CBC backs out of April 1 contract with DIAND

DIAND has hired a private contractor to broadcast the protocol ceremony marking the birth of Nunavut.


Nunatsiaq News

IQALUIT — The CBC’s labour troubles have cost the public broadcaster an important contract to stage, design and produce a special ceremony marking the birth of Nunavut.

With just two weeks to go before the Northwest Territories divides, the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has instead hired a private Toronto-based television production company to put on the April 1 protocol show.

“We did this with the CBC, based on their recommendation, and we’re satisfied that we’ll get the same coverage we would have from the CBC,” Lynne Boyer, a spokeswoman for DIAND said.

Road House Productions has been hired to capture live video coverage of the April 1 events in Iqaluit and supply it to southern Canadian and international broadcasters.

The company was chosen based on consultations with CBC management, who are currently embroiled in a dispute with unionized technical workers and camera operators.

About 2,0000 members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) have been on strike for three weeks.

Last week the CBC’s editorial workers also gave their union, the Canadian Media Guild, a strong mandate to call a strike, in the event that current contract talks with management fail to produce a collective agreement soon.

Although the Canadian Media Guild and the CBC resumed negotiations on Monday, the union could be in a legal strike position by as early as next week.

On Tuesday, CBC North canceled this year’s True North ’99 music concert, tentatively planned for the end of March in Iqaluit. True North concerts have been produced by CBC North since 1980, and are credited with helping to launch the careers of such northern performers as Susan Aglukark, Tudjaat and Jerry Alfred.

CBC North’s regional director Marie Wilson cited the current labour situation as the reason for the cancellation.

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