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Update on Heritage Committee and CBC

Here is an update on what has happened since Robert Rabinovitch and three senior managers appeared before the Heritage Committee on October 27. At that meeting, various members put forward motions, including a motion of non-confidence in Rabinovitch by NDP culture critic Charlie Angus. Time ran out that day before the motions could be considered.

Angus’ motion never came up for a vote and died when the government fell. However, as you may have read in the Globe and Mail or seen satirized on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Our Public Airwaves is asking Canadians to speak out about the Rabinovitch record in a campaign called “Campaign for a New CBC”. You’ll find it on the internet at www.ANewCBC.ca.

As many of you know, Our Public Airwaves is an advocacy organization for public broadcasting. The CMG helped found OPA but was not involved in developing this campaign.

I also invite you to read the submission (click here) the CMG made to the Heritage Committee in late November to counter misleading statements made by CBC managers during their testimony and to offer some thoughts on the way ahead for a healthy CBC. The Guild did not have the opportunity to appear before the committee in person. I believe that this was partly due to the fact that the issue has lost the political resonance it had in September.

The committee did pass a motion by Conservative culture critic Bev Oda calling on the government to create a task force to review the CBC’s mandate. The proposal is now in limbo because of the dissolution of Parliament.

The Guild will now be focusing on the federal election, working to urge candidates from all parties to speak publicly about where they stand on increased public funding for the CBC. More on this issue soon.

Lise Lareau
National President
Canadian Media Guild

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