TQS ruling proves CRTC eroding its mandate



    OTTAWA, June 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's largest media union says the
CRTC's decision to allow TQS to slash local news demonstrates that the CRTC is
eroding its mandate to serve the public interest to the point where the
Minister of Canadian Heritage must intervene.
    The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) is
calling on Josée Verner, Canada's Minister of Canadian Heritage, to review the
CRTC's decision today to allow the new owners of TQS to gut local news
programming for people across Quebec, and to send the decision back to the
Commission for reconsideration before it damages our broadcasting system
irreparably.
    "Having laid off more than half the staff of the TQS network in April,
the network's new owners have told the CRTC they will allocate less than 7% of
its total program spending on news, down from more than 27% just last year,"
pointed out CEP Vice-President, Media, Peter Murdoch. "The CRTC's decision to
allow local news to be slashed instead of requiring properly funded,
professionally-gathered news is a blow to democracy that will invite every
other broadcaster to cut their costs by eliminating or substantially cutting
local news and information."
    "Despite strong opposition from within Quebec, the CRTC has rammed
through a decision that contradicts the past 40 years of its own regulatory
policies and precedents, once again claiming that exceptional financial
circumstances warrant the weakening of our broadcasting system," said Murdoch.




For further information:

For further information: Peter Murdoch, (613) 230-5200 X 249,
pmurdoch@cep.ca

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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