CBC Radio Hamilton is one step closer to reality with the latest Heritage Standing Committee report.
By Trey Shaughnessy
Published March 24, 2008
CBC Radio Hamilton has moved one more step closer to becoming a reality. The Heritage Standing Committee released its report on the Mandate Review of the CBC.
For the first time, the Committee has recommended a specific increase in funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, from $33 per capita to $40 per capita, and that the Corporation's funding be tied to the cost of living.
The report also recommends that the Government adopt a practice already followed in other countries and establish a seven-year Memorandum of Understanding with CBC/Radio-Canada to determine what levels of service the public broadcaster should be providing and the level of resources necessary to do it.
The Committee also recommended, "Radio is the best way to ensure affordable local coverage" and said that it supports CBC/Radio-Canada's Radio Plan.
The Plan recommended the creation of 15 new local stations and production centres to improve local radio service to 8 million Canadians. Four new stations were proposed for both BC and southern Ontario, three each for Alberta and Quebec, and one for Saskatchewan.
Ted Kennedy, Head of English Programming wrote:
CBC/Radio-Canada commends the Committee for its work which we believe will provide a useful blueprint for action. We look forward to working with the Government and Canadians to establish the Memorandum of Understanding.
We are also grateful for the Committee's support for the Radio Plan and hope that the Government will commit to providing the funding necessary to establish these new stations.
The government has 150 days to respond to the Committee's report and during that time we will be active in discussion with key decision makers. We'll endeavor to keep you informed as events progress.
The Standing Committee has made many recommendations in their Report.
One of them is to increase the core funding for the CBC. Another is support for the Local Radio Plan that includes Hamilton. Presumably, if the funding is awarded to the CBC overall, then they could be funding the Local Radio Strategy from that new money.
The Report will now be discussed and debated. It is up to the government to determine what the response will be. The response is due in 150 days.
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