Policy 2.2.21: Code of Conduct

REVISED: June 21, 2012
RESPONSIBILITY: Vice-President, People and Culture and Vice-President, Legal Services, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary


CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. In the fulfillment of this critical role, this Code of Conduct outlines the values and expected behaviours that guide CBC/Radio-Canada employees in all activities related to their professional duties. By committing to these values and adhering to the expected behaviours, CBC/Radio-Canada employees strengthen the ethical culture of the public sector and contribute to public confidence in the integrity of all public institutions.

This Code of Conduct fulfills the requirements under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. Effective April 2, 2012, all federal public sector employees as well as employees of certain Crown Corporations such as CBC/Radio-Canada, are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct as a term and condition of employment.
In addition to this Code of Conduct, employees are expected to be familiar with and comply with CBC/Radio-Canada’s various policies and guidelines that guide and govern their behaviour in the performance of their day-to-day activities. Employees are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with those policies and this Code of Conduct. Failure by an employee to comply with the provisions of the Code of Conduct and any of CBC/Radio-Canada policies may result in disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including, immediate dismissal.

This Code is subject to the Broadcasting Act, which protects the CBC/Radio-Canada’s “journalistic, creative and programming independence in the pursuit of its objects and the exercise of its powers.” This Code respects CBC/Radio-Canada’s arm’s-length relationship to the government and the independence enjoyed by its employees in the exercise of their duties, which are also governed by CBC/Radio-Canada’s Journalistic Standards and Practices.


Acceptance of these values and adherence to the expected behaviours is a condition of employment for every CBC/Radio-Canada employee, regardless of their level, position or union affiliation. Employees shall confirm annually to their immediate supervisor that they have read and understood this Code of the Conduct.


All questions pertaining to the interpretation or application of this policy should be referred to theVice-President, People and Culture and Vice-President, Legal Services, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.


This Code of Conduct is intended to offer a broad range of guidance about the standards of integrity and business conduct, but no code can address every situation that individuals may encounter. For this reason, the Code of Conduct does not relieve employees of the responsibility and accountability to exercise good judgment and, in circumstances where they are unsure as to the proper course of action, to seek guidance from others.

Employees who are also managers are in a position of influence and authority that gives them a particular responsibility to exemplify the values contained in this Code of Conduct.


The system of Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions are fundamental to serving the public interest. CBC/Radio-Canada employees recognize that:

  • elected officials are accountable to Parliament, and ultimately to the Canadian people, and
  • it is essential to our democratic system to have a non-partisan public sector and a free and independent news media.


Treating all people with respect, dignity and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness and transparency. The diversity of our people and the ideas they generate are the source of our innovation.


Integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and democracy. By upholding the highest ethical standards, CBC/Radio-Canada employees conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness and impartiality of the Corporation.


CBC/Radio-Canada employees are entrusted to use and care for public resources responsibly, for both the short term and long term.


Excellence in the design and delivery of CBC/Radio-Canada policies, programs and services is beneficial to every aspect of Canadian public life. Engagement, collaboration, effective teamwork and professional development are all essential to a high-performing organization.
CBC/Radio-Canada employees are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with these expected behaviours, as listed below.

1. Respect for Democracy

Subject to the Broadcasting Act, CBC/Radio-Canada employees shall uphold the Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions by:

1.1 Respecting the rule of law and carrying out their duties in accordance with legislation, policies and directives in a manner that is and appears to be non-partisan and impartial.

1.2 Loyally carrying out the mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada as set out in the Broadcasting Act, for which it is accountable to Parliament and Canadians.

1.3 Providing decision makers of CBC/Radio-Canada with the information, analysis and advice they need, always striving to be open, candid and impartial.

2. Respect for People

CBC/Radio-Canada employees shall respect human dignity and the value of every person by:

2.1 Treating every person with respect and fairness.

2.2 Valuing diversity and the benefit of combining the unique qualities and strengths inherent in a diverse workforce.

2.3 Helping to create and maintain safe and healthy workplaces that are free from harassment and discrimination.

2.4 Working together in a spirit of openness, honesty and transparency that encourages engagement, collaboration and respectful communication.

3. Integrity

CBC/Radio-Canada employees shall serve the public interest by:

3.1 Acting at all times with integrity and in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that may not be fully satisfied by simply acting within the law.

3.2 Never using their official roles to inappropriately obtain an advantage for themselves or to advantage or disadvantage others.

3.3 Taking all possible steps to prevent and resolve any real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between their official responsibilities and their private affairs in favour of the public interest.

3.4 Acting in such a way as to maintain the Corporation's trust.

4. Stewardship

CBC/Radio-Canada employees shall use resources responsibly by:

4.1 Effectively and efficiently using the public money, property and resources managed by them.

4.2 Considering the present and long-term effects that their actions have on people and the environment.

4.3 Acquiring, preserving and sharing knowledge and information as appropriate.

5. Excellence

CBC/Radio-Canada employees shall demonstrate professional excellence by:

5.1 Providing, subject to the Broadcasting Act, fair, timely, efficient and effective services that respect Canada's official languages

5.2 Continually improving the quality of policies, programs and services they provide.

5.3 Fostering a work environment that promotes teamwork, learning and innovation.


The Expected Behaviours are not intended to respond to every possible ethical issue that might arise in the course of an employee's daily work. When issues arise or there might be a possible breach of this Code of Conduct, employees are obliged to immediately notify their immediate manager. The immediate manager is responsible for immediately notifying the local Human Resources Business Partner. If the breach involves their manager or where it is otherwise inappropriate to directly notify their manager, employees can notify their local Human Resources Business Partner instead. The Vice-President, People and Culture, shall determine, jointly with the Vice-President, Legal Services, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, whether a formal investigation is warranted.

However, if employees have information that could indicate a serious breach of this Code of Conduct, they can bring the matter to the Senior Officer Disclosure pursuant to the provisions found in Policy 2.9.04: Disclosure of Wrongdoings (“Whistleblower Policy”). A serious breach of the Code of Conduct falls within the definition of “Wrongdoing” under the Disclosure of Wrongdoings Policy.

CBC/Radio-Canada will protect any employee from retaliation who, in good faith, raises a concern in accordance with this Code of Conduct. In other words, employees will not be penalized or disciplined for making a complaint in good faith.

Members of the public who have reason to believe that a CBC/Radio-Canada employee has not acted in accordance with this Code of Conduct can bring the matter to the Ombudsman (if it involves news or information programming) or Audience Relations (for all other matters).


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