May 27th, 2013

NDP to table amendment to get CBC out of C-60

Public broadcaster’s independence must be protected against any possibility of federal government interference

OTTAWA — In response to the concerns of Canadians, journalists, unions, civil society and CBC’s management, who all feel that Bill C-60 threatens the independence of CBC and violates the Broadcasting Act, New Democrats will table an amendment in the House of Commons tomorrow to get the public broadcaster out of this controversial bill.

“The federal government already appoints CBC’s directors and determines its annual budget. That’s already a lot of control over a public broadcaster that must remain independent in its role as watchdog of democracy,” said NDP Heritage critic, Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher). “Bill C-60 is another attempt by the Conservatives to interfere in CBC’s affairs and we cannot let it pass.”

Bill C-60 enables the government to interfere directly in the collective bargaining of Crown corporations, including CBC, and to arbitrarily change the salary of an employee who is not represented by a union.

“It’s problematic for all Crown corporations, but it’s particularly critical for a broadcaster that must absolutely remain independent from the government. You have to wonder why the Conservatives are so afraid of CBC journalists. What do the Conservatives have to hide? Why does the government want to dictate the working conditions of media employees?”, said Nantel.

“If there’s nothing to hide, the Conservative government will accept our amendment to protect CBC’s independence and respect the Broadcasting Act,” concluded Nantel.