Madam Speaker, as the Minister of Canadian Heritage mentioned, the CBC makes all the decisions concerning its programming and its daily operations. This includes the decisions concerning French language television programming.
That having been said, I am pleased to provide details to the hon. member regarding the measures announced by the CBC on January 30, regarding its French language radio and television. These initiatives will improve services provided by Radio-Canada to French speaking communities outside Quebec.
According to the CBC news release:
The half-hour French language news bulletin Ce soir , which is aired at dinner time, will be maintained in the four western provinces, and will have a new format as of this spring.
As for other programs from western stations, services will remain essentially the same and regional teams will continue to produce news stories and information programs that will be broadcasted by Radio-Canada and RDI.
The French language radio will provide $500,000 in additional support to the stations most affected, namely Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver and Windsor, to focus on regional and local programming.
Except in Vancouver, there will be at least 36 hours per week of French language radio programs. Regional programming on the national network will be maintained and, in some cases, increased.
In Acadia, special arrangements will allow the Moncton station to maintain infrastructures to preserve regional and network programming. These infrastructures will also be made available to independent producers.
Radio-Canada has been present for a long time in Canada's regions, and it is an integral part of the communities that it serves. These measures reflect the public broadcaster's determination to provide regional programming and, particularly, to meet the needs of minority French language communities outside Quebec.
On February 11, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced that, as of April, annual additional funding of $10 million would be provided to CBC's French and English language radio, as well as stable multiyear funding.