The NDP has taken note of the new 5-year strategic plan for our public broadcaster. We recognize the Corporation’s desire to remain relevant, modernize, and continue to be a broadcaster of choice for Canadians.
However, the NDP is extremely concerned that the Plan includes a 25% cut to current CBC positions by 2020, especially given that it was only in April of this year that the CBC announced that it would cut 657 jobs. This can only mean that the diversity and quality of the content being offered to Canadians will undergo drastic changes in the coming years.
Young Canadians will pay the biggest price for these massive job cuts, and the NDP regrets that as the CBC tries to keep pace with technological change, it no longer has the means to retain young talent at this key moment in its history.
The NDP also believes that industry changes should never be detrimental to the CBC’s mandate.
Since coming to power, the Conservatives have been taking aim at CBC/Radio-Canada. In 2012, they imposed a $115-million cut over three years, in order to destabilize the broadcaster. Today, the CBC is a fragile institution, dealing with serious difficulties as its industry undergoes a major transformation. We are also disappointed to see that Shelly Glover – the new Minister of Heritage and Official Languages – has continued the Conservative policy of abandoning this well-loved Canadian institution. At a recent public consultation, 98% of francophones and 80% of anglophones said CBC was important to them.
The NDP held a Day of Opposition this spring to highlight the importance of the CBC/Radio-Canada, in which it urged the government to cancel its proposed $45 million in cuts for 2014-2015, in order to provide some relief to our public broadcaster.