Wednesday, May 18, 2016
What Is the CBC's Con Board Hiding?
Well we know who they are, the members of the board of the Conservative Broadcasting Corporation.
And we know that one of them, Brian Mitchell, just left to run for President of the Harper Party.
"I think the party needs me," Mitchell said. "The party needs my experience and my help and my loyalty."
But what we don't know is what the Harper Party's other loyal servants have been up to since the election.
Or why the minutes and other documents of the Con board's meetings are suddenly a secret.
Since August 20 2015, the CBC has not published any agendas, minutes or documents prepared for its board of directors, which it normally does as part of its policy of proactive disclosure. Between January and August 2015, documents for seven meetings were published.
Even as the board prepares to sell off all kinds of buildings all over the country, including Radio Canada's Montreal headquarters.
In February, the broadcaster put Maison Radio-Canada — valued at $104 million by the City of Montreal — up for sale. According to documents issued by brokers Avison Young and Brookfield Financial earlier this year, the CBC wants to divest 100 per cent of its interest in the René-Lévesque Boulevard East site.
Which could cripple the national broadcaster's ability to produce its own programming.
And it can only make you wonder why they cooperated so enthusiastically when Stephen Harper was slowly strangling the CBC?
When thousands of mostly young workers were thrown into the street, while they never raised a voice in protest.
So I think this question from the NDP's Heritage Critic Pierre Nantel is a good one.
Nantel asked Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly if the lack of public disclosure concerned her, given that many of the appointees on the CBC’s board were selected by the previous government of Stephen Harper: “Six months after the Liberals’ election, the CBC board is still stacked with Conservatives making decisions in total secrecy. Does the Minister think it is acceptable for our public broadcaster to work this way?”
And while Mélanie Joly's answer was reassuring.
Joly told the house she is following the issue closely and considers appointments to the CBC/Radio-Canada board of directors to be a priority. She said the Liberal government intends to announce an appointments process in the coming weeks.
I think we need to keep up the pressure on the government to make sure that happens sooner rather than later.
And demand that this matter get urgent attention.
Stephen Harper did poison the well.
Harper has ensured his hostile agenda will live on by appointing some Board members to serve until 2020, the year after the next election.
He tried to make sure that his plans to slowly destroy the CBC would continue even if he was defeated...
And this is the only way we are going to fix that problem.
The Liberal government cannot simply dismiss members of CBC’s Board, including Hubert Lacroix, CBC’s President because their appointments are made “during good behavior.” To do so would further undermine CBC’s independence and set a bad precedent, though it is clear that the CBC needs new leadership.
The Trudeau government can and should abolish the Board through an amendment to the Broadcasting Act, replacing it with a new governance structure whose members are appointed based on merit and independent from the government. The new CBC leaders should also be given the power to hire and, if necessary, fire the President.
Change the Broadcasting Act.
And fire every member of that Con board...
For almost ten years they and others presided over the slow destruction of the CBC.
Now it's time for them to pay for that.
And for us to take back our CBC....
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