Up to CRTC now says CEP



    OTTAWA, June 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Broadcasters will no longer have any
excuse to close stations or reduce local news programming as a result of the
all-party recommendations from the House of Commons Heritage Committee, says
Canada's largest media union.
    "These recommendations give the CRTC clear directions to ensure that
local news is part of the obligation of media companies engaged in the
Canadian broadcasting system. It is now the CRTC's responsibility to act on
these directions," said Peter Murdoch, Vice-President Media of the
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union.
    Mr. Murdoch said the increased funding proposed for the Local Programming
Improvement Fund is a good first step, but the real answer is fee for
carriage. MPs clearly understood that while this issue is thorny, it should
not be left to backroom negotiations by big media shareholders: Canadians'
interests must be fully represented and protected.
    Mr. Murdoch praised the Committee for calling on the LPIF to be an
accountable and transparent mechanism that will add to existing local program
spending, and for requiring broadcasters to account for their use of its
funds.

    As one of Canada's largest unions, with more than 150,000 members in
Canadian broadcasting, telecommunications, energy, print and forestry
companies, CEP appeared before the Committee this past spring. It emphasized
the importance of news and information to our democracy, and recommended that
any new mechanisms established to support local TV be open, transparent and
accountable to Canadians.




For further information:

For further information: Peter Murdoch, Cell: (905) 516-5720,
pmurdoch@cep.ca

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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