Globalive decision: "Cabinet should not be above the law"

OTTAWA, June 9, 2011 /CNW/ - The president of Canada's largest telecommunications and media union, one of the intervenors in the Globalive case, says he's "very alarmed at yesterday's Federal Court of Appeal ruling which essentially gives the Harper government 'carte blanche' to change the meaning of legislation."

"Cabinet should not be above the law," says Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

"This decision puts Canadian culture and sovereignty at risk, and it threatens the foundation of our telecommunications sector," says Coles whose union along with ACTRA, and Friends of Canadian Broadcasting were intervenors in the case. "I think Canadians should be very worried when the intent of Canadian laws can be changed unilaterally by Cabinet without Parliamentary approval."

CEP's Vice-President, Media, Peter Murdoch says "the need to maintain Canadian-control of telecom and broadcasting is more critical than ever, given the increasing convergence in these sectors, and that CEP will consult with its partners to weigh our options arising from this decision."

In December 2009, the federal government granted a wireless license to Globalive, a company backed by Egypt's Orascom, overturning an earlier decision to block the permit by Canada's broadcast regulator. The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission had rejected the application on the grounds it violated rules banning foreign control of the sector. The Federal Court agreed with that decision, which has now been overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal.

SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Dave Coles, 613 299-5628

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COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

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