Home / Workplace Directory / CBC/Radio-Canada / The government has no place in the newsrooms of the country: Journalism advocates

The government has no place in the newsrooms of the country: Journalism advocates



Ottawa, Monday, May 27, 2013 – Journalism advocates spoke forcefully today at a news conference  in Ottawa arguing that Bill C-60 crosses a line that should not be crossed in a mature democracy: allowing the government to have influence in how news is done at CBC.

There was consensus among the representatives of journalists who spoke at the news conference that CBC/Radio-Canada must be removed from Bill C-60. They are also asking Canadians to weigh in.

“We want the Canadian people to react as quickly as possible to bring the government to its senses,” said Arnold Amber, president of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) who indicated this is urgent because the Bill is currently being reviewed in Parliament.

Six journalism advocacy groups were at the event including Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, Canadian Media Guild, Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada as well as ACTRA and SCFP.

At the heart of their argument was the contention that the Bill is not about finances as the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty claimed recently, but really about seeking more control over CBC. The groups say the government already sets a big chunck of CBC budgets and appoints all the board members and president of the CBC.

“The government already has powerful influence and the new powers would take this influence to a troubling new level,” says CWA Canada Director Martin O’Hanlon in a statement. “It is of paramount importance in a democracy that there be no state interference with journalism — it’s what separates us from totalitarian regimes.”

Longtime respected journalist and former Foreign Correspondent  Bill Gillespie pointed out that the Bill could weaken the CBC in other insidious ways: “Why would journalists want to work in an organization with questionable impartiality.” Carmel Smyth, CMG National President added that citizens also need to know and see CBC as a brodcaster that’s free from government influence.

In a statement of support, Hugo Rodrigues from the Canadian Association of Journalists says, “The CAJ is deeply concerned this shows the government’s utter lack of faith in the president and board of the CBC to manage our public broadcaster. It also could mark the top of a slippery slope of  increasing government interference in the CBC and its role as an independent publicly funded broadcaster.”

Find Member Resources

Popular Topics

Scroll to Top