The voice of members of The Canadian Media Guild, Fredericton.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Lockout unnecessary, says federal minister

A federal cabinet minister who used to chair an informal "CBC caucus" of MPs says he doesn't think the corporation needed to lock out its workers.

Andy Scott, the MP for Fredericton, told local members of the Canadian Media Guild that he doesn't understand "why we can't be receiving services while we're waiting" for the negotiating committees to reach a contract.

Scott met with four locked-out members of the Guild at his riding office in Fredericton. He said he hopes to meet other Guild members if he can schedule a courtesy call to the picket line for next week, before he returns to Ottawa for the resumption of Parliament on Sept. 26.

"I would like to expedite the process" of pushing the two sides towards a deal, Scott said. He noted that his constituency office has received more calls from people complaining "with intensity" about the lockout than about rising gas prices. Of those calls, about 94 per cent are running in favour of the workers, with a tiny minority favouring management's position.

Scott says he will raise the Guild's concerns in Ottawa. He was told about the sorry record of labour relations under current CBC executives, and also heard the Guild's view that the corporation should not be receiving its money from Parliament when it is not providing programming to Canadians.

"I will take to government in a very strong way that a quick resolution is critical, and that I don't understand why we can't be receiving service while we're waiting," he said.

Scott also invited Guild members and supporters to attend his annual constituency barbecue, being held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 at Wilmot Park, near the Gazebo.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since government owns the CBC, Scott should head back to Ottawa and lead the charge to end the lockout.

8:57 p.m.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there's the misconception...government does not own CBC; the people of Canada own the CBC. Politicians will only react to situations like this if people take the time to voice their concerns. I emailed ( and called (452-4110) in support of the CBC...everyone that is upset by this situation should do one or the other. Andy has always been a supporter of the CBC, and I'm sure he will lead the charge.

9:33 a.m.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To-may-toes, to-mah-toes. The people own government and government pays out the billion dollars a year in subsidies to keep the CBC going. If governement pulls out, kiss CBC goodbye as we know it, so call it what you want, state-run broadcaster or crown corporation, without government it's screwed.

If government has the will to end the lockout, they could do it today. Sounds like Andy Scott's looking for favourable CBC coverage in the future.

1:00 p.m.

Blogger CMG Fredericton said...

We have had support from Liberal and Conservative politicians, and we expect some from the NDP in the coming week. Perhaps they are looking for positive coverage in the future, but we also detect a sincere commitment to the CBC from the MPs from all parties with whom we have met. Obviously, we are professional journalists, and our coverage of these people will not be skewed by how they respond to the lockout.

2:03 p.m.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang tough guys. Did you read that Michael Moore blasted the lockout? Thought that was neat. Anyway, I'll keep beeping my horn in support when I see you. Stiff upper lip.

8:53 p.m.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Michael Moore is behind CBC, the left-wing bias of CBC is no longer speculation, it is fact.

4:38 p.m.


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