Speaking Notes for Tim W. Casgrain, Chair of the CBC/Radio-Canada Board of Directors, at the CBC/Radio-Canada Open House, Vancouver, British Columbia

December 4, 2009

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Good morning. Thank you for being here.

As Chair of the Board of Directors, it is my great honour to speak to you this morning on behalf of the Board and all the people at CBC/Radio-Canada.

We are here today to celebrate the beginning of a new era for CBC/Radio-Canada in Vancouver.

Our refurbished broadcast centre is an integral part of the new CBC/Radio-Canada for the 21st century. We have a new state-of-the-art production centre that allows us to deliver better the stories that matter to the citizens of Vancouver, British Colombia, and indeed all of Canada.

We also have a new cultural hub that will add life and energy to this wonderful city and facilitate a greater interaction and renewed dialogue between you and all of us at CBC/Radio-Canada.

It is that commitment to improving the level of interaction with Canadians that brings us before you today. In September 2009, CBC/Radio-Canada hosted its first Annual Public Meeting in Ottawa. It was an opportunity for Canadians to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing its public broadcaster, of its financial situation, of the process that leads to some of the difficult management decisions that we make and of our priorities as we continue pushing the Corporation forward through challenging times. It was also an opportunity for us to hear from Canadians and to answer their questions. That is something we are committed to doing much more than just once a year. So here we are today.

It will come as no surprise that 2008-2009 was a particularly challenging year for CBC/Radio-Canada. If the year made one thing clear, it is that serious financial constraints are the reality for CBC/Radio-Canada as they are for our competitors, our advertisers and for Canadians. We have no choice but to adapt. And adapting means making difficult choices with respect to our workforce and to the services we offer Canadians.

I can say with confidence that the renewal strategy that we have put in place to guide us through this period of restructuring will preserve our capacity to continue delivering the services that Canadians expect from us.

I would like to extend my thanks to our staff for their hard work, their time and their ongoing commitment to public broadcasting, especially as they have continued to provide all of their services while this massive renovation has taken place. I would also like to thank our staff here in Vancouver for organizing this outstanding event today.

Finally, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support for public broadcasting. The number of you who have joined us here this morning reinforces that support. CBC/Radio-Canada truly appreciates it.

I would now like to introduce our President and CEO, Hubert T. Lacroix.

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