Then CBC President Robert Rabinovitch and CBC Board of Directors Chair Guylaine Saucier are pictured on May 29

Former CBC directors express dismay at cuts

Former CBC directors raise alarm over cuts to the public broadcaster

By The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Nine former members of the CBC board of directors have written to the public broadcaster’s current chairman to express alarm at recent cuts to the corporation.

Former CBC president Robert Rabinovitch and Guylaine Saucier, who served as chairwoman, are among those who signed the letter to current chairman Remi Racine.

The CBC is trying to absorb a $130-million budget shortfall due to federal cuts, declining advertising revenues and the loss of hockey rights.

The broadcaster announced last month it is slashing some 20 per cent of its workforce over the next five years, while cutting back evening newscasts and in-house production and raising the possibility of selling its flagship headquarters in Toronto.

It also signalled an intention to shift the CBC’s priorities from radio and television to digital and mobile services.

Clarence LeBreton, one of the signatories, says he’s concerned about diminished production capacity at the broadcaster as a result of the cuts.

Sometimes cosmetic cuts must be made to meet a budget, he says, but recent reductions amount to gutting the venerable broadcaster.

The board of directors is like the “guardian of the temple” and if somebody is dismantling it, “you should at least voice some concern,” he said Tuesday in an interview.

“We think this time it’s going too far.”

Racine said in an email that he would discuss the letter at the next board meeting.

By 2020, CBC plans to cut 1,000 to 1,500 positions from its roster of 7,500 employees. It says that goal will in part be fulfilled by retirements and attrition and that roughly 500 of these jobs will be eliminated over the next 12 to 15 months.

The new job losses are in addition to the 657 the broadcaster announced in April.

Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police seize nearly 50 kilos of drugs in Surrey

Police say this has taken perhaps millions of deadly doses of fentanyl and other drugs off the streets

ICBC had 32,412 Dial-a-Claim calls from Lower Mainland

This was in a 17-day stretch from Jan. 3 to Jan. 19, inclusive

Surrey Mounties looking for two suspects in stolen credit card scam

Police said the cards were used in $28,000 in fraudulent transactions in Surrey, Burnaby and Coquitlam

Surrey students donate 2,000 pairs of socks

Initiative part of the Leo Club program

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Convicted Fraser Valley con man facing 39 charges in Vancouver area

Donald Quinnell got four years prison in 2015, again facing fraud, theft, stolen credit card charges

Elderly man in serious condition after being hit by bus in Burnaby

RCMP believe man, 82, was not at a crosswalk at the time

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey teen recalls ‘scary experience’ of falling down Oregon mountain

Gurbaz Singh broke his leg during a 150-metre fall on Dec. 30

Most Read

l -->