Year in Review

2017-2018 Access to Information Act highlights:

  • 22,360 pages released in answer to 123 formal requests;
  • 7,607 pages released in answer to 30 informal requests; and
  • 1,820 pages released of Board of Directors meetings.

For a total of 31,787 pages.


We have concluded an eventful year with respect to the administration of the Access to Information Act (ATIA). Over the course of fiscal year 2017-2018, 123 requests were answered, reflecting a decrease of 13% from the 142 formal requests answered the year before. Although the number of requests decreased, the actual volume of work spiked significantly. Where we reviewed 26,247 pages last year, that number almost doubled to 51,318 this year.

Despite this sharp increase, we still managed to maintain a deemed refusal rate of 1.26%, with only two files answered late. This rate is still within the measure of an “A” rating, as per the grading system of the Information Commissioner of Canada.

Our proactive posting efforts have continued successfully, with 9,700 pages posted to our public Transparency and Accountability web page. These pages were released in answer to 40 ATI requests of general interest to Canadians.


Our Annual Public Meeting (APM) took place on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at the University of Ottawa. This event was an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with Canadians about why public broadcasting is more important than ever. The theme for this year’s panel, No filters. A conversation about credibility, media and the future of public broadcasting, allowed us to continue the discussion not only about our role as public broadcaster and leader in this ever-changing environment, but also our value and relevance in an era of fake news.


We have an extensive code of Journalistic Standards and Practices and editorial control mechanisms to guide employees and to ensure that our programming remains balanced and accurate, particularly in today’s social media environment. You can view our Journalistic Standards and Practices – which will be updated early in the next fiscal year – on our corporate website.


Public complaints, expressions of concern or communications about News and Current Affairs programming are dealt with through the offices of our two Ombudsmen. Complainants dissatisfied with responses from programs may have their concerns resolved through the Ombudsmen's review process. The Ombudsmen are completely independent of programming staff and programming management, and report directly to the President and CEO and, through the President and CEO, to the Board of Directors. The role of the Ombudsmen is pivotal in strengthening our accountability and transparency to Canadians. Communications not directly related to our News and Current Affairs programming were forwarded to the relevant programming departments or to Audience Relations.

Handled complaints, expressions of concern or other communications Within mandate Handled last year 2016-2017
CBC (English Services) 4,069 3,185 3,170
Radio-Canada (French Services) 1,297 977 1,248
TOTAL 5,366 4,162 4,418


Our Values and Ethics Commissioner, Diane Girard, began operations in January 2017. During her first 15 months, the Commissioner conducted extensive meetings and face-to-face opportunities with employees across the country. Working in partnership with a team of 10 people from across the organization, she also conducted the revision of our Code of Conduct and Policy on Conflicts of Interest. Working with People and Culture, she also designed and implemented mandatory online ethics training for employees. The Commissioner continued to raise awareness about her role with employees, provided advice and direction upon request, and responded to complaints within her mandate during this period. Below is a table with data for these first 15 months of operations.

Number of requests for advice Jan 2017 to March 2018 186
Number of complaints within the mandate 18Internal25external (from the public)
Number of meetings with groups of managers and employees 30 meetings with management teams45 meetings with groups of employees across the country.


CBC/Radio-Canada employees at all levels are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct and policies governing their behaviour in such areas as respect for democracy, respect for people, integrity, stewardship and excellence. The Code of Conduct was recently updated following a review by the Values and Ethics Commissioner. Our Code of Conduct and human resources policies can be viewed on our corporate website.


We use a risk-based approach to facilitate compliance with Sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. As part of the established process, a project manager must complete a checklist for all physical activities prior to the initiation of a project. The checklist details the scope and description of the project and is our formal tool to ensure the project examines any potential adverse environmental impacts, including but not limited to, asbestos, halocarbons, mould, fuel storage tanks, water or air quality, etc. The checklist also allows us to describe any appropriate action needed to minimize any effects identified. As per the process outlined above, no project completed this year was determined to result in a significant adverse environmental effect. It should be noted that we consider a physical activity as something that goes beyond normal maintenance, such as removing a wall, replacing equipment or excavating a parking lot. For the purposes of this approach, painting walls or maintaining equipment is considered maintenance work.


The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced on December 19, 2017 the appointment of five directors to our Board of Directors. All mandates are for five years. Three nominations became effective on December 19, 2017; those of Harley Finkelstein, René Légère and Marie Wilson. François R. Roy and Jennifer Moore Rattray joined the Board on February 5, 2018, replacing Marni Larkin and Terrence A. Leier whose terms had expired. The nominations are the result of the work of the Independent Advisory Committee on Appointments chosen to lead the government's merit-based selection process.