MONTREAL, Nov. 1, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) condemns a series of resolutions tabled at the Conservative Party (CPC) convention that focus on the eradication of the sole Canadian public broadcaster. A CSN delegation is currently in Calgary with members of the UCCO-SACC-CSN to strengthen its ties - before the Peoples' Social Forum - with the many progressive groups actively combating the backward policies of the Harper Government and of the CPC.
"Never had Canadian communities been the target of such attacks from their own government. From the moment they were first elected, Stephen Harper's Tories have been responsible for an unimaginable social decline; it would seem they're still hungry for more. The resolutions concerning the CBC/Radio-Canada would take us back 80 years, before the very creation of the sole public broadcaster that we collectively share. We are here in Calgary to counterbalance these retrogressive measures that impoverish us en masse while enriching a handful of powerful groups who do not have the interest of Canadians at heart," declared Jean Lortie, the Secretary General of the CSN and member of the delegation who will be in Calgary from October 31st to November 2nd.
"The Fédération nationale des communications-CSN (FNC) vehemently criticizes the resolution tabled by the Conservative Party which would force the CBC/Radio-Canada to abide by the 'user pays' principle. The mandates given to the sole Canadian public broadcaster in the Broadcasting Act are totally incompatible with this principle and cannot coexist with such a resolution. This worries us in so far as these proposed changes are part of the CPC's resolution to amend the Broadcasting Act and to restrict the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) role. It is worth noting that this Act is responsible for the creation of the CBC/Radio-Canada. The CRTC is mandated to verify that the missions given to the CBC are in accordance with this Act before renewing its licences. The vague statements regarding the role the Conservative Party intends our sole public broadcaster to play remain unclear and, judging by the other proposed resolutions, we can only fear the worst," stated the President of the Fédération nationale des communications-CSN, Pierre Roger.
"Another proposal emphasizes that 'the federal Government undertakes the preparation of an Action Plan for the reorganization and amalgamation of the numerous similar services of the CBC across Canada.' The resolution clearly states that 'the objective being the order by elimination of all public funding of the corporation which creates unfair competitive advantage with privately owned and operated networks and stations.' This relegates the CBC/Radio-Canada to the status of a simple private broadcaster," criticized the President of the Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada (FNC-CSN), Alex Levasseur.
One thing is obvious to him, "This document gives a clear idea of the global image: They are planning on destroying the CBC/RC. Not only would this be totally unacceptable for the various communities in and outside of Canada, but this decision would take us back to May 24, 1932, the day the Conservative Government of Richard Bennett created the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC), which would become the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1936. Back then, the government acknowledged the need to have a public broadcaster whose mission would be to serve Canadians from sea to sea. The need is still there and killing off the CBC is simply inconceivable to us," concluded Mr. Levasseur.
The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers UCCO-SACC-CSN represents 7,400 correctional officers working in 52 federal penitentiaries throughout Canada. The Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada represents 1,600 members in the province of Québec and in Moncton and is affiliated with the Fédération nationale des communications-CSN, which is composed of 7,000 members working in culture and communications.
Founded in 1921, the CSN is a trade union federation that works towards a cohesive, democratic, just, fair and sustainable society. To this end, the CSN takes part in many debates that concern Quebeckers. The CSN federates almost 2,000 unions and represents more than 300,000 workers on a sectoral or professional basis within eight federations, as well as regionally via 13 central councils, primarily in the province of Quebec.