CBC/Radio-Canada welcomes actionable blueprint for public broadcasting

    OTTAWA, Feb. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's national public broadcaster
welcomes CBC/Radio-Canada: Defining Distinctiveness in the Changing Media
Landscape, the report issued this morning by the Standing Committee on
Canadian Heritage.
    "It's positively encouraging to see the Committee recognize the value of
public broadcasting to Canadians - on all platforms, old, new and emerging,"
said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. "In the face of
sweeping cultural, technological and industrial change, Canadians need a place
for distinctive Canadian content. This report to the Government asserts the
meaning and importance of public broadcasting for all Canadians, and shows how
it improves our democratic and cultural lives."
    From the report itself: "The Committee regards CBC/Radio-Canada as an
essential public institution that plays a crucial role in bringing Canadians
closer together... The vast majority of the evidence stressed the
distinctiveness of CBC/Radio-Canada, reflected in the quality, originality and
creativity of its programming. Being distinctive should not however mean being
inaccessible. Its services must be accessible to the various elements of the
Canadian public."
    CBC/Radio-Canada is especially pleased to see that the Committee's report
calls for a new relationship and a renewable arrangement between Canadians and
their public broadcaster: their proposed Memorandum of Understanding would
establish a seven-year plan which would set out what services Canadians could
expect from their public broadcaster and the resources necessary to provide
    "The proposed seven-year cycle - with increased, committed funding
indexed to the cost of living for its duration - would go a long way to help
fulfil a new promise to Canadians and ensure that people's expectations of
public broadcasting may be measured and met against collectively set goals,"
said Mr. Lacroix. "In all, the Committee's report has very aptly captured the
challenges facing public broadcasting in Canada and provided valuable
recommendations for the future."
    CBC/Radio-Canada looks forward to working with this Committee, the
Government and the public to develop a new long-term arrangement. Meantime,
the Committee's report recognizes that the continued health of public
broadcasting requires a more urgent response on a couple of fronts, including
the funding of the transition to HD, and the financing of new digital content.
    "I commend the Committee for having produced a thorough and, more
importantly, a truly actionable blueprint for the future of public
broadcasting in Canada," said Mr. Lacroix. "And I think I speak for all who
believe in Canadian public broadcasting when I say that we look forward to the
Government's response."

    About CBC/Radio-Canada

    CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its
largest cultural institutions. With 29 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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