Was Hubert Lacroix Hired to Dismantle the CBC by Jamie Gilcig – NOV 17, 2014

cbcCFN – It seems that there’s a move a foot to kill the CBC.  And it’s coming from within.

Hubert Lacroix, the reigning President of our Nation’s broadcaster looks like Gordon Gekko a business guy/bureaucrat brought in to dismantle the CBC one block at a time.

He didn’t work his way up the broadcaster, but was appointed by Stephen Harper who clearly is no fan of public broadcasting.

The big question is why are the staffers so quietly walking the plank as layer after layer of lay offs occur?

Has the CBC served its purpose and not needed in our country any longer?

Is the public clamoring to save it and shows like 22 Minutes?  Is there a role for the CBC in this industry in 2014 and the future?

Probably not as it has existed.  Does anyone think for example if Justin Trudeau replaces Mr. Harper that all those jobs will return?

Clearly the CBC needs to be re-defined and then Canadians need to decide if they want to fund it and use it.

In this digital age the CBC could have a major role in helping evolve and retain Canadian talent.   The bigger question for staff facing cuts and layoffs is how to stave those off?

Is it time for the CBC staff to buy the “Beeb” and run it as a co-op?   Would CBC staff and their unions for example, take a 50% pay cut to take control over their own destinies instead of being bull dozed by one particular leader or party?  Could they compete in the current market place?

Should the CBC simply be given a formulaic stipend for the conditions set upon it by the Canadian government?   Should some of the monies the government earns from licensing and digital fees go directly to supporting the CBC?  Should we have a CBC lottery?

Mostly though should some government appointed stooge ever be allowed to helm the CBC again?  Surely you can’t expect positive results when you look at Mr. Lacroix’s resume, can you?   After all the CBC was never meant to be profitable; but it also was never meant to be bad.

Looking at some of his gigs; Telemedia was sold off in parts.  Zarlink was involved in a hostile takeover.  Donahue Inc.’s shares were sold off. Michelin is still in business; but then you always need good wheels to get away in after you’re part of the end of a company.   Hubert Lacroix looks like he was a man appointed to kill the CBC, not lead it.

from Wikipedia

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Lacroix attended Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf [1] before receiving a Bachelor of Law degree from the McGill University Faculty of Law in 1976. He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1977 and received a master of Business Administration from McGill in 1981.[2] He started practising law with the firm of O’Brien, Hall, Saunders in 1977.

A senior adviser with the law firm Stikeman Elliott LLP, he was Executive Chairman of Telemedia Corporation from 2000 to 2003. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Zarlink Semiconductors since 1992. He also sat on the Boards of Donohue Inc., Circo Craft Co. Inc., Adventure Electronics Inc. and Michelin Canada Inc.[2]

Lacroix is an associate professor with the Faculty of Law at Université de Montréal where he teaches in the securities, and mergers and acquisitions.[1] He was a basketballcolour commentator on Télévision de Radio-Canada during the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympics. He was also a weekly contributor for Radio-Canada’s Hebdo-Sports radio show. His recent time in the Oasis Montreal Half-Marathon was 1:32:41.0.

He was appointed president and CEO of the CBC, effective January 1, 2008, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in November 2007 replacing Robert Rabinovitch.[1]Lacroix was re-appointed for a second term, on October 5, 2012.[3]

As the public focus on the CBC shifts away from the Jian Ghomeshi mess it might be time, in light of these many lay offs and cuts, to really start to dialog about the CBC; before it’s gone.

What we do know at this point is that the employees and staff need to play a bigger role if the CBC is going to survive.  And that more will probably be more than refusing awards as happened recently.

What do you think Canada?  You can post your comments below.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

Comment policy reminder 

CFN suggests you post comments using your real name. If you wish to post with a pseudonym you can register that user id by emailing info@cornwallfreenews.com with your name, address, phone number and user id you wish to register.


  1. Of course Harper appointed Lacroix to destroy the CBC. He’s wanted the CBC gone since forever. There’s something about an informed public that makes him very uneasy.

  2. I doubt Harper knew hockey night in Canada and that revenue stream would be gone in 6 years from 2008, but who knows, many behind the scenes activity in government decade after decade.

    With modern technology of smart phones, internet and satellite, people can get information any time they want it. No matter if it is music, movies or news.

    CBC is not the only place to be informed any more.

  3. Harpoon Harper has wanted the CBC gone for a long time. I’m surprised it has lasted this long. I’m surprised it hasn’t been privatized yet. I’m sure there is a broadcaster out there who would buy it up and reorganize it to make a profit.

  4. Scrap the CBC. It is nothing but a money pit, a soapbox for leftist proselytizers and boring, second rate hacks. Private broadcasters do a better job of disseminating the news.

  5. It is absolutely clear that Harper put this stooge in place to gut the only network that actually reports facts. Under his watch he withdrew the CBC from Sports broadcasting, which was their revenue cash cow.

    How sad that our national public broadcaster has been savaged by an ideological buffoon like Harper.

    By the way, there are thirteen questions in your article. Try answering some before going to press.

  6. Let’s look at the big picture:
    1. Media everywhere is not doing well. It is not just CBC. People just do not watch TV like they used to.
    2. Sports in general is becoming so costly. It was inevitable that when the NHL contract came up, someone else would bid higher. The only question was whether NHL would allow it to leave CBC (see NHL leaving ESPN)
    3. Too many of the faces of CBC in recent years have been age 65+, such as Peter Mansbridge 66 and the recently departed hockey and politics personalities…Don Cherry age 80, Bob Cole 81, Don Newman 69 when he left, Henry Champ was 73. How can you succeed as an organization when people never leave and there is no space for new blood?
    4. Fair or not we are moving quickly to a world in which public disclosure of federal funds is the norm. Recent examples include members of parliament, both federal and provincial increasingly disclose expenses, Native leaders are now required to disclose salaries, charities are being asked to disclose if they are following the rules to retain tax-free status, it is expected that very soon (federal)unions will also be required to disclose expenses to retain tax free status, most governments is Canada now have ‘sunshine lists’ to disclose salaries of public employees. CBC and other crown corporations are likely to be required in the near future. CBC will not fair well.

    So the landscape is changing in the nature of public organizations and the world is changing in terms of media. CBC’s two strongest areas (Hockey and news) have recently or very soon will be changed significantly and it is not an organization that has demonstrated it is good at change. It is not Lacroix’s fault. Noone can keep the CBC as it was.

  7. If CBC cannot pay their way,Why should I as a taxpayer, pay for their debt. There are many Canadian channels to choose from.

  8. I would suggest that the lean to the left by CBC news, as in most major media, has made them all authors of their own misfortunes. And it is not good to try and tell me this isn’t true because every survey done of the media has confirmed it.Thus, between 30 & 40% of their audience either ignores them or is not invested in their future survival. So you have layoffs and downsizing at the very time when, because of competition from online sources, the traditional media needs the support every member of their potential audience they can possibly garner. Tell me I’m wrong and whistle past the graveyard if you will, but recent media history makes my point.

  9. The CBC has been in trouble financially since the 1970’s and they have a building here on Bronson Avenue Ottawa and back in the 70’s era there were huge layoffs and at least half the building was unoccupied at the time. I know because my husband drove taxi for Blue Line back then and he drove a lot of the big shots around. CBC is not the only company going under and all the big companies in the US such as CBS, NBC, CNN in particular, among others including the major “toilet papers of record” such as New York Times and many others are going down hill. CBC is a small drop in a bucket of the real big companies. CBC was great for hockey and it is one thing that I would miss for those who watch hockey but other than that there is absolutely nothing at all left of that station. When things in a country go under it is “always done from within” forget some other country – it is done from within folks. This article that Jamie wrote is a good article. Thanks Jamie.

  10. The inmates have been running the asylum at the cbc for decades that is why it has become irrelevant. They slept through the development of the internet stubbornly sticking to an outdated model that time had passed by. If the place is worth saving it should be saved by those who think it has value. Let thyem put their own money up.


  11. @Louie, Maybe if you took the time to learn a little more about the content obligations imposed on the CBC by federal regulator (ie, the CRTC) maybe then you would have a tad better understanding of the CBC.

  12. The brutal truth that the CBC is a total failure at reaching a large Canadian market. The only get ~5% of the media market and if you average out their $1.1 Billion taxpayer subsidy amongst their faithful users it would amount to about $1,500 subsidy per CBC user!!! Now that’s champagne socialism at it’s best!

    p.s. …and don’t get fooled by the $28 per Canadian man woman and child subsidy averaging… because Canadian children don’t use the snooty CBC and their parents don’t use it much either. The CBC is of little to no value to the beleaguered Canadian taxpayer and it should not be subsidized any longer. That’s democracy…!!!

  13. Roger Right, do you think we should look at Ontario’s TVO and French TFO then? Both cost us as well. I think they should be reviewed for need, and return on the dollar.

  14. Author

    Eric Public Broadcasting has never been about “return on the dollar”. Maybe value for money spent, but it’s not created to pull in a profit.

  15. The CBC holds an artistic license with the CRTC and is in a category by themselves separate from a standard television station. Does the CBC provide significant value for the subsidization it receives? I think not.

  16. I never expect any government entity to make money, but the project should offer a needed service to many people. With so many media players now, and easier access across Canada, perhaps the mandate needs updating to stay relevant or get off the pot.

    Forgot to add earlier that Ontario and Quebec governments are joining forces to save the French Radio Canada portion of CBC. http://journaux.apf.ca/caricature/index.cfm?Id=68983&Sequence_No=&Repertoire_No=1151936421&Voir=journal

  17. “Value for money spent”–well said, Admin.

    Radio at its best: CBC Radio One: “The Current” with Anna Maria Tremonti; “The Sunday Edition” with Michael Enright; “Ideas” with Paul Kennedy; “As It Happens” with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas; “The House” with Evan Solomon; “Quirks and Quarks” with Bob McDonald; “The Debaters” (usually) with Steve Patterson. CBC Radio Two: “Shift” with Tom Allen; “Tonic” with Tim Tamashiro; “In Concert” with Paolo Pietropaolo.

  18. Author

    And don’t forget Q PJ which was very good radio most days. Ghomeshi drama aside it was a very popular and well produced show. And don’t forget Ms Lee’s DNTO

  19. There’s all kinds of excellent programing on CBC radio, although it’s been getting watered down with endless repeats due to funding cuts. Don’t know about CBC TV. I haven’t watched TV since Jesus wore short pants.

  20. Author

    Furtz I watch the CBC online. All of their shows are available. It’s handy to watch on demand. That’s the way to go, online, and the CBC has been ahead of Commercial Canadian TV in many ways.

  21. Admin, Q yes agree. “Spark” also, says my better half.

    Furtz, CBC TV agree. Jesus in short pants–missed that, in Life of Brian?

  22. I watch the odd thing, like “At Issue” on line, but my internet service is iffy and sometimes slower than the second coming.

  23. I don’t watch TV at all and only my family watches the idiot tube. My family watches only certain things that they like and not the reality garbage or anything else that has no sense. I haven’t heard CBC around here except for my son who watches the news in the morning. When Rogers took over the hockey game on CBC I think that the channel is dying. Well don’t forget CTV is in big trouble as well and has been for years and did go through layoffs as well. CJOH belongs to CTV and they did go through a big layoff. CJOH used to be on Merivale Rd. here in Ottawa and when they had their fire they moved to the Market and next to the radio station that we listen to in the car The Jewel. All media networks in Canada and the US are on very shaky ground financially.

  24. LOL LOL. ROLF! Furtz there you go again about not watching TV since Jesus wore short pants. You must be as old as Moses. LOL LOL. I remember in past years watching a few Canadian programs that I liked and then it ended my time with TV. I just flipped out one day and said that’s it. Programming became so horrible on all channels and I asked my husband if he was feeling ok to want to keep that cursed cable.

  25. That’s funny Jules! I quit watching TV about ten years before all the people I worked with started saying “yada yada yada” every ten minutes. I don’t miss it even a little bit. ROLF ROLF etc.

Leave a Reply