CBC has confirmed that the TV design
department will close on May 31, 2007, which will also
result in the dismantling of CBC-TV’s extensive
props and costume stores.
In addition to the 49 jobs being eliminated in the
design department, the CBC announced a further 15 job
cuts in other departments.
"We deeply regret that
the CMG and the CBC were not able to reach an
agreement on the idea of an employee co-operative as
a way of preserving TV design in Toronto,” said
Marc Philippe Laurin, the president of the Guild's
CBC branch. “The closure is another sad result
of the fact that the CBC is coping with one-third less
government support than it had in 1990.”
After securing a delay in the
planned closure of the department in 2006, the CMG
hired a consultant to conduct a feasibility study
on forming an employee co-operative for TV design.
The study concluded that the start-up business would
be viable if it were able to rent space in the broadcast
centre and if CBC guaranteed the co-op the lion’s
share of its TV design work. The CBC rejected those
conditions earlier this week.
“Our goal right now is to make sure that the
rights of our members affected by the job cuts are
respected,” Laurin said.
In the coming weeks, the CMG
will participate in the review of CBC’s mandate
by the parliamentary Heritage Committee.
“The ability to design for television is fundamental
to the CBC’s role and we will be making that
point to the committee,” said CMG national president
Lise Lareau. “Let’s not forget that the
equivalent department at Radio-Canada is alive and
well in Montréal. Unfortunately, the CBC is
not adequately funded to do all of the things that
Canadians want from it.”
A recent study by Nordicity Group Ltd. shows Canada
ranks 16th of 18 industrialized countries when it comes
to funding public broadcasting.
A meeting will be held in the coming days with CMG
members from the design department to discuss the feasibility
study and their options at this stage.