Despite vigorous and thoughtful opposition to ill-conceived parts of Omnibus budget Bill C-60, the bill – unamended – received Royal Assent on June 26, 2013. The new law allows the government to be at the bargaining table during negotiations between CBC and its unions.
CMG fought for the removal of CBC from the omnibus bill because C-60 clearly threatens the independence of the public broadcaster by introducing political interference in the largest news organization in the country, an unprecedented measure in democratic countries.
“We are disappointed, but we will continue to work for the repeal of this shocking law. We will monitor its implementation over the next two years, to record problems, and publicly share details of what will undoubtedly be the long term and unnecessary damage Bill C-60 will do to the CBC’s reputation, and the reputation of Canada as a respected democracy with a proud history of an unbiased, and trusted media.”
Conservative government tables omnibus budget Bill C-60. There were no consultations on Division 17 which gives the govenrment new powers at Crown Corporations, including day-tod-day operations at CBC.
April 30 – May 22
CMG issues the first of several statements denouncing Division 17 of Bill C-60 as an unprecedented attack on the independence of the CBC which introduces direct government interference in the day-to-day operations of the public broadcaster.
A table put together by CMG lays out how bargaining at CBC involves discussions on the definition of news, news programming, how assignments are made, the role of producers.
“Other organizations including unions, journalism advocates, opposition parties, citizens from all walks of life as well as CBC’s CEO follow suit and call for the government to stop the destruction of a decades-old arms-length relationship with Crown corporation including the CBC.
“The CBC may think it is a special, independent, Crown agency. This is wrong”
Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
Journalism advocates from across the country including CMG go to Ottawa to make the case for the removal of CBC from the omnibus bill.
They run ads across the country telling the government to stop interfering with CBC and asking Canadians to call their MPs and weigh in.
Unions, journalism advocates, Academics, journalists and other concerned Canadians send an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper demanding that he remove from C-60 the provisions that give government unprecedented powers. To date, over 300,000 Canadians have signed several petitions on this isssue.
CMG appears before the Senatorial committee on National finance
MPs vote on the bill: 153 Yes (Conservatives); 119 No (NDP, Liberal, Bloc, Green)
“The CBC is predicated on independence in terms of its editorial content, and that has to continue.”
Treasury Board President Tony Clement
Bill C-60 receives Royal Assent becomes law
May 27, 2013 – Arnold Amber, the president of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression who is also a former union leader a former executive producer at the …
May 28, 2013 – The main piece of outstanding government legislation in this session of Parliament is the latest budget omnibus bill, C–60. This one is much …
May 27, 2013 – CJFE President Arnold Amber holds up an ad urging people to contact their local MPs about removing CBC from Bill C-60 during a press …
May 28, 2013 – ShareThis. Several media organization, including the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression …
May 30, 2013 – Government could end up sitting at the management table of the largest news organization in the country.
Harper tightening reigns on CBC, Via Rail and Canada Post
Globe and Mail
… “has some struggles of its own” and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. … of the Canadian Media Guild, a union that represents many CBC workers.