I see that your television is clearly a service television. That is why you are available on the air, as normal, and on cable.
To be honest, the situation is very comical. “Comical” is not really the right word to use. Instead, perhaps I should say that it is very ironic to get to the end of the parliamentary session and realize how much of a mess this government has made. All this time, it has been letting the situation get more toxic.
My comments seem to be very election-oriented, but the truth is that a report was produced in 2011 on challenges related to emerging digital media in Canada. The government shelved the report, and nothing happened. Today, people and communities are losing a news service with a CRTC licence. The CRTC was supposed to establish the process so that this would be available to people. But it turns out that business people have lost their business model and that media are organized vertically, which makes the situation difficult for you.
Mr. Vaughan told you that, given the number of sister companies you have, you could self-finance. I dislike the fact that there is no framework for such complex activities. I see that Rogers, which is one of our largest media families and plays a key role, is basically in the situation you are describing. I am sure that you have difficult choices to make. It is clear that the laxity of government policies and the lack of vision have led to a bankruptcy. I'm not talking about a financial bankruptcy, but about a problem for audiences and entrepreneurs.
You have my sympathies, as you have had an unpleasant quarter of an hour. We represent all our constituents. This is our job, and it's normal for us to ask you the question. I would like to express my sympathy to you over the fact that the government has ignored the arrival of a new platform, a new supply, the place of heritage and Canadian identity and content the news represents. That is a relevant editorial and a Canadian vision of things. What strikes me the most in this whole matter is that business people want to do business in a field useful to Canadians. Canadians are the ones who consume that service, but they can no longer do so because there have been no updates to keep pace with the proliferation of international platforms.
I feel the government has also neglected other aspects. Clearly, I will finish this Parliamentary season, but I hope the heritage committee will be able to meet next week. I would like to remind you that CBC/Radio-Canada has once again had a very questionable appointment, that of Robert Jeffery. Consequently, I would like to move the following motion:
That the Committee, pursuant to Standing Order 111, invite Mr. Robert Jeffery, newly appointed director of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, to examine his qualifications and competence to perform the duties of the post to which he has been appointed, and that this televised two-hour meeting be held before Tuesday June 23rd 2015.