OTTAWA, July 18, 2012 /CNW/ - In terminating the Local Programming
Improvement Fund (LPIF) the CRTC has cravenly caved to Canada's largest
media barons and jeopardized Canadians' access to high-quality local
news and information, says Canada's largest media union. In a policy
statement a majority of the CRTC's non-elected commissioners voted to
terminate the LPIF in August 2014.
"In ending the LPIF the CRTC ignored not only the Fund's critical role
in sustaining and strengthening local news across the country but also
large broadcasters' threat to close more TV stations," said Peter
Murdoch, Vice-President, Media of the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada. In April Bell and Shaw told the
Commission that seventeen of their TV stations were unprofitable
without the LPIF. "Since the CRTC has ignored repeated requests to
mandate local news on TV, this decision will lead to job losses and
ongoing threats of TV station closures," added Murdoch.
CEP notes that the only evidence that the CRTC used to support this
decision was from Canada's largest cable or satellite companies, not
the citizens the CRTC was created to serve. Over 1300 individuals,
unions, associations and companies filed submissions about the LPIF -
largely to support the Fund and local news - but the CRTC's policy
quotes Rogers, Bell and Shaw fifteen times.
"Stephen Harper's no-regulation obsession means that billion dollar
cable companies have once again trumped the interests of Canadians, who
overwhelmingly offered their support for local TV news," said Murdoch.
The CRTC's decision to ignore Canadians in favour of large corporate
interests demands an independent public inquiry into whether the CRTC
is serving Canadians and their communities.
SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
Peter Murdoch, Vice-President, Media, 905-516-5720