On May 13 before the Heads of Agency, CBC president and CEO Robert Rabinovitch discussed the progress that he sees that the CBC has made in distinguishing itself as a public broadcaster. He also touched on the continuing challenges the public broadcaster faces, and expressed concern about the CBC's future and called for more flexibility. Below is an excerpt of his speech. Private broadcasters pursue their objective, which is to maximize profits by maximizing the number of eyeballs delivered to advertisers by buying cheap dumped American products, which they simulcast with American networks. Our responsibility is to produce distinctive Canadian content and Canadian stories. That cannot be done on the cheap. And the gestation period for a program is at least two to three years. So how do you program, commission content when on May 14 you still don't know the extent to which programs will be financed? ...In today's environment of fixed funding and rising costs, CBC/Radio-Canada must meet or surpass the bar of private sector efficiency. And that is exactly what we're striving to deliver. We were happy to receive a vote of confidence from the government in the form of an additional $60 million in funding for each of the last three years. Coupled with internal savings, this new money will help us to deliver the kind of distinctively Canadian programs that only a strong, vibrant public broadcaster can deliver. However, stable multi-year funding remains a pressing concern for us. We were hoping the $60 million this year would be made part of our permanent budget. It was not. A long-term commitment of production dollars early in the planning cycle is essential. Even as we welcomed the additional funding, we were also disappointed to learn of the Canadian Television Fund's latest funding decisions. In English Television, only 31% of our programs are being funded, versus 91% last year. Clearly, this presents a significant challenge for our broadcast schedules. A funding system under which such shows as This Hour has 22 Minutes have no chance of support is not serving its intended purpose. A system that does not allocate funds until late in May does not serve the creative process of program development. The bottom line is stark. Adequate support for distinctively Canadian television is simply not in place. Our ability to connect Canadians through meaningful, high-impact, distinctive Canadian programming is at risk. As I enter the latter part of my mandate at the helm of CBC/Radio-Canada, it is with enormous pride that I tell you about all that we have achieved.  However, I worry about the corporation's future. Broadcasting is changing in fundamental ways and broadcasters need to have the flexibility and the resources to change with it. As Canada's largest news organization, CBC/Radio-Canada must be vigilant about fulfilling its role as public broadcaster, not state broadcaster. Our journalists must be free to critique governments and government policy without fear of reprisal. Yes, it takes a unique quality of public leadership to accept that a body you are funding may air criticism of some of your policies and give time to some of your critics. That's why almost every other public broadcaster in the world has some financial insulation from the political masters of the day.  The BBC, for example, receives a guaranteed grant by means of a licence fee renewed every 10 years. In contrast, Canada's financial approach makes CBC/Radio-Canada uniquely vulnerable. This is true in terms of our capacity to develop distinct quality programming. It is also true in terms of our capacity to produce reliable, unbiased news and current affairs. Canada desperately needs multiple news sources and Canadian stories and perspectives if we are to survive as a nation. At the same time, CBC-Radio-Canada must as an organization adapt and evolve in recognition of our changing environment. If we are to remain a key pillar of Canadian broadcasting - a firmly established, clearly distinguished and independent voice for Canadians - we need greater flexibility … both financially and in terms of how we execute our mandate. Without such flexibility and independence, we are destined to fall short of our collective goals for a stronger, more connected and prosperous Canada.