Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

A new mandate for CBC/Radio-Canada before the federal elections?

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Pascale St-Onge became Minister of Canadian Heritage last July. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge wants the role of CBC/Radio-Canada to be redefined before the next federal election.

In an end-of-year interview with The Canadian Press, Ms. St-Onge maintains that the time has come to update the mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada, in order to protect the public broadcaster against a possible change of government in Ottawa.

Minister says Liberal government believes a strong public broadcaster strengthens democracy and promises to continue supporting it, so that a Conservative government would destroy CBC/Radio-Canada, according to her.

The opposition Conservatives, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, have promised to defund the CBC and turn its Toronto headquarters into housing. The Conservatives also promise to maintain French programming on Radio-Canada.

The federal Liberals have promised for years to update CBC/Radio-Canada's mandate to meet the modern needs of Canadians, as the news sector faces job cuts and to a drop in advertising revenues due to web giants.

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The public broadcaster also announced in early December the upcoming elimination of 600 jobs and the elimination of 200 vacant positions, or nearly 10% of its workforce in the country.

Minister St-Onge wants the public broadcaster's new mandate to fill regional information gaps, include a strong online presence, invest in international coverage and support linguistic minority communities.

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