CBC/Radio-Canada | Bloc proposal would make defunding easier, say Conservatives

(Ottawa) The Bloc Québécois’ idea of ​​separating CBC/Radio-Canada into two separate state-owned companies pleases the conservatives who want to get rid of the English services, and believe that, conversely, the Liberal government is trying to put them under pressure. obstacles in the wheels by using Radio-Canada as a shield for the CBC.

“It’s certain that if there are two separate companies, it’s easier (to cut CBC). Is M strategically and politically speakingme Is St-Onge favoring CBC with the merger in order to protect CBC against our coming to power? (…) That’s absolutely it,” said the Conservative official languages ​​spokesperson, Joël Godin, in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Mr. Godin then reacted to the exchanges that occurred Monday afternoon during question period where the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, said she was shocked that the Bloc “adopted almost the same position as the Conservatives” by wanting to split the public broadcaster at the very moment when senior management is considering a merger of the two networks.

According to him, the parliamentary leader of the Bloc, Alain Therrien, was even “right” in his plea. “When we join French and English, it is often English that encompasses and French is only picked up with the crumbs,” he insisted.

Upon her arrival at the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, Minister St-Onge brushed aside the Bloc’s “proposal” which aims to even better protect Radio-Canada. “I will not govern according to the conservatives,” she said.

“Canadians will have a clear choice in the next election between a party (Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives) which thinks that Canada no longer needs a public broadcaster, which thinks that we should let the platforms manage disinformation, propaganda, then, with regard to Facebook, among others, to ban Canadians from sharing information content,” she continued.

The minister reiterated that she intends to ensure that despite the restructuring under study, there is “a total distinction” in the content, programming and direction of the two branches of CBC/Radio-Canada. That said, “it’s normal” for senior management to look at its internal structure and possible duplication or efficiency problems.

His colleague Pablo Rodriguez, Justin Trudeau’s lieutenant for Quebec, was also reassuring, affirming that the Liberals will “always defend” the francophone spirit of Radio-Canada.

How then does he explain the outcry? “Because it’s normal, sometimes, to have fears when there is change,” he replies.

The state-owned company assures that its “modernization plan” unveiled last week does not aim to “eliminate the editorial and programming independence” of the English and French services. It actually aims, it is said, to “ensure the sustainability” of the public broadcaster by making “the best possible use of our limited resources, particularly in terms of technology”.

Called to govern, the Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge, considered it “extremely important” that French-speaking communities outside Quebec can count on information and content in French from Radio-Canada since “in several regions it is the only Streamer “.

“It is important that whatever structure we put in place, that we always respect this mandate,” he insisted.

The Conservatives, who largely lead in the polls, vow to “defund” the CBC if they form the next government. But, again Monday evening, they affirmed that they would ensure that Radio-Canada “remains in place”.

“They have needs, they have very different functions. Radio-Canada is a French-speaking public television station that reflects French-speaking Canadian culture throughout our country, something that CBC does not do,” said Joël Godin.

Elected officials will directly question the president and general manager of CBC/Radio-Canada, Catherine Tait, at the end of the afternoon, when the latter will appear before the standing committee on Canadian Heritage to deal with the job cuts she had announced in recent months before reversing its decision most recently with the granting of new funds in the federal budget.

With information from Lia Lévesque

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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