Friday, July 20, 2007

A reply from the Minister of Heritage, the Hon. Bev Oda

Readers of this blog may recall that I sent a letter (as well as an e-mail) to the Minister of Heritage, Ms. Bev Oda, on May 17 2007. You may read the original letter in my May 17 blog entry. Ms. Oda's office was kind enough to reply to my e-mail on May 24, stating that they had received my e-mail and would follow up with a more detailed response.

I received the following response on July 20 2007 from Ms. Bev Oda's office:

Dear Mr. Wooten:

Thank you for your correspondence of May 17, 2007, regarding Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio programming.

I appreciate your advising me of your views on this matter and have carefully noted your comments. While the Department of Canadian Heritage is responsible for overall broadcasting policy and legislation, the CBC operates independently of the Government under a framework provided in the Broadcasting Act. As an autonomous Crown corporation, its Board of Directors and senior management are responsible for its day-to-day operations, including its radio programming. In view of the autonomy of the CBC, you might wish to share your views directly with Mr. Robert Rabinovitch, its President and Chief Executive Officer, at the address provided in the enclosure.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is responsible for the licensing, regulation and supervision of all aspects of the Canadian broadcasting system. The CRTC was established by Parliament under the Broadcasting Act as an autonomous body that operates independently of the Government and is responsible for its own day-to-day operations and decisions. The CRTC maintains a record of complaints against licensees and takes these into consideration when broadcasters apply for renewal of their licences. In view of the autonomy of the CRTC, you might wish to share your concerns on this matter directly with Mr. Robert A. Morin, its Secretary General, at the address provided in the enclosure.

I trust that this information is useful. Please accept my best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Bev Oda, P.C., M.P.



Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Mr. Robert Rabinovitch
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Post Office Box 3220, Station C
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Y 1E4
Telephone: 613-288-6000
Electronic mail:
Web site:

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Mr. Robert A. Morin
Secretary General
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N2
Telephone: 819-997-0313
Toll-free: 1-877-249-2782
Facsimile: 819-994-0218
Electronic Mail:
Web site:

Now, this how I believe a Member of Parliament or Minister's office should operate: they acknowledge your letter and follow with a reply within a reasonable period of time. Well done, Ms. Oda! This is in contrast to some of the other letters that I have sent; for example, the letter to Mr. Robert Rabinovitch, the letter to Ms. Jane Chalmers or the letters to several Members of Parliament on the House Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, where I received no replies or acknowledgements at all. To give full credit where credit is due, Ms. Jennifer McGuire and Mr. Gary Schellenberger's office also responded to my letters. You may see Ms. McGuire's response in my June 21 blog entry, and my subsequent reply in my June 29 blog entry. My reply to Mr. Gary Schellenberger's response is in my May 15 blog entry.

As for the content of the reply, to tell the truth this is about what I expected to receive. I didn't really expect Ms. Oda to march into the offices of CBC Radio and demand that they alter their behaviour and begin to consult Canadians more often when making programming changes. As Ms. Oda states (or, more correctly I assume, someone in her office) CBC management is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the corporation and operates independently of the government. The reason that I wrote this letter to Ms. Oda's office (and I encourage you to do the same) is so that members of the government will know just how unhappy CBC Radio Two listeners are with CBC Radio management. Perhaps this information will prove useful to the Members of Parliament at some point in the future.

I encourage everyone reading this blog to use the above addresses and write your own letters of protest concerning the changes to CBC Radio Two's programming to Mr. Robert Rabinovitch and Mr. Robert Morin.

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