Now might be a good time to write, or re-write your Member of Parliament
and Heritage Minister James Moore
Hon. James Moore
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau QC K1A 0M5
Via Inside the CBC: Ministers are currently debating an opposition motion that would prevent the current round of cuts to the CBC and fix it for the long term. The motion address' specific points in terms of CBC content and would provide considerable additional funding for the public broadcaster.
The text of the motion can be found here but just in case it should disappear someday it reads (in total):
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that the CBC/Radio-Canada continue in its role as Canada’s public broadcaster, an institution at the center of cultural, political, social, and economic life in Canada, and a key component of Canada’s broadcasting system.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada continue to be predominantly and distinctively Canadian.
The Committee recommends that prime-time hours, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 pm, Monday to Friday, on the CBC/Radio-Canada’s television networks, should be reserved for Canadian productions.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that when services cannot be distributed directly, CBC/Radio-Canada should negotiate fair and equitable agreements with its affiliates to ensure that all Canadians have access to their national public broadcaster.
The Committee considers that CBC/Radio-Canada should increase the number of programmes that reflect all regions of Canada, including prime-time programming.
The Committee recommends an increase in the variety, drama, news, public affairs and documentary programming produced by the regional CBC/Radio-Canada stations and independent producers.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada devote a greater share of its programming to the arts (music, books, film, dance and theatre performances) and that these programmes reflect the cultural diversity of the regions.
The Committee calls upon the television and radio services of CBC/Radio-Canada to meet the needs of official-language minority communities more fully and to offer programming that better reflects their reality.
The Committee calls upon CBC/Radio-Canada to develop an accountability framework, in conjunction with official-language minority communities, setting clear qualitative and quantitative objectives for CBC/Radio-Canada for content of news, drama and variety programming.
The Committee wishes to stress how important it is for CBC/Radio-Canada to contribute to shared national consciousness and identity, as stipulated in subparagraph 3(1)(m)(vi) of the Broadcasting Act.
The Committee supports CBC/Radio-Canada in its efforts to reflect Canada’s cultural diversity and gender balance. We encourage the Corporation to pursue new initiatives allowing contemporary Canada to be represented among all its creators and contributors.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends maintaining the current provisions of the statutory mandate of the CBC/Radio-Canada as set out in paragraphs 3(1)(l) and (m) of the Broadcasting Act, notwithstanding recommendation 2.3, which adds the role of the new media.
The Committee recommends the ratification of a seven-year memorandum of understanding between the Government of Canada and CBC/Radio-Canada, setting out the respective responsibilities of the signatories. The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage would be responsible for reviewing the memorandum of understanding and will conduct public consultations as required.
Recognising the need for Canadian public spaces in the online environment, the Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada continue to develop its Internet presence and to make its content accessible online for Canadians.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada build on its new media foundations and continue to pursue new and innovative ways of connecting Canadians of all ages to each other and to their national public broadcaster.
The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada should amend the Broadcasting Act to include digital media and emerging technologies as an integral aspect of achieving CBC/Radio-Canada mandate and reaching out to Canadians.
The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada include a clear role for digital media and emerging technologies in achieving the CBC/Radio-Canada mandate as part of the proposed seven-year memorandum of understanding.
The Committee agrees that innovative use of new media is fundamental to the future relevance of CBC/Radio-Canada. We therefore recommend that CBC/Radio-Canada develop a digital media strategy to be submitted to the Department of Canadian Heritage. The plan should include cost estimates for the development and expansion of the Corporation’s new media endeavours relative to the goals of its mandate.
The Committee recommends that, in consideration of CBC/Radio-Canada’s global funding needs, the Government of Canada recognise the need for increased funding toward the development of new media initiatives to pursue the objectives of its mandate.
The Committee notes the ongoing New Media Initiative undertaken by the CRTC. We recommend that, in its review, the Commission give consideration to the social and cultural, as well as the economic impact of internet broadcasting on the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
The Committee recommends that, in its New Media Project Initiative, the CRTC give consideration to the role of public broadcasting and of CBC/Radio-Canada in particular, in the delivery of Canadian content across all platforms, and the extent to which public broadcasting should contribute to the development of a vibrant, sustainable Canadian programming environment.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that the CRTC, as part of its New Media Project Initiative, consider the need to protect the neutrality of carriage of Canadian public broadcasting content, and of CBC/Radio-Canada content specifically, over new media platforms.
The Committee recommends that Canadian Internet services Providers be encouraged to voluntarily embrace the spirit of Section 3(1)(t)(i) of the Broadcasting Act in their approach to Canadian public broadcasting content delivered over the Internet.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada submit a revised plan for the conversion of its current system of OTA transmitters that includes options for possible partnerships and costing to extend its digital transmission signals free-to-air to all Canadians who currently receive its analogue transmission signals.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada prepare a detailed programming plan for the roll-out of its French- and English-language television HDTV. The plan should include the rationale and an explanation of how its plans connect with corporate objectives with respect to Canadian priority programming.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada submit an updated financial plan to the Department of Canadian Heritage for the transition to HD/DTV.
The Committee recommends that the Department of Canadian Heritage prioritize its response to the CBC/Radio-Canada plan and provide one time funding for the capital costs associated with the transition to HD/DTV and recurrent funding to cover the increased operational costs of transmission and distribution of HD signals.
The Committee encourages CBC/Radio-Canada to explore the possibility of developing partnerships with the National Film Board of Canada.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada play an increased role in the development, promotion and distribution of Canadian feature films.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that the Government of Canada commit to stable, multi-year funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, indexed to the cost of living. Funding should be for a period of not less than seven years and be established by means of the proposed memorandum of understanding.
The Government of Canada has approved additional one-time funding of $60 million annually since 2002. The Committee recommends that this parliamentary appropriation be permanently added to the Corporation’s core funding.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends to the Government of Canada that any broadening of or addition to the mandate be appropriately reflected in CBC/Radio-Canada’s parliamentary appropriations.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada’s core funding be increased to an amount equivalent to at least $40 per capita.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada give the regions greater prominence in all its services.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage supports the strategic plan submitted to the Minister of Canadian Heritage in January 2007, which is designed to improve programming for local communities on CBC/Radio-Canada’s English- and French-language radio services.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada retain guaranteed access to the various existing public funding sources, including the Canadian Television Fund, in order to support the production and broadcast of Canadian audiovisual content.
The Committee recognizes the current necessity and value of advertising revenues from television and on new platforms, and accepts that the CBC/Radio-Canada continue to pursue those revenue streams. However, the Committee also recommends that the Government of Canada and CBC/Radio-Canada work toward decreasing CBC Radio-Canada’s relative dependency on advertising revenues for television programming.
The Committee recommends, as part of the proposed memorandum of understanding, that negotiations between the Government and CBC/Radio-Canada should address the reduction of the Corporation’s relative dependency on advertising revenues for television programming, without compromising service.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada develop qualitative and quantitative performance indicators and clear targets for all six priorities and strategic areas identified in its Corporate Plan.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that all financial and accounting information be reported in the same way by both the French and English language networks, to render comparisons between the two entities possible.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada take inspiration from the British Broadcasting Corporation’s accountability model, rooted in results-based management. It would include the publication of an annual report and financial statement reporting details, both qualitative and quantitative, on all activities of public interest and its budgeting plans. In these documents, CBC/Radio-Canada would provide a comprehensive report on its programming and financial information for each of its individual services. This would facilitate objective, rigorous and transparent evaluations.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that all reports produced by the CBC/Radio-Canada, particularly those prepared for Parliament and especially the chapters about its operations, should be a comprehensive source of information, transparent, relevant and informative. This reporting should not, however, go so far as to compromise proprietary information that would put the Corporation at a competitive disadvantage.
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recommends that the CBC/Radio-Canada report to the Committee, at its earliest convenience, on its progress pursuant to the recommendations made in the 2005 Special Examination Report carried out by the Office of the Auditor General.
In the interest of greater distribution and availability of Canadian content, the Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada give greater priority to negotiating with artists and producers a fair and equitable sale and broadcast rights agreement over new and emerging platforms.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada move rapidly to acquire effective and operational captioning technology in order to offer captioning for 100% of its programming in real time.
The Committee recommends that CBC/Radio-Canada build on its efforts to preserve the thousands of hours of radio and television programming broadcast by its national, regional and local services, so that Canadians have access to this audiovisual heritage.
Given the importance of the Office of the Ombudsman and the need for fair decisions, the Committee recommends that the individual be selected from persons other than current CBC/Radio-Canada employees, or persons who have not been employed by the Corporation within the five years prior to the proposed date of employment.