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Businessman Named New CBC Chair

A Montreal-born chartered accountant and business executive has been appointed to chair the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and its French-language arm, Radio-Canada.Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda announced Timothy Casgrain's appointment in a news release Friday afternoon.

"Mr. Casgrain's credentials will bring strong leadership to the CBC," Oda said. "I am confident that his experience and sound judgment will greatly benefit the CBC.

"Educated at McGill University and a member of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Quebec since 1976, Casgrain has held a variety of senior executive positions in the business world.Most recently, he was chairman of aviation firm Skyservice Investments, executive vice president of Brascan Financial Corp. and president and CEO of NBS Technologies, a smart card technology provider.

Casgrain serves on several boards, including Century II Holdings Inc., the Toronto Rehab Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education and Look Communications Inc.He is also president of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

The biographical information released by the Heritage Department includes no mention of any broadcasting, media or arts experience. However, the news release calls Casgrain "an avid supporter of arts and culture."CBC president and CEO Robert Rabinovitch, who has been serving as acting chair of the corporation, said in a statement that he will meet with Casgrain next week.

Controversial former chair left in 2006Rabinovitch had been chairing the CBC's boardsince the departure of the previous chairman,prolific Quebec author, playwright and screenwriter Guy Fournier.The former Liberal government gave the chairmanship to Fournier, a formerCBCboard member, in September 2005. Heresigned a year later amid controversy.

A public furor arose after Fournier mocked the sexual habits of the Lebanese in a column for the gossip magazine 7 Jours. Just four months earlier, he was criticized for using scatological humour in a radio interview and for questioning the objectivity of Radio-Canada's news service.Before Fournier's term,former broadcaster Carole Taylor was CBC's chair.

Shestepped down in March 2005 to runinBritish Columbia's provincialelection, and is now finance minister in the Liberal government.

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