(PLEASE CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY)
Good day to all of you who have joined us here in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and to the many more attending via webcast and following us on Twitter across the country. Welcome to CBC/Radio-Canada’s fourth annual public meeting.
As Chair of the Board of Directors, it is my honour to speak to you on behalf of the Board and all of us at CBC/Radio-Canada. With us today, in person, are members of the Senior Executive Team and the Board of Directors, including our new members.
The Board is responsible for governing the Corporation and holding it accountable to the people of Canada. The Annual Public Meeting is a key aspect of accountability and transparency, attributes that are central to our philosophy and critical to our credibility. When the Corporation launched its 5 year strategic plan Everyone, Every way, we committed to reporting to Canadians twice a year across a range of metrics. The final report for 2011–2012 is now available on our corporate website. In terms of our obligations under the Access to Information Act, by the end of 2011, the number of requests not responded to within the prescribed timeframe has improved significantly, down to 4.2 per cent from 80.5 per cent in 2007−2008. All examples of how seriously the Corporation takes this issue.
This event is also an opportunity to connect with you and exchange ideas about the national public broadcaster. Ideas like how do we make room for differing opinions on our platforms? It is one of the Board’s objectives to ensure that your public broadcaster reflects this country's various points of view on a wide range of issues that are of interest to Canadians. It is, after all, our promise to create public spaces where you can better understand and relate to the world, your country, your province, your city, your community and your neighbors, while confidently expressing your opinions and sharing your experiences and ideas.
At the same time the Board, along with the rest of the Corporation, must remain mindful of our financial context and the evolving nature of media technology. The Board has a responsibility to keep asking the right questions of management to ensure the Corporation continues to streamline processes and reduce costs. All with the goal of being as efficient as possible.
Before I make way for CBC/Radio-Canada’s President and CEO, I would like, on behalf of the Board, to express admiration for and thanks to the outgoing Chair, Timothy W. Casgrain, for leading the Board through a tumultuous but, ultimately, very successful five year term. I want to convey my gratitude to my colleagues on the Board for their valuable contributions and enduring commitment to the national public broadcaster. Thank you also to CBC/Radio-Canada’s employees for their commitment to the Corporation’s mission of delivering great content despite the challenges we might face.
Lastly, thanks to Canadians for their continuing and encouraging support of CBC/Radio-Canada. The Corporation exists to serve you, to tell your stories and to make sure that you have a place in the media landscape that you can proudly call your own.
And now it is my great pleasure to introduce CBC/Radio-Canada’s President and CEO, Hubert T. Lacroix.