Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Laurier—Sainte-Marie for her question. I also want to thank her for caring about this issue. I want to assure the House that our government is following this issue closely.
It is important to remember that real property management is not CBC/Radio-Canada's principal activity. It is a related activity that helps the corporation fulfill its mandate to broadcast to all of Canada.
A number of buildings owned by CBC/Radio-Canada, which were built over the years for radio and television activities, no longer meet the corporation's or the industry's requirements.
Over the past few years, the majority of CBC/Radio-Canada's regional centres have migrated to new, more modern, and more digital facilities that are better adapted to today's realities.
As for Maison de Radio-Canada in Montreal, specifically, I know that the corporation is currently looking at all available options. These options include selling the building and moving CBC/Radio-Canada to a leased facility, which may be an existing facility or a new build, on the existing Maison site or elsewhere still in downtown Montreal.
CBC/Radio-Canada has also indicated that all options are on the table. The existing building, which is more than 50 years old, is in need of major renovations, which are estimated at $170 million. That is a lot of money for the corporation.
The tower has many underused or vacant spaces in addition to lost space owing to the building's architectural constraints. The corporation's needs in terms of space have changed significantly over the past few decades and CBC/Radio-Canada has estimated that it would need approximately one-third of the space it currently occupies in the tower and associated buildings.
While respected, the independence of the crown corporation and the role of its boards of directors, it is with great interest that our government will be following the decision-making process regarding the future of Maison Radio-Canada.
I know the CBC's decision will take into account its needs as the national public broadcaster as well as the future of the surrounding neighbourhood, Canada's cultural sector, Quebec, and francophone audiences across the country.
As we have said before, the government recognizes the socio-economic impact of CBC/Radio-Canada in Montreal as well as the importance of the regional presence of Radio-Canada.
It requires facilities that will enable it to create high-quality Canadian content and to produce and broadcast that content using digital platforms and technologies. CBC/Radio-Canada is going through a period of change, as are other media. Its needs are changing, and so are the needs of artists and professionals. It is important that those individuals have access to facilities that meet their needs and allow them to fully carry out CBC/Radio-Canada's mission, which, I would remind the House, is to provide a range of programming that informs, enlightens, and entertains, in both official languages, from coast to coast to coast.
As for the crown corporation's real property holdings, CBC/Radio-Canada is responsible for 400,000 square metres of real property that it must maintain. We must and we will make the best possible use of that real property, while respecting and supporting CBC/Radio-Canada's important mandate and the role that the Maison de Radio-Canada plays in Montreal.