No “merger”, but “harmonization” between CBC and Radio-Canada, says its president Catherine Tait

No “merger”, but “harmonization” between CBC and Radio-Canada, says its president Catherine Tait
No “merger”, but “harmonization” between CBC and Radio-Canada, says its president Catherine Tait

OTTAWA – The rapprochement between Radio-Canada and CBC will not be to the detriment of the French-speaking sector, swears its president Catherine Tait, who speaks of a “harmonization” rather than a “merger” between the two sectors.

“The questioning of the merger of the two services is not at all in our thoughts. We are talking about harmonizing services or technologies, platforms, this type of solution. We don’t talk about the content, it’s not on the table at all,” Catherine Tait assured MPs in a parliamentary committee in Ottawa on Tuesday.

“For me, merging means pooling our services. Harmonizing means working together and finding solutions together,” she added to the media after her appearance.

La Presse reported last week that senior management at CBC/Radio-Canada was working on a transformation plan that involves pooling resources from the English and French services. It is not excluded or decided that the programming and management will be affected, reported the Quebec daily. But in committee on Wednesday, Catherine Tait refuted that there could be an impact on programming and management in such a scenario.

“The editorial independence of CBC and Radio-Canada remains a fundamental principle of our services (…) I swear to you that the strength of Radio-Canada and the importance of Radio-Canada for the French fact and the French language remain heart of all our reflections,” she maintains.

The state-owned company already shares several elements such as the finance department, equipment, infrastructure and human resources. So what sectors, besides programming and content, could be brought together, asked curator Tom Kmiec? The vice-president of the state corporation, Marco Dubé and Catherine Tait, in turn mentioned technologies, the web platform and even production systems as examples of sectors.

“There remain several places in the organization where we could work more closely, which is not programming,” believes Mr. Dubé.

There is also no question of having a single manager for the French and English-speaking service, Catherine Tait confirmed to the media.

The model of stations outside Quebec “is the perfect example of how CBC and Radio-Canada can collaborate,” says Marco Dubé.

“If we are able to offer services in French in communities outside Quebec, it is because we are able to make the most of resources in stations where French-speaking and English-speaking people work side by side. others to produce programming that is entirely distinct, independent and different and that adequately meets the needs of the markets. »

Minister of Canadian Heritage Pascale St-Onge must review the financial structure, governance and mandate of Radio-Canada, while a new manager must be appointed with Catherine Tait who will leave in 2025.

“There is no way that French-language programming, whether in Quebec or outside Quebec, should or will be affected by any modernization of CBC/Radio-Canada. They have obligations under their mandates, and then they will continue to respect it,” the minister told the media on Tuesday.

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