May 062013
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Omnibus Bill clause would revoke national broadcaster's arm's-length status.


If Prime Minister Harper gets his way, the government will have more control over the CBC than it's ever had in the CBC’s 80-year history. This week, the Harper government snuck sweeping changes to the CBC deep into the last section of the budget — on page 109 — granting it disturbing powers to directly control and interfere with our national broadcaster.

Please sign and share our urgent petition to Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to keep their hands off our national public broadcaster.

These changes deeply concern all Canadians.  The government would be able to have dictatorial control over terms and conditions of employment of non-union staff — and any collective bargaining among unionized staff — at the CBC and Radio Canada, even forcing the CBC to accept a member of the Treasury Board at the bargaining table.

Let’s be honest, there’s no other good reason to make these changes unless your goal is to take over programming.

Let’s be honest, there’s no other good reason to make these changes unless your goal is to take over programming. This is just one part of Prime Minister Harper’s plan to control the Canadian media landscape and shift it to the right: clamping down on the CBC while his allies help Sun News get national carrier status.

Harper has attacked the CBC before, and this could be the first step towards controlling the actual programming of the CBC and Radio Canada. That’s why we need a massive outcry to stop him in his tracks now.

Just imagine David Suzuki, Anna Maria Tremonti, Peter Mansbridge, Rick Mercer, Stuart McLean, George Stroumboulopoulos or programs like The National being controlled by Harper and his Cabinet.

Sign our urgent petition to keep the CBC independent from government control.

Under these new rules, the CBC's government-appointed Board of Directors would now have to seek government approval to reach any agreement with CBC employees, putting CBC’s employees at risk.

The CBC was established in the 1930s to be an independent, vital voice for Canadians to get news and current affairs — and its mandate even includes national unity. It’s had an independent, arms-length relationship with government for 80 years, and this independence is the cornerstone of democracy in Canada. These massive changes to the CBC undermine its independence, and threaten the core of a vital Canadian institution.

The community has already come together to fight against Sun Media’s attempt to get mandatory carrier status from the CRTC, and other allies and groups have been deeply involved in the fight to protect our CBC. SumOfUs's mission is to give consumers a voice in decisions critical to human rights, environment, and our democracy — and as consumers, we have a right to an independent, high-quality media free from political influence.

If we raise our voices together now, we can show Prime Minister Harper that he can’t take control of our national broadcaster without us raising our voices to fight. Sign our urgent petition to Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty: Stay away from the CBC. Remove this amendment from the budget immediately.

Division 17 of the budget implementation Bill C-60 amends the federal Financial Administration Act to give Cabinet the new powers over collective bargaining mandates of the CBC, the largest news and public affairs outlet in the country, the International Development Research Centre, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Under the amendments, Cabinet will have authority to order any of the Crown corporations to get approval from the Treasury Board Committee of Mr Harper’s Cabinet for their collective bargaining mandates. The Crown corporation would require approval from Treasury Board Cabinet ministers for any collective agreement reached through the bargaining, while Treasury Board would have the authority to have one of its employees monitor the collective bargaining on site.

Cabinet would also have the power to order any of the Crown corporations to seek approval from Cabinet’s Treasury Board committee before setting terms and conditions of employment for any of its non-unionized employees. (Source: The Hill Times). 

Sign the petition on the webpage

Further reading: 
Budget bill gives Harper Cabinet new powers over CBC. The Hill Times, April 30, 2013
Who We Are, What We Do. CBC/Radio Canada.

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  One Response to “Stop PM Harper from taking control of the CBC”

  1. This is off topic, but I'm curious to know why the will not respond to my email requests for a copy of their latest financial statement? And why don't they provide their financial statement and annual report on their website?
    As a sometime donor, I would like to know how they are spending my money.

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