Pierre Juneau PC OC MSRC (October 17, 1922 – February 21, 2012) was a Canadian film and broadcast executive, a one-time member of the Canadian Cabinet, the first chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and subsequently president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is credited with the creation, promotion, and championing of Canadian content requirements for radio and television. Juneau is the namesake of the Juno Awards.[1][2]

Pierre Juneau
Minister of Communications
In office
August 29, 1975 – October 24, 1975
Prime MinisterPierre Trudeau
Preceded byGérard Pelletier
Succeeded byOtto Lang
Chairman of the CRTC
In office
Succeeded byHarry J. Boyle
Personal details
Born(1922-10-17)October 17, 1922
Verdun, Quebec, Canada
DiedFebruary 21, 2012(2012-02-21) (aged 89)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Political partyLiberal Party of Canada
Alma materUniversité de Montréal
University of Paris
Occupationbroadcast executive

Early life edit

He was born in Verdun, now part of Montreal, to a working-class family. After graduating from the Université de Montréal, he studied at the University of Paris where he met Pierre Trudeau, with whom he co-founded the dissident political magazine Cité Libre upon returning to Montreal.

He was the Jeunesse Étudiante Chrétienne (JEC) Canadian representative at the International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) Centre for International Documentation and Information (CIDI) in 1947–49. He is considered as one of the key men behind the creation of IYCS which today is present in over 80 countries with millions of members.

National Film Board of Canada edit

Juneau joined the National Film Board of Canada in 1949.[3] Hired as the NFB's French Advisor by commissioner Albert Trueman to see how the NFB could better meet the needs of francophone filmmakers and contemporary Quebec society, Juneau was one of the original proponents for the creation of a French-language production branch at the NFB.[4]

In the 1950s, he was the NFB's assistant regional supervisor in Quebec, and then became the chief of international distribution, the assistant head of the European office, and the NFB's secretary. In 1964, he became the board's Director of French-language production.

Film festival founder edit

In 1959, Juneau was a co-founder of the Montreal International Film Festival, and served as its president until 1968.[5]

CRTC edit

In 1966, Juneau was appointed vice-chairman of the Bureau of Broadcast Governors and the last Chairman in March 1968. When the BBG became the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) in 1968, Juneau became the body's first chairman. In the early 1970s, he was the architect of the CRTC's Canadian content regulations that require a certain percentage of radio and television time to be devoted to programming (or music in the case of radio) produced in Canada. Canadian content, by requiring radio stations to give air play to Canadian artists, is credited with creating a domestic market for Canadian music and the subsequent boom in music production. The music industry's Juno Awards are named after Juneau, and in 1971 he received a special Juno award for "Canadian music industry Man of the Year".[5]

Political career edit

In 1975, Juneau left the CRTC to accept an appointment by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to the cabinet as Minister of Communications. Since Juneau did not have a seat in the House of Commons of Canada, he attempted to enter parliament through a by-election, but was defeated in the Montreal riding of Hochelaga by the Progressive Conservative candidate, Jacques Lavoie. Following constitutional convention which requires that a cabinet minister have or obtain a seat in parliament shortly after his appointment, he resigned from cabinet.[3][5]

Civil service edit

He was subsequently appointed to the civil service by Trudeau as undersecretary of state, and then, in 1980, as deputy minister of communications.[3][5]

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation edit

In 1982, he became president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[3][5] As Juneau was closely identified with the Liberal Party, he was viewed with hostility by the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney that came to power in the 1984 election. He clashed with the Mulroney government over budget cuts and its reorganization of the CBC but nevertheless completed his seven-year term.[5]

Despite financial pressures, during his term as CBC president, Juneau inaugurated a new cable service, CBC Newsworld, and increased Canadian content on the CBC to 95% of programming.[3][5] Under Juneau, CBC Television increased its level of Canadian content and moved towards commissioning independently produced drama helping to stimulate the production industry where previously it had produced most drama in-house.[5]

Later life edit

After retiring from the CBC, he founded the World Radio and Television Council, a non-government organization supported by UNESCO. He also taught in the communications department of the Université de Montréal.[6]

Electoral record edit

Canadian federal by-election, 14 October 1975: Hochelaga
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Pelletier resigned, 29 August 1975
Progressive Conservative Jacques Lavoie 8,236 48.58 +18.19
Liberal Pierre Juneau 5,649 33.32 -16.54
Social Credit Gilles Caouette 1,729 10.20 -0.46
New Democratic Onias Synnott 675 3.98 -2.92
Independent Gérard Contant 396 2.34
Independent Louise Ouimet 169 1.00
Independent Daniel Charlebois 101 0.60
Total valid votes 16,955 100.00

Honours edit

In 1975, he was made an officer of the Order of Canada[5] and was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada. He received honorary doctorates from York University, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Trent University and Université de Moncton.[6]

Death edit

Juneau died in Montreal from heart failure on February 21, 2012.[7] He was 89.[3][5] He was entombed at the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery in Montreal.[8]

References edit

  1. ^ Bliss, Karen (March 22, 2012). "Pierre Juneau, Champion of Canadian Music Talent, Juno Awards Namesake, Dead at 89". Billboard Magazine. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "Creator of Canadian content dies at 89". Canadian Press. Castanet. March 21, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Canadian Press (February 21, 2012). "Pierre Juneau, ex-CBC president, dies at 89". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Evans, Gary (1991). In the National Interest: A Chronicle of the National Film Board of Canada from 1949–1989. University of Toronto Press. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-8020-2784-9. Retrieved May 2, 2012. Jacques Bobet.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Pierre Juneau, former CRTC and CBC chief, dies". CBC News. February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Kelly, Brendan (February 21, 2012). "Pierre Juneau, stuanch defender of Canadian culture, dead at 89". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved February 21, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Austen, Ian (February 24, 2012). "Pierre Juneau, Champion of Canada's Pop Music Industry, Dies at 89". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 22, 2023.
  8. ^ Répertoire des personnages inhumés au cimetière ayant marqué l'histoire de notre société (in French). Montreal: Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery.
Government offices
Preceded by
Chairman of the CRTC
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Succeeded by