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Short-Sighted Slashing

We welcome all interest in the work done by media workers at the CBC/Radio Canada. But it’s disappointing to see the lack of analysis in Konrad Yakabuski’s column (CBC has proved it can withstand the axe. Nov 26/15).

Yakabuski is right about one thing:  CBC President Hubert Lacroix knows how to wield the axe, more than 2,000 jobs have been eliminated since 2008. Under Lacroix’s 2020 “strategy”, between 400 and 900 jobs are still scheduled to be eliminated in the next three years. In doing so, he minimized the CBC’s news gathering and programming ability in communities from coast to coast.

But what Yakabuski fails to note is that people across the country spoke out loudly about the need to restore the CBC during the fall election.   They have noticed the impact of the cuts. Three parties heard them and called for a restoration of CBC funding.

The $150 million is badly needed — not to go backward but to go forward. The CBC is needed now more than ever, especially as corporate media companies such as Bell Media shrink to drive their profit margins.

There is a reason every democratic country in the world has a public broadcaster. And chipping it away to irrelevance as Harper and Hubert Lacroix have done, is doing a disservice to generations of Canadians who have fought to create, and shape it for us all.  We do agree with Mr. Yakabuski on one thing: CBC/Radio-Canada can do better.

But that requires adequate funding and truly independent leadership.


Carmel Smyth
National President, Canadian Media Guild

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