The following table discusses the key risks faced by CBC/Radio-Canada during fiscal year 2015-2016 and the ongoing impact into 2016-2017.

Key Risks

Risk Mitigation

Future Impact

1. Strategy 2020 Implementation

Our ability to deliver our mandate is challenged by a shift from traditional television to specialty television and digital platforms, rapid technology evolution, changing media consumption habits, and industry fragmentation.

Strategy 2020 is a framework within which we can make strategic choices, even as market conditions and audience habits evolve. The ability to execute the strategy will determine achievement of plan objectives.

The Government has pledged reinvestments in CBC/Radio-Canada ($75 million in 2016-2017 and $150 million per year on an ongoing basis) and we have developed spending priorities for this reinvestment consistent with Strategy 2020.

Review and refresh Strategy 2020 by incorporating the amount, timing and impact of the new incremental government funding into the strategic plan.

Take leadership in initiating a conversation amongst key players to reshape ecosystem and industry funding requirements.

Continue to promote and share strategic plan information with stakeholders both internally and externally. Emphasize context and shifts in the media landscape that demonstrate a need for our plan. Continue to reaffirm that changes associated with the strategy are needed to ensure that we are better positioned to meet the evolving needs of Canadians and the fundamental shifts transforming the media landscape.

Take leadership in bringing together international public broadcasters to reflect on strategic challenges.

Develop and implement change management strategies.

Monitor implementation closely to ensure adherence to plan.

The strategic framework will position the Corporation to succeed now, as well as in an age beyond traditional broadcasting. It will ensure that the services we provide, and the operating model that supports those services, evolve in tandem with the changing expectations of Canadians and the movements of our industry.

2. Budget Concerns

We face financial challenges that include an industry-wide softening of the advertising market and a shift of advertising dollars from traditional television to digital platforms. The implementation of the Let’s Talk TV decisions, such as small basic packages and discretionary services being offered on a stand-alone basis or in small packages, may negatively impact subscriber and advertising revenue. The potential impact of such decisions will become clearer in the coming months.

Reductions required to finance Strategy 2020 have been identified and incorporated into the five-year financial plan developed to support the new strategy. Detailed monitoring is required to ensure expected outcomes are achieved.

Assess potential ramifications of CRTC decisions to CBC/Radio-Canada revenues and operations, and develop, implement or modify strategies as required.

Further advertising weakening and reduced subscriber revenues may require changes to implementation plans.

3. Workforce Challenges – Recruiting, Training, Retaining and Empowering a Skilled Workforce

The degree to which staff is aligned with our strategic plan will have an impact on engagement, retention and our ability to achieve objectives. Managers and employees require the necessary skill set to adapt to an accelerated pace of change and the transformation needs of Strategy 2020.

Staff reductions create a climate of uncertainty and stress that may lead to reduced morale, lower productivity and increased turnover.

Develop and implement an enterprise change management plan, including support activities linked to major projects that enable Strategy 2020.

Change management activities will include the following: transparent communication to employees and unions; involvement of employees in change; continued investment in learning and development (including digital skills); and increased efforts to recognize employee contributions.

Implement action plans to address recommendations of the Rubin Report and our commitment to a respectful work environment for all employees.

Implement action plans to address the 2015 Employee Dialogue Survey results, as well as perform an Employee Dialogue Survey in fall 2016 to ascertain the effectiveness of the action plan.

The retention and engagement of a strong workforce is essential to achieve our strategic objectives.

We will maintain our momentum to train people for this new digital world, train leaders to even better-support their teams and continue building a strong foundation of business skills across the Corporation.

4. Reputation and Brand Management

CBC and Radio-Canada are among the most prominent and most discussed brands in the country. In addition, they are brands that every Canadian feels rightly justified in having and expressing an opinion on. At any time, an event or an incident, large or small, can touch a nerve and instigate a controversy of national proportions.

There is a risk that negative perceptions of CBC/Radio-Canada may undermine credibility and stakeholder support.

Use of a comprehensive issue management system that:

  • monitors the environment;
  • identifies potential issues and the stakeholder groups they could affect;
  • prepares for them; and
  • provides messaging and guidance to senior leaders, line managers and communications staff across the system.

Ensure that a strong crisis management response that stresses transparency and decisive action is implemented to address critical issues.

Clear and transparent action plans to deal with critical issues will improve credibility and stakeholder support.

5. Union Relations and Negotiations

There are a number of agreements that are expired or expiring in the upcoming months. Negotiations underway include the collective agreement for the new merged French union represented by the Syndicat des Communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC), Association des réalisateurs (AR), Canadian Media Guild (CMG), Association of Professionals and Supervisors (APS), Union des Artistes (UDA), and ACTRA.

There is a risk that prolonged proceedings to resolve the Radio-Canada union structure will make the negotiation of the first collective agreement long and difficult. This could negatively affect the working relationship between management and employees, and negatively affect implementation plans of
Strategy 2020 and the attainment of plan objectives.

There is a risk of disruption to operations due to labour stoppage(s) triggered during multiple negotiations.

Continue transparent communications to employees and unions and involvement of employees in the development of strategic initiatives.

Develop clear negotiation mandates that ensure flexibility in working conditions and reduction of jurisdictional barriers between bargaining units.

Pending a Court of Appeal hearing on merging the two Radio-Canada bargaining units into one, commence negotiation with the new bargaining unit, Syndicat des Communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC), for its first collective agreement and with Association des réalisateurs (AR) members.

Update contingency plans in case of labour disruption.

Continue negotiations with the bargaining units.

6. Real Estate Replacement and Optimization

There are risks that infrastructure replacement and optimization projects may be delayed or unsuccessful, leading to:

  • continued risk of ownership (capital and operating costs and management of excess space); and
  • inability to achieve stated real estate footprint reduction target of approximately two million square feet by 2020.

Sell or reduce space in non-functional or under-utilized buildings when positive business case exists. Continue competitive leasing strategy for surplus facilities.

Continue with initiatives to sell or rent excess capacity in our facilities.

We are working to review potential scenarios on the Maison de Radio-Canada (MRC) redevelopment project reinitiated in November 2015. On May 18, 2016, the Board of Directors shortlisted two proposals, both of which would see the public broadcaster’s Montreal home remain on a portion of the same site. The proposals will be assessed to determine the one that best suits our needs (functional, technical and financial). Regarding the sale of the existing facility, the final phase of the process will continue with four proponents. The final choice of proposal, both for the new MRC and the sale of the existing facility, is expected in fall 2016 and will need to be approved by the Treasury Board.

A project is underway to consider our options with respect to the Toronto Broadcast Centre.

7. Information Security

There is a risk that CBC/Radio-Canada is not sufficiently prepared to manage cyber threats that have the potential to significantly disrupt operations (capacity to be on air and availability of our digital services) and/or damage our brand.

Monitor and assess network security and system vulnerabilities.

Implement enhanced Information Security rules, guidelines and procedures and increase staff awareness and training on Information Security topics.

Review and augment, as necessary, the Crisis Management Response Plan for Information Security incidents.

Continue and refine identified strategies.

2015 federal election night coverage with Peter Mansbridge on CBC

2015 federal election night coverage with Peter Mansbridge on CBC