Statement made on 02 November 2011 by Senator Marie-P. Charette-Poulin
Hon. Marie-P. Poulin:
Honourable senators, today, Canada is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the creation of one of our largest and most noble institutions: CBC/Radio-Canada.
On November 2, 1936, the federal government created the Crown corporation from the former Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, which had been established a few years earlier by Prime Minister Richard Bennett.
That was the beginning of one of the greatest adventures in creativity, radio and broadcasting in the modern world. Like you, honourable senators, I am very proud of it.
But it has always been, and still is, an ideal way to unite all Canadians, whether they are francophone, anglophone or Aboriginal.
CBC/Radio-Canada is the very soul of Canada. From its inception, 75 years ago, it has offered a platform not only for our great singers and songwriters, but also for our authors and actors.
In an effort to be present everywhere in Canada as quickly as possible, CBC/Radio-Canada worked with Canadian National and used its antennas to broadcast to the entire country.
In September 1952, CBC/Radio-Canada moved with the times and began television broadcasting. I am proud to remind you, honourable senators, that CBC/Radio-Canada's very first privately owned affiliate television station was CKSO in Sudbury, which launched in 1953.
French and English CBC television quickly became the number one source for public information throughout the country and the largest producer of children's shows and television series.
Today, CBC/Radio-Canada has taken root in all areas of the country. Regional stations are vital links in a chain through programs produced and broadcast in the regions and through programs produced in the regions and broadcast on the national networks. These regional stations, with the national networks, have a key responsibility in the country to ensure that all Canadians are aware of their region.
When I had the privilege of establishing CBON, northern Ontario's regional station, in Sudbury in 1978, I understood the essential service that our public broadcaster provides in Canada.
Honourable senators, in 1991, the Government of Canada wisely stated that CBC/Radio-Canada's mandate must involve contributing to shared national consciousness and identity.
CBC/Radio-Canada has become the public arena in which Canadians of various cultures get to know each other and speak to one another. Whether it be via the Internet, social media or international satellite transmission, CBC/Radio-Canada is now, more than ever, the virtual meeting place of all Canadians.
Without CBC/Radio-Canada, we would be less Canadian. Without CBC/Radio-Canada, we would not be who we are.
Happy birthday, CBC/Radio-Canada.