The Director of Radio-Canada service said Wednesday that any building belonging to the public broadcaster could be sold to offset the recent budget cuts.
Marc Lapierre, however, insisted that, contrary to what was suggested the Canadian Media Guild, the corporation had no intention of getting rid of all of its properties.
Refusing to comment on current transactions, he acknowledged that CBC actually trying to get rid of its buildings in order to move from owner to tenant, but only when it was advantageous to do so.
Mr. Lapierre cited the plan announced last year by the national broadcaster which aims to reduce by 50 percent or 2 million square footage of its properties by 2020. This could mean not rent spaces use or sell and move to more modest facilities.
The Canadian Media Guild had sounded the alarm on Tuesday, arguing in a press release that the CBC had revealed his intention “to sell all properties it owns in the country, including major production studios in Montreal and Toronto “during a staff meeting.
Alexandra Fortier, head of media relations at the Crown corporation, did not go to disprove the Guild statement, merely clarify that no new plan was unveiled during the meeting and that that of 2014 was still in force.
Marc Lapierre said the plan had been completed at 10% and that the public broadcaster had got rid of 400,000 square feet since 2011, mainly during the last year and a half.
Ms. Fortier stressed that new properties have been sold since 2010, including Sudbury, Moncton, Halifax and Windsor. Radio-Canada has also leased extra spaces in Toronto and Vancouver.
“We’re trying to save as much money as possible on the property map in order to invest in the creation of content and programming, said Mr. Lapierre. We have to pay for every square foot that we occupy, we used it or not. It must also pay electricity, taxes, maintenance, and sometimes rent. So it is better to have exactly the space we need rather than pay for the space we do not use. ”
He added that this strategy also put the corporation at risk from market while providing greater flexibility in its workforce, which continue to decline.
Radio-Canada has removed more than 2,800 jobs since 2008 and plans to eliminate 1,800 more by 2020.