OTTAWA—The CBC continues to wait for a move to stable, multi-year funding as recommended by the House heritage committee in February 2008, CBC president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix said Monday. “We have asked the government for years during conversations with the minister to extend or prolong the $60 million so we don't have to ask them for it every year,” Lacroix told reporters following an appearance at the committee. “I'm still waiting to see what the minister will do with the $60 million for this year.” On Monday, Lacroix, joined by Kirstine Stewart, the CBC's executive vice-president of English services, and Sylvain Lafrance, executive vice-president of French services, appeared before the heritage committee to discuss the broadcaster's mandate and funding. On Feb. 1, the CBC unveiled a new five-year strategy that focuses on network programming, regional services and digital platforms. But Lacroix told the committee that for the plan to go forward at full speed the CBC must receive stable funding from the government. Since 2001 the CBC has received single-year funding from the government in the amount of $60 million per year. The one exception was in 2006-2007, when that amount was guaranteed for two years. In 2008, the heritage committee recommended that the Conservative government commit to multi-year funding for the broadcaster, indexed to the cost of living. The committee suggested that the funding be guaranteed for a minimum of seven years and be permanently incorporated as part of the CBC's core funding. In June 2008, the government responded to the recommendation, saying that entering a multi-year funding agreement with the CBC is “not advisable under the current legislative framework.” “The Government cannot bind Parliament as to the level or duration of CBC/Radio-Canada’s funding, as this is a matter within the sovereign discretion of Parliament,” the government said. Lacroix told the committee Monday that the government has yet to endorse the committee's recommendations, and that the CBC is awaiting confirmation of its envelope for next year. The announcement is expected before March 31. “We're not asking Parliament for more money to do this ,” he said. “What we are asking for is stability in our funding ... That stability is essential to our ability to make the adjustments and investments that this plan requires.” Lacroix acknowledged that the government has stated intentions to maintain CBC funding, but cautioned that he will remain concerned until an official announcement. “I'm always concerned when I do not know whether that money is available to us,” he said. Lacroix told the committee that not receiving $60 million this year would be “catastrophic” for the CBC's ability to provide programming. “If we're not given this money, we'll have to slow down some of the initiatives that we want to go ahead with and we won't be able to respect our timelines,” he said. Lacroix added that a drop in funding would hurt the CBC's capacity to expand its digital footprint. Opposition members on the committee were supportive of a move towards multi-year funding for the broadcaster. Liberal MP and heritage critic Pablo Rodriguez said multi-year funding would give the broadcaster stability to execute its future plans. NDP MP and heritage critic Charlie Angus also came out in support of multi-year, stable funding. “The issue of the $60 million to me is staggering. I don't know of any public broadcaster in the world that waits to the end of its financial year to find out if it has enough money to go into the following year,” he said. “It seems you have to come every year beg cap in hand.” Bloc Québécois MP and heritage critic Carole Lavallée said she also supports multi-year funding, but suggested that the money be used to wean the public broadcaster off of advertising. Lacroix said that the government would have to contribute between $300 million and $450 million in additional funding to replace revenues from advertising. He added that revenues from advertising allow the CBC to “control part of its future by itself through its own activities.” Carole Marchildon, a spokeswoman for the Heritage Department, noted by email that the government provides CBC each year with over $1 billion in parliamentary appropriations, as well as the additional $60 million to strengthen Canadian programming. "One of the Government's priorities is to manage prudently in these challenging economic times. Each decision to provide additional funding to any organization must be carefully weighed," she said. Dean Del Mastro, the parliamentary secretary to Heritage Minister James Moore, wrote on his website in January that since its election to power in 2006, the Conservative government has maintained funding for the CBC and has “increased the overall public funding every year.” The CBC's mandate also came up for debate at the hearing. Lacroix said conversations on the CBC's mandate would be “welcome.” Lacroix also addressed the issue of obtaining the broadcasting rights sporting events, saying that the CBC would be willing to enter into a partnership with a private player to help manage costs. On Monday the CBC opened an online consultation on its new five-year strategy. The deadline for the public to submit input is March 31. Heritage Minister James Moore is scheduled to appear before the committee Wednesday as part of the study. email@example.com -- CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story suggested the government has stated intentions to renew the $60 million in funding for next year. The government has said it is committed to maintaining or increasing CBC funding.