CRTC and CBC’s Pierre Juneau dies

Trudeau friend was Canadian content's biggest advocate.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

The first chair of the (CRTC Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) and former CBC chief Pierre Juneau has passed away. He was 89 years old.

"Pierre Juneau was a passionate defender of public broadcasting and a fervent promoter of Canadian content," current CBC president Hubert Lacroix said in a statement mourning Juneau's death, as reported by CBC News. "He was instrumental to shaping policy that allowed Canadians to build their own industry and their own content. We still feel his influence today."

Juneau was born in Montreal and attended university in France, where he earned a BA in philosophy. PM Pierre Elliott Trudeau appointed him head of the CRTC in 1968, and then he became the CBC president from 1982-1989. Juneau was a staunch advocate of Canadian content, insisting radio and TV should be comprised of 80% Canadian content, and the annual Juno Awards, which started in 1970, are named after him. He also received the Order of Canada in '75 and became a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, James Moore, said Juneau "made a considerable contribution to the Canadian media landscape" (CBC). Liberal Leader Bob Rae said Juneau was "instrumental in developing regulations that assured we would see and hear Canadian creations broadcast from coast to coast to coast." He continued in a statement (CBC), "Canada lost one of its greatest advocates for Canadian music and culture."

Maureen Parker, executive director of the Writers Guild of Canada, said in a statement (reported by The Canadian Press), "He worked to make certain that Canadian artists have a voice in their own country. His legacy can be seen and heard daily in Canada's vital and vibrant TV, film and music – he made it possible for Canadians to choose Canadian content in their entertainment."