Former Liberal cabinet minister supports a CBC mandate review

Jul 5, 2006

Letter by former Minister for Northern Development, Hon. Andy Scott

Hon. Beverley J. Oda
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women
12-15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, P.Q.
K1A 0M5

Dear Madam Minister,

On behalf of my constituents and the Greater Fredericton area Community Advisory Group on Arts and Culture, I urge you to forge ahead and initiate the planned review of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada as soon as possible.  Media reports suggest that the federal Conservative cabinet is conflicted on this issue and that the Prime Minister's office has intervened and said it does not support a mandate review.

During a recent debate in this 39th session, your Parliamentary Secretary, the Hon. Jim Abbott, indicated that this review will be conducted.

A mandate review would enable Canadians to express themselves on the future role and programming carried by the public broadcaster.   It would allow citizens' input into a strategic plan for this institution.

As the former chair of my party's CBC Caucus for over three years and in my previous responsibility as Minister for Northern Development, I believe strongly that the CBC is an important source of news and information for many Canadians, particularly in rural and remote communities.   

The CBC binds us together, not just because it speaks to us, but because it comes from us. It speaks to Canadians and it speaks to Canadian diversity. Regardless of where we live there is a common bond and I believe this common bond is brought to Canadians through the CBC and Radio-Canada.

If you wish to contact me, to share ideas or discuss things further, I extend my assistance and full cooperation.  

Yours sincerely,

Hon. Andy Scott
P.C., M.P. (Fredericton)