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Legislation has been introduced in the House of Commons that threatens the independence of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and freedom of the press.

Bill C-44 would place the CBC president and board of directors under the political control of the federal government. Section 36 gives the government power to arbitrarily fire - without notice or cause - any member of the CBC board, including the president.

This direct intimidation will seriously erode CBC’s journalistic independence, changing our public broadcaster into a state broadcaster.

In the shadow of recent events around the APEC controversy, this legislation is particularly worrisome. Bill C-44 is further evidence of a government that is doing what it can to squash dissent and debate. As unions we are concerned that the takeover of the media by right wing supporters already limits the balance of reporting when dealing with stories about our opposition to Government actions which adversely effect such things as health care, education and public services.

Members are asked to send a message to the Prime Minister urging him to stop this legislation immediately. Letters can be mailed to the Prime Minister, House of Commons, Ottawa K1A 0A6 or faxed to (613) 941-6900. Or you can email to Chretien.J@parl.gc.ca.