The Canadian Broadcasting Corp to invest its $60-million in top funding from the federal government into programming, although it stopped short of committing more money to regional productions. "It will all go toward programming," says CBC director of external communications Pierre Sauvé. "What kind of split there will be for radio and television, and English and French is too early to tell. Whether it’s regional or Montreal- or Toronto-based programming, time will tell." Canadian Heritage ADM Michael Wernick says the CBC can do what it wants with the additional funding as long as it goes into English- and French-language radio and television. "The CBC has a planning and reporting structure, and board of directors that is responsible for annual plans and reports to Parliament on what they do. It’ll (the extra money) fold into their normal planning and reporting structures," he told CCR. According to CBC figures, the $60 million would be enough to implement conditions of licence imposed in January 2000 by the CRTC. Those included increased regional programming and the reintroduction of regional weekend news shows. At the time, CBC president and CEO Robert Rabinovitch labeled the licence conditions "fiscally irresponsible and unacceptable intrusions into the CBC’s managerial and programming independence," saying they would cost the corporation $50 million a year that it didn’t have. The $60 million will supplement the almost $923 million in government appropriations the CBC will receive in 2001-2002. The government says it decided to increase CBC’s funding because the public broadcaster now has a Re-engineering Task Force in place to ensure more efficient and effective use of funds. Part of the re-engineering, spelled out in the CBC Television Transformation document, involved cutting by half an hour the regional newscasts and reducing the English-language television staff from 1,387 to 713. The public broadcaster has since begun rehiring. The $60 million was part of a $500-million package over three years for the funding of arts and culture announced May 2 by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Canadian Heritage minister Sheila Copps. It included $75 million to the Canada Council for the Arts, $108 million to increase the production of Canadian content for the Internet, and $32 million to encourage the export of cultural products and services. The initiatives appeared in the Liberal Party’s Red Book prior to last year’s election (CCR, Nov. 9/00), while the CBC increase was mentioned in the Throne Speech early this year.