No public broadcaster anywhere in the free world faces the degree of political interference as that proposed for the CBC in Bill C-60. The government's latest Omnibus Budget legislation would make the Prime Minister the ultimate boss of all of the CBC's employees if the government takes control of collective bargaining at the CBC as Bill C-60 proposes to do. Governments do not control the public broadcaster in free and democratic countries. Along with other media outlets, public broadcasters hold governments to account, a role that depends on being completely independent of the government of the day.
Ian Morrison is FRIENDS' spokesperson. As the former Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE), Ian was instrumental in the creation of Friends in 1985. He is a member of FRIENDS' Steering Committee and represents FRIENDS with the media and in public presentations, such as CRTC hearings. Prior to his work with CAAE, he served as President of the Frontier College.
The CBC is hooked on hockey and the NHL lockout could be just a bitter foretaste of the future for the national public broadcaster. Friends' calculates that the CBC will suffer a devastating financial loss of as much as $200 million annually if it loses the rights to Hockey Night in Canada in 2014 when its agreement with the NHL expires. All told, the loss of hockey would be much worse than the most recent round of cuts announced in the federal budget last March. It would amount to a game changer for our national public broadcaster. Friends is not proposing that CBC television drop hockey, but our national public broadcaster must prepare for this scenario, which could open new and exciting possibilities to operate more like a public broadcaster.
10/09/2012 12:35 EDT
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