NDP asks CBC to "immediately halt" sale of buildings

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      Under an NDP government, the CBC wouldn't have any reason to sell off all of its buildings.

      That's the message of a letter addressed to CBC CEO Hubert Lacroix by NDP incumbents Andrew Cash and Pierre Nantel concerning the public broadcaster's reported plans to divest itself of its properties.

      Here's the full text of the September 24 letter:

      Dear M. Lacroix,

      Yesterday’s new reports on CBC/Radio-Canada’s assets selloff is of grave concern to the New Democratic Party of Canada.

      Short-term solutions like these do not solve the long term problems faced by CBC/Radio-Canada after 20 years of budget pressure, and, as we know from the proposed Hydro One fire-sale of the Ontario Liberal government, the public is not supportive of this approach.

      We urge you to hold out hope for a brighter future that may be just weeks away, and to immediately halt any sale of CBC assets that could have devastating impacts on its future.

      The CBC plays a central role in the culture and identity of Canadians and of Quebecers. It is the place where Canadians from all corners of the country go for their news, their music, their entertainment, their sports and their stories. It’s where we see ourselves reflected in media of all types, and where we see the reflections of our neighbours and fellow Canadians from all walks of life. And it acts as a key training ground for those in Canada's increasingly important arts and culture sector.

      We fully understand the budgetary pressure under which the CBC finds itself. Of course, the $115M in cuts from the current Conservative government compounded the devastating $415M budget cuts of the last Liberal government.

      But Canadians will send a new government to Ottawa in less than 4 weeks.

      You can have confidence that an NDP government under the leadership of Tom Mulcair would put an end to the 2-decade-era of deep budget cuts and programming reductions at CBC, and instead usher in a new era of productive innovation, independence and stability which includes both reversing the $115M Conservative cut and finally implementing stable long term, predictable funding for Canada's public broadcaster.


      Andrew Cash (Davenport)

      Pierre Nantel (Longueuil – Saint-Hubert)

      On September 22, the Canadian Media Guild said, in a news release, that CBC announced at a staff town hall that it will be "selling all its property across the country, including major production facilities in Montreal and Toronto".

      "The decision to close down production centres is of great concern for our members as it should be for all Canadians, and seriously jeopardizes the CBC's ability to do meaningful production in the future," Marc-Philippe Laurin, CBC branch president for the CMG, stated in the release. "Our members believe the public broadcaster can't only be a distributor, it has to also be a producer. This plan threatens the ongoing legacy of award-winning documentaries, drama and other quality production at CBC and Radio Canada."

      Meanwhile, the Liberals and Greens have both promised to reverse the $115 million in cuts made by the Conservative government to the CBC and boost its funding.

      “The information made public by the Canadian Media Guild is appalling,” said May, leader of the Greens and the incumbent in Saanich–Gulf Islands, in a September 23 news release. “For CBC–Radio-Canada to sell these assets makes no sense. They were paid for by Canadians and should remain in public hands. What’s happening is the perfect example of the consequences of the Harper Decade."

      The federal election wraps up October 19.