Board Profile - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Corporation Mandate

In a world of limitless global content, Canada’s public broadcaster is more relevant now than ever before. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC/Radio-Canada) celebrates Canadian culture and supports democratic life through a wide range of content that informs, enlightens and entertains. To achieve its mandate, CBC/Radio-Canada produces, procures, and distributes Canadian programming in English, French and eight Indigenous languages.

The Role of the Corporation

Section 3 of the Broadcasting Act (the Act) sets out the broadcasting policy for Canada and includes provisions specifically addressing the role of the Corporation in the Canadian broadcasting system. In particular, paragraphs 3(1)(l) and (m) specify:

  1. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, should provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains;
  2. The programming provided by the Corporation should:
    1. be predominantly and distinctively Canadian,
    2. reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions,
    3. actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression,
    4. be in English and in French, reflecting the different needs and circumstances of each official language community, including the particular needs and circumstances of English and French linguistic minorities,
    5. strive to be of equivalent quality in English and in French,
    6. contribute to shared national consciousness and identity,
    7. be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose, and
    8. reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada;

In addition to this domestic mandate, the Corporation is also required by section 46(2) of the Act to provide an international service. The corporation must also comply with license conditions and regulations issued by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (the "CRTC"). No other Canadian broadcaster — commercial or public — has the same breadth of mandate or the same scale or scope of operations as CBC/Radio-Canada.

The Role and Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

In accordance with the Act, the Board is responsible for the management of the businesses, activities and other affairs of the Corporation. The role of the Board is one of oversight and, consistent with this principle, the Board has delegated the management of the Corporation’s day-to-day business, activities and other affairs to the President and CEO. The Board also ensures that the Corporation operates at all times within applicable laws and regulations and to the highest ethical and moral standards.

The President and CEO and the Senior Executive Team formulate the strategies and plans and present them to the Board for approval. The Board approves the Corporation’s strategic plans as well as significant projects, transactions and policies, and then, consistent with its oversight role, monitors and evaluates management’s performance. Reciprocally, the President and CEO keeps the Board fully informed in a timely and candid manner of the progress of the Corporation towards the achievement of its objectives.

Challenges, Issues and initiatives

CBC/Radio-Canada faces a variety of challenges as it strives to fulfill its mandate to Canadians. Some examples include:

  • Remaining relevant as a public broadcaster in the second largest, and one of the most diverse countries in the world.
  • Contending with an increasingly concentrated broadcasting environment. CBC/Radio-Canada is the only national conventional television broadcaster in the country not owned by a cable or satellite company.
  • Proactively demonstrating its accountability and transparency to Canadians, which it does through a number of reporting mechanisms.
  • Managing significant financial and regulatory pressures.

From 2014 to 2019, CBC/Radio-Canada implemented an ambitious strategy; transforming itself from a traditional linear broadcaster to a digital and mobile content provider. Today we reach more than 20 million Canadians each month on our digital platforms alone. We are ensuring a space for Canada and Canadians in the digital world.

Your Stories, Taken to Heart is our current three-year strategy. It builds on the success of our existing services and aims to increase and deepen audience engagement.

Core Attributes, Competencies and Experience

Although Directors are appointed by the Governor in Council, CBC/Radio-Canada’s Board expects every Director to possess core attributes, skills and experience that are fundamental to the Board’s overall effectiveness:


  • Ability to engage in discussions and debate among Board members in a respectful, meaningful and constructive manner;
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong and effective relationships with other Board members and the Corporation’s management;
  • Superior communication skills and the ability to influence; and
  • Ability to analyze complex issues and apply strategic thinking.

Personal Suitability

  • High ethical standards and integrity
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • Sound judgment
  • Stature and credibility in the community
  • Superior interpersonal skills
  • Collegiality

Specific Skills, Knowledge and Experience

The types of skills, knowledge and experience that are needed by the Board as a whole, but not necessarily in each Director, are as follows:

Education and Experience

  • A degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study or an acceptable combination of equivalent education, job-related training and/or experience;
  • A degree in finance, accounting, law or public administration would be considered an asset;
  • Experience serving on, or working with, a Board of Directors/Trustees of a major public and/or private corporation;
  • Experience at the executive or senior management level within the private or public sector (preferably in a large organization) or in dealing with senior-level subject-matter experts; and
  • Experience in the development of strategies, objectives, corporate plans, best business practices.
  • Experience in the cultural sector, or the field of broadcasting, journalism, media or production, information technology or multimedia; or
  • Experience in the fields of communications, marketing, government affairs or public affairs; or
  • Experience in the fields of human resources and labour relations; or
  • Experience in the fields of accounting, financial management or financial risk; or
  • Experience in real estate and project management or in legal practice.


  • Knowledge of the legislative framework applicable to CBC/Radio-Canada more particularly of its independence from government;
  • Knowledge and real interest in the mandate and activities of CBC/Radio-Canada;
  • Knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the Chairperson, the Board and the Chief Executive Officer of an organization of similar size and complexity;
  • Knowledge of sound corporate governance principles, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of performance;
  • Understanding of global, societal and economic trends, consumer interests, the federal government’s policy framework, and how all of these relate to and impact CBC/Radio-Canada;
  • Knowledge of the media environment and the emerging trends in broadcasting, as well as the challenges linked to increasing competition and technological changes within the industry would be considered an asset; and
  • Financial literacy.


The membership of the Board should include representation of the geographical regions of Canada and maintain a balance of gender, cultural and linguistic representation to ensure that the Board represents the diversity of Canada’s population and its regions.

Working Conditions

The Board meets at least six times a year. Committee meetings are ordinarily held in conjunction with Board meetings (i.e. the day preceding the board meeting), but may meet on other specified days.