In his first appearance before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, Hubert T. Lacroix today pressed the need for the Federal Government to implement the Committee’s report CBC/Radio-Canada: Defining Distinctiveness in the Changing Media Landscape.
“The report highlights the importance of public broadcasting in Canada, and the belief, that I strongly share, that CBC/Radio-Canada should continue to play a pivotal role in the social, cultural, and democratic life of this country,” Lacroix said in his opening remarks to the Committee this afternoon.
Lacroix, along with Sylvain Lafrance and Richard Stursberg, the Executive Vice-Presidents of French and English Services, respectively, appeared before the Committee to address their recent review of the broadcaster’s mandate, discuss some of their priorities, and reiterate the call for a seven-year Memorandum of Understanding with Canadians that would define CBC/Radio-Canada’s role in the evolving media landscape.
Lacroix stressed the urgency and importance of developing an MOU with Canadians, calling it an imperative tool to ensure the national public broadcaster remains relevant in a modern broadcasting environment. In particular, with licence renewals beginning in 2009, having an MOU in place is in the interest of good governance and efficient planning for all the services CBC/Radio-Canada offers to Canadians.
“This document would clarify for all Canadians the services we will provide and the resources necessary to do it,” Lacroix said. “And that, in turn, would enable CBC/Radio-Canada to evolve as a critical cultural institution in this country – according to the needs and objectives identified for it by Government and Parliament.”
The President and CEO called the Committee’s report a blueprint for action, saying the broadcaster is ready to work with the Government to immediately begin developing the memorandum, and is looking forward to the Government’s response to the report in June.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. With 29 services offered on Radio, Television, the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services, CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.
Through this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse regional and cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its international Radio service, Radio Canada International, and in eight languages on its Web-based Radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and aspiring immigrants to Canada.