Political patronage has long been the process of choice for Prime Ministers when it comes to selecting the leadership of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Since 1936 when the CBC was first created, the overwhelming majority of the 152 people appointed to the Board of Directors or as President have been affiliated with the governing political party.
It is widely recognized that the patronage system is unacceptable especially when it comes to Canada’s national public broadcaster. Long-standing recommendations for reform of the appointments process are widely supported in public opinion.
Most recently, the House of Commons Heritage Committee in its June 2003 report, Our Cultural Sovereignty, stated:
“…in the interests of fuller accountability and arm’s-length from government, nominations to the CBC Board should be made by a number of sources, and the CBC President should be hired by and be responsible to the Board.”
The Heritage Committee was building on the work of the 1996 Mandate Review Committee chaired by former CBC President Pierre Juneau which also urged that:
“directors (of the CBC) with known political affiliations [ought to represent] the full political spectrum and not just that of the governing party.” 
Prior to the June 2004 election, the President of the Treasury Board, Reg Alcock announced the government’s intentions to reform the process of appointing CEOs, Directors and Chairs of Crown Corporations. In a press release dated March 15, 2004, Minister Alcock said:
"As part of this government's commitment to change the way things work in Ottawa for the better, we are taking specific steps to ensure an open, professional and merit-based process to select senior executives for Crown corporations. This effort is further strengthened by confirming that parliamentarians will also play a key role in these appointments. The result will be greater accountability and enhanced transparency in the stewardship of these important organizations."
Prime Minister Paul Martin is also on the record when it comes to political patronage and devolving power from the Prime Minister’s Office:
“We have to change the way things work in Ottawa.”
Speech to the National Convention
Liberal Party of Canada
November 15, 2003
“We will put an end to cronyism…. No longer will the key to Ottawa be who do you know. We are going to condemn to history the practice and the politics of cronyism.”
Speech to Quebec City Chamber of Commerce
March 17, 2004
 Process and Criteria in Public Broadcasting Governance: Appointments to CBC and CRTC (August 2004), which reviewed available information about political affiliation and history of appointees, found that based on available information, 89% of people appointed to CBC for whom information about political affiliation was available have connections to the governing party.
 Mandate Review Committee, pp. 116-17.
September 23, 2004 - Press Release: End Patronage at CBC
FRIENDS releases new research suggesting the vast majority of CBC appointees have been affiliated with the governing political party, urges Prime Minister Paul Martin to end political patronage appointments to CBC.
September 23, 2004 - Research Report: Process and Criteria in Public Broadcasting Governance: Appointments to CBC and CRTC
Using public sources, including biographical directories, media archives, government reports and legal statutes, this report examines a wide variety of characteristics, including political affiliation, gender, education, and experience, of the individuals who have been appointed to the CBC and CRTC during their histories.