Friends of Canadian Broadcasting launched an online vote this morning to select the People’s Pick for the next Chair of the CBC. Voting has begun online on the Friends website. The term of current chair Timothy Casgrain expired this week and the government has published a notice of vacancy to fill the position with someone who must be able to get along with the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
“With the Prime Minister’s controlling nature we fear this is a not so veiled attempt to further rein in the CBC, undermining its independence. ” said Ian Morrison, spokesperson for the watchdog group.
The antiquated practice of political patronage for appointing the CBC Board and President is in need of reform to bring Canada in line with other developed countries which have removed political patronage from the process of appointing the leadership of their public broadcasters.
“To protect CBC’s independence from the government, CBC Board appointments should be made in a non-partisan way that ensures the best and brightest are selected to lead our most important cultural institution, and the Board should have the power to hire and fire the CBC President, who currently is beholden to the Prime Minister,” Morrison said.
Eight accomplished and talented Canadians have been nominated to stand for the People’s Pick:
- Herménégilde Chiasson, noted Acadian poet and playwright and former Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick
- The Right Honourable Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada
- Jocelyn Coté-O’Hara, telecom and high technology businessperson; Member of the Order of Canada
- Ujjal Dosanjh, former Premier of British Columbia
- John Doyle, Globe and Mail columnist
- Ivan Fecan, retired media executive with the CBC, as director of television programming and CTV, as CEO
- The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada and journalist
- Mary Simon, National Inuit leader
All nominees have been suggested by supporters of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. The candidates have neither asked nor agreed to stand for the CBC Board Chair position. Online voting will be open until 9 pm EDST Saturday, April 28, 2012. Friends will convey the results to the government before April 30th, the deadline published in the official notice of vacancy.
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming & is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.