages on its Web-based Radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and
aspiring immigrants to Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Heath-Eves, Media Relations,
CBC/Radio-Canada (Ottawa), (613) 288-6235, heathevk@cbc.ca

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