November 7, 1967

SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. Thompson:

The parents of this country will judge whether this is silly or not, Mr. Speaker. The article then continues:

No current rates for 1967 are available, but health records for 1965 and 1966 show a great rise in the v.d. rate among young people in metro, which is believed to be continuing.

There is apparently a great rise in venereal disease among our young people as a result of this kind of thing being held up before our young people as desirable.

The report of the Aird commission to parliament in 1929, from which our present national system grew, contains certain conclusions relevant and important to Canada today. It recognized several dangers. The first was that broadcasting should be carried out in the interest of Canadian listeners and in the national interest. There is no reference here to the interests of producers. Second, it recognized that where religious broadcasting is allowed there should be regulations prohibiting statements of a controversial nature. It also recognized that broadcasting of political matters should be carefully restricted under arrangements mutually agreed upon by all political parties.

I wish to close with a reference to the frequent attacks on religion which one hears regularly on the C.B.C. and on other programs. This has occurred so often that one can only assume it is a systematic and planned operation. It appears to be some kind of a planned project by a few who seem to work from behind the scenes. This whole aspect of public broadcasting now falls directly on our shoulders. In view of the flagrant misuse of the C.B.C. in the area of religion, I will also be proposing an amendment to protect us against such activities which set Canadians against Canadians, church against church and faith against those of no faith.

I am strongly of the opinion that Canada's national broadcasting system has come under

November 7. 1967

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting the influence of a few who are determined to undermine the morals, break down family units and, yes, even the political thinking of Canadians, not through the open forum or normal political activity but rather from inside the T.V. studio. I am also of the opinion that these preconceived opinions of a very small minority, vocal and repetitious as they are, constitute a threat to our liberty.

Others in this house have touched upon certain flagrant failings of our broadcasting system in promoting separatism, division, extreme left-wing politics and extreme leftwing foreign affairs positions. I would endorse all of these accusations against the same smaller group who attack family line. It is from this viewpoint that I speak.

After months and years of discussion by committees and royal commissions the legislation we have before us, while it improves the broadcasting picture immensely, is still without adequate teeth to bring this allimportant aspect of our present modern life under the proper supervision and control of parliament and the people whose tax dollars support it. This is why I have been moved to speak as a parent, to speak on behalf of the families of this nation who are determined and want to raise their children in that kind of life and to be that kind of responsible citizens this nation has had in the past and needs in the future.

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PC

Maclyn (Mac) Thomas McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mac T. McCuicheon (Lamblon-Kenl):

Mr. Speaker, in your experience you have heard a multitude of reasons for members participating in debate in this house so I might as well give you mine. My reason is simple. We are discussing Bill C-163 in respect of the C.B.C., but I do not believe we are talking about what the public really wants to know. I hope to be able to explain this statement a little later.

I have listened carefully to the minister's detailed and helpful explanation. Let me congratulate her on her stamina and perseverance. She kept going through all 10,000 words of it. Since then I have listened and read attentively expressions from all corners of this house. I have listened to C.B.C. apologists as well as those who would open up the treasury for five years and those who would curtail expenditures. We have all heard some wonderful legal arguments and opinions that the C.B.C. will now be directed by cabinet. We have heard pious hopes that the ugly spectre of politics will be forever erased from any connection with the C.B.C. There have been other arguments and suggestions that control will now be more political than the

B. B.G. ever considered. The more I have heard the more confused the issue has become.

I have formed one opinion with which I am sure the majority of Canadian taxpayers will agree. This debate is missing the target and is skirting the most important consideration in respect of the whole ugly C.B.C. mess. Up to the present time I have discerned no real attempt to come to grips with this important consideration. In the past issues have been clouded by insinuations that any criticism of the C.B.C. is an attempt to direct broadcasting and that parliament must not interfere with the creative elements of the

C. B.C., with which I agree. There are those who say the C.B.C. is doing a magnificent job. I cannot agree with them. It has been suggested that we should give the C.B.C. enough money to operate for four or five years at a time with no strings attached, but I suggest that the wisdom of this proposal has been challenged by at least four or five programs carried by the C.B.C. network. The Canadian taxpayer would like parliament to make sure that the C.B.C. is financially responsible. I do not believe for one moment that the people are as overly concerned about programming as we have been led to believe. They still have control of the on and off button. What they want parliament to find out is the value we are receiving from this expenditure.

The hon. member who has just taken his seat spoke about the terrible programming on the C.B.C. With all respect I suggest to him that no one has to watch any program. They can shut it off. I have heard public indignation about the expenditure of in excess of $100 million per year on this giant. This is understandable when one considers the other segments of our society which are suffering for lack of money. For example, what might an extra $100 million have done in respect of housing in Canada this year?

Let me say again that this debate is missing the target by a country mile with few exceptions. Last night the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra (Mr. Deachman) got close to the point, but I fear he is not prepared to vote the way he talks.

[DOT] (4:10 p.m.)

You see, Mr. Speaker, we are taking off in all directions simultaneously even though the basic issue must be: How can we control and, yes, cut down on the woeful extravagances of this juggernaut? I submit, respectfully, that nothing in the bill and not much said in the

November 7, 1967

debate so far has shown the way to reduce

costs or to really improve programming- nothing.

As things stand now, the minister accepts no responsibility. The stock answer is always that she is not responsible, that she only reports for the C.B.C. Most of us have had experience with the complaint of a constituent about C.B.C. service-and what a laugh this is. What these constituents have received in the mail from a highly paid public relations expert is a snow job beyond compare, so that the poor constituent really does not know what his question was in the first place. I understand that all this is to be changed, but I get the inference from the debate that the final answer to most disputes will now rest with cabinet.

Most politicians, indeed all politicians, need a certain amount of publicity, so I suggest that a politician who dares to criticize the C.B.C. is certainly leaving himself or herself subject to blacklisting. It seems to me that the bigger the apologist for the C.B.C., the more coverage he may receive. It is, therefore, indeed a brave front bench member of parliament who has the temerity to say anything critical of this monopolistic creature. Some have tried in the past but they have been immediately charged with trying to control programming and other sinister behaviour. It has been said that no one should criticize this sacred cow. But now the minister has and she has been criticized for her actions. I do not agree too often with the minister on other things but in this regard I have to give her full marks.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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PC

Malcolm Wallace McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCutcheon:

The only criticism I have to offer is that she should have done it years ago and then have been backed up by the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson).

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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PC

Malcolm Wallace McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCutcheon:

I am only a lowly backbencher who gets little publicity in any event, but I suggest that the C.B.C. has gotten so far out of hand that the only cure for this financial cancer is to offer it for sale or lease to private interests. Buyers can be found. I am all the more convinced that this is the only "out" since there is absolutely no consensus in the house.

Even the bill does not conform to the unanimous report of the committee on broadcasting. I believe there has been such a build-up of power cells, so much feather-beddding. so many working to rule arrange-

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting ments and other inefficient practices built up over the years that nothing as mild as the minister's suggested shake-up in management can really break this hold on the organization. Truly it is bureaucracy run rampant. As a matter of fact, I would not object to a temporary shutdown, perhaps a few lay-offs or terminations. It might be necessary to cease programming operations for a few days or weeks, but this would be a cheap price to pay if we could get this financial cancer removed from the public's back.

When the Broadcasting Act was first enacted some 30 years ago Canada had just emerged from the horse and buggy days. We then used the Morse code for communication and the telegraph operator was quite a big man. Places were not hours apart, as is the case today, but days and days apart. The high principle of tying the country together and unifying it was different then from what it is now. I suggest this was well put by the hon. member for Calgary South (Mr. Ballard) when he said that the concept then was entirely different from what it is today.

I still subscribe to this worth-while aim and would be prepared to have the C.B.C. subsidized, and in turn to have the C.B.C. subsidize capital equipment expenditures to provide service, that is, a signal, to every' Canadian. As the minister said, the rule of thumb is that a community of 2,000 should have television and a community of 500 should have radio. But for heavens sake let us get out of programming and management by remote control. Let us stop subsidizing mediocrity. Let us make the producing and programming part of this organization selfsupporting.

I can hear it now. It will be said we are stifling talent or doing this or that. But I submit that talent, both performing and creative, that is worth while will survive. True talent always has. But let us stop this silly habit of substituting berets and beards for talent. Let us substitute real talent for this ersatz variety. The only way this can be done is to make them cut the mustard and go to work.

Let us take a simple example. We do not have too many Barbra Striesands or Lena Hornes in Canada but we do have some very talented people. Let us compare the operation of a North American commercial network presenting talent. The presentation will be on a plain, attractive stage with adequate lighting, but with talent. I repeat, talent. The C.B.C. will probably reproduce the Taj

3982 COMMONS

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting Mahal on stage and completely smother the talent. I submit that many of our programs could be reduced in cost and made more effective by merely spending less.

Many people say they do not like commercials. I would prefer to spend 60 seconds *watching that cute little puppy eat his dog Tood than spend a minute watching the credits as they go rolling by on the screen. The 'C.B.C. will spend anything up to 60 seconds time giving credits to directors, assistant directors, directors' assistants, switchers, assistant switchers, scriptwriters, assistant scriptwriters, assistant assistants, including electrical wiring pluggers-in and other assorted characters.

Saturday night hit an all-time high. I was privileged to watch the show "In Person". It is handled by an m.c. who is a personable young man, not terrifically talented I might add, but he is m.c. of a supposedly professional show. When the list of credits was shown on the screen, lo and behold, a credit was given for a voice coach. With this kind of thing going on, I fully expect one of these times to see a credit for a doctor in attendance in case of laryngitis, or perhaps a coordinator of gargling.

[DOT] (4:20 p.m.)

One might well say the examples I have given are not terrifically important, and I would agree. But I submit that they are symptomatic of the mess in which the C.B.C. finds itself. The extra costs incurred in C.B.C. productions must be enormous compared with those of private networks, both here and abroad. This free spending is followed through in every department. For example, I am told that the C.T.V. coverage of the Pan-Am games was arranged and undertaken by approximately 10 per cent of the number of personnel used by the C.B.C. and at about the same ratio of cost. Indeed, I read some place that another sporting event which took place last September in Toronto was covered by 34 C.T.V. employees compared with 100 C.B.C. employees. I did not see any of these events on television but I am told that the C.T.V. coverage was just as good as that of the C.B.C.

I suggested earlier that the only way to clear up this mess is to dispose of it. In making this suggestion there are certain reservations which I submit must be made. First, we must provide service to all Canadians wherever they may be in this land. Therefore I suggest that parliament allot the money to provide the physical and technical

|Mr. McCutcheon.]

DEBATES November 7, 1967

services required so that all Canadians are able to receive service-and by service I mean a signal-and that financial and other services be provided in areas where commercial prospects would not warrant the outlay of the capital cost involved and where suitable leasing arrangements could be concluded. Second, the entire so-called creative division and performing section should be turned over to private enterprise with long term credit made available so that they may have time to get organized and become selfsufficient. They will then produce programs that are acceptable or they will go hungry. Third, the network which is required for educational television should be maintained.

It is my belief that we can provide, at a fraction of the present cost, better service to Canadians and, believe me, programming will immediately improve. No longer will fourth and fifth rate talent be able to hide behind a soft C.B.C. feather bed. Another great benefit which will result from such action will be the fact that parliament will no longer have to discuss the C.B.C. with all its implications and with all the money that is spent with no control or with too much control. What a day that will be.

In view of the divergence of opinion in the house on the direction this bill should take and the fact that vital information available to the minister is not available to the house, further discussion under these circumstances would be quite meaningless. I therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Kent (Mr. Danforth):

That all the words after "that" be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"This bill be not now read a second time but that the subject matter of the said bill be referred to the standing committee of this house on broadcasting, films and assistance to the arts."

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?

Some hon. Members:

Question.

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LIB

John Mercer Reid

Liberal

Mr. John M. Reid (Kenora-Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, could Your Honour tell me for my own clarification whether you are going to make a ruling on this amendment?

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?

Some hon. Members:

It is accepted.

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LIB

John Mercer Reid

Liberal

Mr. Reid:

Mr. Speaker, I should like to discuss some of the implications of the broadcasting bill. In Canada the C.B.C. seems to be classified as the great Canadian entertainment. There is nothing that brings members of parliament scurrying back to the house with greater speed than a discussion of the C.B.C. I think it is fair to assume that in the remarks I

November 7, 1967

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting organization. However, there are some reasons outside of the administration that have led to this situation. For example, in the last ten years or so we have been undergoing a tremendous change, a rural migration to the urban centres. The large cleavages which exist between rural and urban centres have been accelerated by this process. Therefore, what is of importance to the people in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver is not necessarily important to people living in the rural areas. Consequently, many of the attitudes which have grown up in these cities are not acceptable to the people in the rural areas. One only has to think of the odd program the C.B.C. has produced, such as the very controversial Crucifixion, which I think was presented about two years ago, to illustrate this point. We all recall the difficulties which that program raised.

There is also the educational aspect of the C.B.C. I think any network that is attempting to provide a general service to all Canadians is perhaps going to find this aspect overemphasized at times. It is certainly going to be objected to by a great many people, particularly when it appears as though the culture pushers are trying to impose their views on people who are not necessarily so enthusiastic about them. This is particularly true of people who are inclined to regard television as relaxation or entertainment, a method of escaping the particular pressues of their daily lives. The imposition of someone else's idea of what one should be watching is not always pleasant, and I think the expression of this view is sometimes heard in the House of Commons. Perhaps this is one explanation for the comments of the various television columnists that Canadians do not seem particularly interested in watching Canadian produced programs with Canadian television actors. They regard this as another attempt to push something on them.

Another point which should receive some consideration is the pressure of centralization on the C.B.C. A week or so ago we debated in this house the Dosco situation. It seems to me that there is an analogy to be drawn between the pressures that led the Dosco Corporation to attempt the closing down of the Sydney plant and the pressures that have been imposed upon the C.B.C. by the apparent necessity of centralizing its programming in Toronto. Practically all the major network programs originate in Toronto, and this is true of public affairs and news. These are the programs which deal with the political aspects of the nation, and it is incorrect for

the C.B.C. or anybody else to assume that we are all made in the mould of Toronto.

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NDP
LIB

John Mercer Reid

Liberal

Mr. Reid:

We are not all cursed by having to live in that particular centre; rather, some of us are blessed by not having to live there. It seems to me that this has been one of the most galling things the C.B.C. has done. I think it was caused by the fact that the C.B.C., having no particular star system in presenting performers, had a star system in respect of the producers controlling the programs. The implication from that seems to be that the producers produced those programs which would interest them and perhaps their clique in Toronto or in other urban centres and forgot their primary responsibility for producing programs which would appeal to the nation.

There is a variety of cultural centres around the country such as Winnipeg, Halifax, Charlottetown and Vancouver. All of them are attempting to build local theatres and they have been given a minimum of support by the C.B.C. because of this undesirable centralization and the necessity of taking Toronto as the touchstone of what is good. I hope that under the new president and the new organization these problems will be corrected and corrected quickly. In so far as television production is concerned, it may be necessary for us to provide additional money to assist the C.B.C. in decentralizing or it may be necessary for the C.B.C. to look at its budget and perhaps eliminate or reduce certain expenditures on services in other areas in order to provide this one which I think probably deserves a higher priority than the C.B.C. has given it to date.

This brings us to the question of the relationship of the C.B.C. and broadcasting in general to the members of parliament. Naturally our prospects for re-election depend to a certain extent upon the amount of exposure we are given on national broadcasting networks and also the way in which our opinions are presented. I do not have to tell hon. members what can be done with a videotape in the hands of a skilled editor. There are members present who have probably smarted more from this than I have. As a result of my own experience in watching programs made I know that often what came out in the program was not what was intended. At times it appeared as though almost the reverse of what had been said was presented on the program. This is a problem of producers and to some extent it is a problem of

November 7, 1967

direction from the senior management. Basically, I think it results from the rather cavalier attitude taken by producers.

So, Mr. Speaker, there is always going to be conflict between members of parliament and the communications media. This is desirable. I believe that most members of parliament would be quite satisfied and would have no legitimate complaint if a balance were kept in the programs presented by the C.B.C. There could be no legitimate complaint in that case, although doubtless there would be continuing complaints. I do not see, either, how the imposition of balance in presenting the sides of a controversy can interfere with the production of a lively, interesting program. It may be that this imposition might result in producers being limited to the facts, particularly in public affairs programs. It may be a limitation, but certainly they should be dealing with the facts when it comes to this type of program. I feel that to some extent we are not getting this type of program from the C.B.C.

If I may return to the bill, Mr. Speaker, one of the more important things it does is the reorganization of management. We have a very unfortunate situation there. There is no doubt at all that the authority of management has been eroded over a long period of time. The question which has to be asked is, why? I think one of the reasons is that the C.B.C. has been under a barrage of investigations and attacks. Here is a partial list that I was able to accumulate over the week end. In 1949-52 the Massey commission made a thorough investigation which resulted in a very impressive volume issued as a supplement to the commission's report. In 1956-57 there was the first Fowler report. In 1957-58 we had the preview commentary issue. In 1957-58 we had the introduction of new broadcasting legislation which resulted in the establishment of the B.B.G. and a whole new set of circumstances to which the corporation had to become adjusted.

About 1961 we had the Glassco investigation, which was quite thorough as hon. members can ascertain by reading the report. In 1963 we had the reorganization which I have already mentioned of the office of the Secretary of State, when a new set of circumstances had to be met by the C.B.C. Then in 1964-65 there was the second Fowler report. Then there was the Seven Days investigation by a parliamentary committee and the investigation by Mr. Keate. During 1965, 1966 and 1967, we had the cabinet committee on broadcasting and the white paper in 1967.

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting Finally, we have this broadcasting legislation. It can be seen that during the last ten years the C.B.C. has been under continuous investigation demanding the attention and time of senior management.

[DOT] (4:40 p.m.)

In addition, the C.B.C. was forced to set up a president's advisory committee. A number of private bodies were also investigating the C.B.C. Also, the president suffered a heart attack during the early sixties and that led to a partial vacuum. For the last 13 months or so we have had a lame duck president. Mr. Ouimet offered his resignation but the government did not accept it because the broadcasting legislation had not been brought down. Until the new broadcasting legislation is passed and until the president's power and authority are clearly defined, I doubt that anyone in his right mind will be willing to take his job. After passage of the bill much work will need be done to restore some semblance of stability to the corporation.

While all these investigations were going on-and there may have been others with which I am not fully acquainted-there was a continuing tension between C.B.C. management and the so-called creative people of the corporation. There were strikes of producers and much difficulty with the creative people. The C.B.C. does not operate on a star system; the United States networks and movie companies work on that system. In the C.B.C. the producer is the real star as is evident from the type of programming the corporation has put out. The prima donnas of the C.B.C. are the producers. Because of the vacuum at the top I suspect that in the corporation the tail wagged the dog. We saw a vivid example of this in the Seven Days dispute which caused excitement and interest in the House of Commons. In that instance those at the bottom told those at the top what to do. Basically, that is what came out of the evidence heard by the parliamentary committee which looked into the matter.

That this should be so is not surprising. It became evident that "new stars"-I use that phrase in quotation marks-had emerged within the C.B.C. Surprisingly, those stars were hosts of public affairs programs. Like most stars their positions and glory went to their heads and in overextending themselves they went against management. They thought they might end up controlling the corporation and that they thought so is not suprising. There was some mention of Mr. Patrick Watson as president of the

November 7, 1967

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting C.B.C. There were other suggestions that hosts such as Mr. LaPierre or Mr. Leit-erman were qualified to take over control of the corporation. Some of these were taken seriously.

That such a state of affairs existed shows to my mind that for a variety of reasons, control of the corporation had passed from top management to those lower down the scale. Here one can put one's finger on middle management's lack of ability to act as a means of communication between senior management and the producers or stars. After reading again the evidence which was taken during the Seven Days hearings my impression is that middle management could not deal with the pressures to which it was subjected. Those in middle management positions waffled; they procrastinated and moved only when necessary.

Senior management must be blamed for the breakdown of middle management. Senior management did not pay enough attention to recruiting those for middle management. As a result, for a long time management directives did not filter down to the producers. Basically that is today's situation. Producers exercise too much control within the C.B.C. and senior management is paralysed because of the government's inactivity. As I say, we have a lame duck president who has for 13 months been offering his resignation.

Our greatest contribution to this debate would be to end it as quickly as possible and send the bill to the committee. Once the bill becomes law there will be authority to reorganize the corporation.

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PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bigg:

Is the hon. member offering himself for the president's job?

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LIB
PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Does he not wish to hear more speeches from this side of the house?

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LIB

John Mercer Reid

Liberal

Mr. Reid:

I thought I might entertain hon. members with my remarks and then allow others to express their views and make their points.

Turning from the prima donnas and the producers, I wish to look at something else facing the C.B.C., the question of the new type of communication. Basically, the era of the extension of services, of getting a signal to outlying population centres of Canada, is over. No longer is it a question of engineering; it has now become a question of programming.

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?

An hon. Member:

Of money.

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LIB

John Mercer Reid

Liberal

Mr. Reid:

No longer can we afford to broadcast just any sort of television program, as was done in the past. Senior management must control the corporation and must lay down guide lines for its producers. There must be means of enforcing such guide lines.

Digressing for a moment, I was surprised to note in a Toronto Star column by television columnist Roy Shields the suggestion that the C.T.V. network had been discussing with the government the provision of subsidies in order that that commercial network might put on Canadian programs or programs with Canadian content in them. To agree to this would be idiocy. When those in this field of private enterprise were applying for their licences, they claimed they would provide this country with such programs. It does not seem right for the government of Canada to provide subsidies to those who in their original applications for licences promised to do what they now seek subsidies for. They were to put on Canadian programs or programs with Canadian content and were to finance such ventures from the profits they made from imported programs.

To return to the subject I was pursuing previously, I was talking about the situation which we face with respect to the management of the C.B.C. The government and the minister are to be congratulated for not following in this bill the philosophy of the report and the recommendations which the Seven Days committee made to the house. On reading that report again there seems to be an implicit bias in favour of the hosts of the Seven Days program and producers in general. I recognize that the official recommendations were designed to improve communications within the corporation and to be of benefit to top management and to producers. The point is that if the philosophy of that report were accepted the bill would need to be vastly different. I congratulate the minister and the government for seeing through the report and coming up with a bill that is much more sensible than anything the report suggests. After all, it is the function of management to manage and it is the function of producers to produce programs within the context of the guide lines which are laid down by statute. The law must be interpreted by the C.R.C. and imposed on the C.B.C. In this fashion we shall have a more responsible C.B.C.

In the interests of brevity I urge hon. members to give the bill second reading quickly. We should discuss it in detail as soon as possible looking for the errors which

November 7, 1967 COMMONS

creep into bills no matter how well they have been prepared. We should look upon this bill as representing a great step forward in an effort to protect a national broadcasting system which, over all, I believe has done a very good job in Canada.

[DOT] (4:50 p.m.)

I doubt that as members of the House of Commons we shall ever be happy with the C.B.C. The country is too large, the mandate is too encompassing, the differences between regions are too profound. If the C.B.C. could satisfy all the demands made on it it would clearly be a superhuman organization. Nevertheless it is the only system we have in Canada capable of dealing, even inadequately, with all the needs which are to be satisfied. I believe the bill is sound and that the principles contained in it should be supported, as they are supported by all in the broadcasting industry. It deserves to be passed.

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caouette (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, the matter dealt with in Bill No. C-163 is of prime importance and even more so since the hon. Secretary of State (Miss LaMarsh) made a statement which provoked, as well in the house as outside, a controversy to which there seems to be no end. I feel we must make an objective survey of the current situation within the C.B.C. to throw light on the facts as they really are.

When the Secretary of State declared that some sectors of the C.B.C. were rotten, I believe she was perfectly right. I would even add that those rotten sectors are growing even more rotten.

On the other hand, the president of the C.B.C., Alphonse Ouimet, who earns a yearly salary of $40,000, had a letter published in the newspapers which he addressed to the hon. Secretary of State and in which he writes:

My purpose in writing is to request that you provide the corporation with all information in your possession on which you base the charges of "rotten management" within the corporation.

She did not say that the whole management was rotten but that some areas within C.B.C. were rotten.

The C.B.C. president, continues this way:

When serious charges of this nature are levelled against the corporation or its people, it is our practice and duty to ask for substantiation of the charges by those making them, so that the corporation may take immediate steps to verify or disprove the charges and to take appropriate action.

DEBATES 3987

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting You will understand that the corporation cannot allow your public charges to remain unsubstantiated.

Here, Mr. Speaker, I call your attention to the factor that time and time again public charges have been levelled at the C.B.C. Yesterday, for instance, I heard the hon. member for Charlevoix (Mr. Asselin) say that the government should mention the names, give the exact nature of the complaints and so on and so forth.

When the Conservative government was in office, I complained personally about the C.B.C., but my complaints were ignored, on the grounds that it was a crown agency independent of parliament or independent of the government. It is independent of the government, that is true, but it is not independent of the Canadian parliament.

When the Conservatives were in power, we often heard, for instance, the present member for Sainte-Marie (Mr. Valade), as well as the former members for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm, for Berthier-Maskinonge-Delanau-diere and for Nieolet-Yamaska, object to C.B.C. activities or to certain sectors of the corporation.

When I accused the C.B.C. two years ago of tolerating socialistic partisanship within its ranks, I was asked to take part in a television program with Mrs. Jean Desprez, a freelance radio and television performer often seen on the C.B.C., who said bluntly that the C.B.C. was full of dead wood, and she was there to speak in defence of the corporation.

Mr. Speaker, the C.B.C. president continues:

Such accusations are capable of destroying public confidence in a national institution-

What confidence? What is the basis for the president's statement to the effect that there is public confidence, when the public knows very well that discrimination has been practised for a long time in some quarters of the C.B.C.?

-public confidence in a national institution which must have the respect and confidence of the same public-

Mr. Speaker, to the C.B.C. president and to the other employees of the corporation, I say they should start by showing respect for the Canadian people they must serve, instead of treating them as they have for too long.

-must have the respect and confidence of the public it was created to serve.

Precisely, let it serve that public.

November 7, 1967

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting Mr. Speaker, I will demonstrate to you that the public is not being served. Yesterday, in this house, we celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the first session of the Canadian parliament under confederation. Last night, I watched the C.B.C. news. What did we see? About 45 seconds coverage of the reception in the Senate. The Chief Justice of the supreme court, Mr. Justice Cartwright, could not even be recognized; the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Speaker of the Senate could not be recognized; in fact, not a single member could be recognized. Yet, the federal parliament is the first parliamentary institution in the Canada of 1867.

Paradoxically, immediately after this important news item on the commemoration of the first parliamentary session of Canada, we are shown the R.I.N.'s skirmish in Aylmer against the town council. How is it that the C.B.C. cameras were in Aylmer yesterday for the meeting of the city council to photograph youths 13 and 14 years old with R.I.N. posters to prove to the people that youths are aroused against established order and authority, when those same cameras could not be in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon to cover this event live, for instance, and give to the Canadian people whom we represent, a true picture of their parliamentary institutions which enact their legislation.

[DOT] (5:00 p.m.)

The hon. member for Trois-Rivieres (Mr. Mongrain) told me these youths did not even come from Aylmer; I believe him. They could have come from Ottawa, Hull or the area, but a demonstration was organized, and someone in the R.I.N. then called the C.B.C., which immediately sent down a film crew to cover this event. And we call this a responsible agency.

Mr. Speaker, the C.B.C. will cost the Canadian people $145.8 million this year, under the management of its president, Mr. Alphonse Ouimet, who gets a salary of $40,000 per year. The C.B.C. shows us all kinds of things, except those essential things of interest to the Canadian people, whether they speak French or English.

If my business were managed by a president like that, I would have been bankrupt a long time ago or a private institution would no longer exist.

Let us take as another example, the recent Progressive Conservative convention in

Toronto. We are informed that the C.B.C. spent $46,000 to show us the election of the new leader, Mr. Stanfield. Very well, that is of public interest. But, at the same time, [Mr. Caouette.l

private radio and television stations of the CTV network, which gave just about the same amount of time to coverage of the convention, spent, I just heard, about $12,000. Private enterprise managed by responsible people spends $12,000 when the national corporation, managed by a president, who is paid $40,000 a year besides expenses of course, vice-presidents, etc., spends $46,000 for the same work.

Mr. Speaker, the corporation does not serve the best interests of the Canadian public. Yesterday, I say it again, there were some cameras in the Senate, but there was not one in the House of Commons which was commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the first sitting of the Canadian parliament.

Yet, every night, there are news reports about the people of Viet Nam who are spread out on the ground or have just been killed. We have C.B.C. reporters in Cyprus in case a Cypriot should quarrel with his neighbour. We also have reports on the Congo. In fact, we have cameras in Europe, in Asia, in short everywhere, and the news we practically never get is the news from home, about Canada. Of course, we want to know what goes on elsewhere, but we would like to know, first of all, what is going on in our own country. The C.B.C. management and the president, Mr. Ouimet, know that there are abuses within the C.B.C.

The Secretary of State was quite right to say that some sectors are rotten. This does not mean that all C.B.C. employees are rotten or that they wallow in rot. No, this is not what the Secretary of State said, and I do not say that either. We have responsible people.

I have already attacked in this house the chief of the C.B.C. news division, Mr. Pela-deau. I do not know if he is still in charge of this division, but he was then. He was the one who decided about the news to broadcast at 6 o'clock, 6.30 or 11 p.m.

I can say here that the quality of the news on the English network is quite superior to that of the French network. Besides, they are more complete and better adapted.

We have people at the C.B.C. who give us excellent reports. We know some of them here in the House of Commons. Often, we see Mr. Pierre Sauve, Mr. Cruzene, Mr. Jean-Marc Poliquin who give us real reports, because they deal with news all day long. They are not the ones who decide what news

November 7, 1967

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting the controls: these are the four people working at this private station called CKRN-TV, in Rouyn-Noranda. At the private station in Quebec city, the staff is about the same, just like at CFTM, channel 10, in Montreal, or in Sherbrooke. But in a C.B.C. studio, there are about 25 employees all getting in each other's way. Nobody knows what is going on, which is the real camera, for there are 4 or 5 of them, and you cannot take your eyes off the little red light because if you do for one minute, you become confused and find yourself looking in the wrong direction. Mr. Speaker there are some limits, and this is an organization that costs us $145 million.

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An hon. Member:

We can say that it was quite a reception committee.

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November 7, 1967