CBC radio hearings may come to town

The federal standing committee on Canadian heritage may be heading to Vancouver as part of public hearings into the CBC’s decision to disband the CBC Radio Orchestra, the broadcaster’s commitment to classical music, and changes to CBC Radio 2 programming. On May 6, the committee unanimously approved a motion by NDP heritage critic Bill Siksay, MP for Burnaby-Douglas, to hold hearings on the matter. The dates of the hearings have yet to be decided, but the standing committee agreed that they should take place before Parliament’s summer recess.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to travel to Vancouver for at least one day of hearings on it, because it’s so crucial to the local community,” Siksay told the Straight. “I want Canadians who are concerned about classical music, who are concerned about the CBC Radio Orchestra being disbanded, and who are concerned about the direction of Radio 2 to have an opportunity to express those concerns to”¦the parliamentarians on the standing committee on Canadian heritage.”¦I also want the CBC to pay attention to what these folks are saying to the committee.”

According to local composer John Oliver, many Vancouver musicians and composers have applied to serve as witnesses in the public hearings.

“There are a number of people who have requested to appear,” Oliver told the Straight, referring to members of the New Westminster–based Stand on Guard for CBC Coalition, which he helped establish.

Oliver said he is eager to address the committee. “I will, from my point of view, be talking more about the dismantlement of my profession,” he said.