Speaking Notes for Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO, at the Annual Public Meeting

September 27, 2016, Moncton

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Thank you, Rémi, and good evening everyone! It’s great to be here in Moncton!

In June 2014, we initiated our digital shift to deepen our relationship with all Canadians.

Moncton is a microcosm of Canada’s cultural and linguistic diversity. We understand its importance.

That’s why we invested in our services here and now have a state-of-the-art facility. In fact, eight hundred people, from all four Atlantic provinces, came to visit us during our Open House event on September 10!

Like you, we feel strongly about our new station in Moncton, which serves all of Atlantic Canada and, through the networks, the country as a whole.

Every time we invest in a regional station, to provide more local content, more often and on more screens, we build on our expertise. In the last couple of years, we have transformed our stations in Saskatoon, Rimouski, Halifax, Matane and Sudbury. We built this collective expertise into Moncton. It’s safe to say that Moncton is now one of our most modern multiplatform stations in the country.

We realize the important place that CBC/Radio-Canada holds in your lives and, this evening I would like to share my vision for ensuring that it remains that vibrant public space in the future.

Twenty-seven months after the launch of our Strategy 2020, we’re past the disruption stage and are now focused on solutions.

We are seizing all of the opportunities offered by digital to tell your stories, on the platform you choose. In that sense, you could say that “our” digital is also deeply “local.”

Within our means, we are finding ways to be creative!

While we were in the thick of our Olympic coverage, we allowed audiences around the globe to experience the Grand Tintamarre de Caraquet virtually, through Facebook Live. The webcast became a nation-sharing event, as over 145,000 Acadians living all over the world were able to celebrate remotely with the people in Caraquet.

A great example confirming that, with digital, local content can now reach national – and even international – audiences.

The Maritime i-Unit gave a prime example of this last month with its thorough investigative report into the inappropriate use of force at the Dorchester Penitentiary. The RCMP have since confirmed they are reopening the criminal investigation into the death of an inmate.

This report was shared on all of our platforms and reached Canadians across the country. More than 278,000 of you viewed the content online on CBC News.

In fact, each week, the CBC New Brunswick site generates 1.44 million interactions.

Nationwide, over 16 million Canadians use our digital platforms each month – that’s three million more over the last year alone. Our goal is to see that number climb to 18 million by the year 2020.

Here’s one of our highlights from this summer: CBC brought together Canadians at home and in 150 public places across the country – and even abroad – to celebrate the iconic Canadian rock band, the Tragically Hip. Over 11.7 million Canadians watched the group’s farewell concert in Kingston, broadcast on TV, radio, the web and our apps.

Here in Moncton, 500 people gathered in the Capitol Theatre for one of our official screenings.

Theatre management thanked us for sharing this “Canadian moment” with the entire country, saying it was exactly what a national public broadcaster is supposed to do.

We will continue to build on this momentum.

Last spring, the government announced a major reinvestment in CBC/Radio-Canada – the first of its kind in a decade. It’s a powerful vote of confidence in the value of what we do, and in our 2020 Plan.

​In French Services, all of our regional stations will benefit from the reinvestment, including our centres serving French-speaking minority communities.

Thanks to this support, we can expand our Acadie team, doubling our staff assigned to the web. We have added three new people assigned to digital coverage and converted a producer position to focus entirely on digital – ICI Radio-Canada Acadie will therefore cover regional affairs 18 hours a day, seven days a week. You can now also personalize your newsfeed and headlines for your home province in Atlantic Canada.

The support will also allow us to extend the season of Méchante soirée on ICI Radio-Canada Télé, with five new episodes.

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Samuel Chiasson, who hosts Méchante soirée, for his team’s tour of French-language high schools in the region as part of his radio show Méchante journée. This initiative shed new light on the issues facing young people today, such as the challenges of being a teen in the digital age.

Two weeks ago, we launched a new project called Next Generation/Prochaine Génération. It’s an experimental space, created and managed by millennials, to develop new ways of enriching and sharing news and current affairs content.

It’s a project that dovetails with Radio-Canada’s Jeunes reporters Acadie competition, which teaches the basics of journalism to six Grade 10 and 11 students and helps them produce their own reports.

We need to develop this reflex of getting young people involved in creating and sharing their content. And we need to trust them with the keys to the car.

And, beyond this younger generation, we have to open ourselves up to all those looking to help us rethink the way we do business.

We can rejoice in the fact that our vision and our shift were the right ones and are supported by new investments. But it’s just as critical that the Canadian media ecosystem also adapt to the new digital reality.

That’s why it was important for the government to launch the current consultations on Canadian content in a digital world.

We look forward to participating in them and I encourage all of you to do so as well, because it’s our culture at stake.

Diversity is our strength in Canada. We need to reflect this diversity – and celebrate it. That’s what we’ll do in 2017, when we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

True to our role, we will bring Canadians together to experience this signature national event.

To give you a taste of what we have in store for the coming year, we’re now going to watch a short video.

Thank you and have a great Annual Public Meeting!

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