Newly Aligned TVOntario to Support Government’s Education Agenda

The McGuinty government is strengthening
the role of the Ontario Educational Communications Authority (TVO/TFO/ILC) in
supporting higher student achievement by moving responsibility for the
organization from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to the
Ministry of Education and making changes to the role and leadership of the
provincially owned broadcaster, Education Minister Gerard Kennedy announced
“The strategic direction of TVOntario will be aligned with our education
priorities to take advantage of the full range of media to support education,”
said Kennedy. “In a world dominated by the Internet and technologies that
didn’t exist five years ago, we need to have a coherent technology policy, and
incorporating TVOntario into the education agenda is one step in that
As part of the realignment, Kennedy announced new leadership at
TVO/TFO/ILC and the decision to separate the role of chair and CEO. Peter
O’Brian has been nominated by Cabinet as Chair of the Board of Directors,
subject to review by the Standing Committee on Government Agencies. Mr.
O’Brian is an independent producer, whose films have won 19 Genie Awards. In
1977, he founded Independent Pictures Inc. In the early 1990s he ran the
Canadian Film Centre as Executive Director for its first three years and then
became a producer-in-residence.
Lisa de Wilde has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of TVO/TFO/ILC.
Ms. de Wilde’s extensive knowledge of the media world has been demonstrated
throughout her career, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer
of Astral Television Networks and through her ongoing involvement with the
Toronto International Film Festival Group. She began her career with the
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and later joined
the law firm Heenan Blaikie, where she became a partner.
The new leadership will be asked to conduct an internal review of the
organization. The review will have two purposes: to ensure that the government
is getting full value for its $58.8 million funding of TVOntario and to ensure
that its activities align with the government’s education priorities and
becomes as relevant as possible to all Ontarians.
Kennedy personally thanked outgoing Chair and Chief Executive Officer,
Isabel Bassett, for her significant contribution for the past six years.
“Isabel’s experience, drive and commitment have been a positive influence on
the organization,” Kennedy said. “TVOntario is a tremendous asset for this
province and has benefited a great deal from her leadership.”
Bassett has agreed to work with the government throughout the transition
period, expected to be completed over the next four to six weeks.