CRTC foreign ownership ruling bad news for Canada

    OTTAWA, Dec. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's largest media union is consulting
lawyers to explore avenues of appeal of the CRTC CanWest/Alliance deal. "This
is an appalling decision which skirts foreign ownership regulations based on a
financial rationale that would bring a grin to the face of Karlheinz
Schreiber," said Peter Murdoch Vice-President media for the Communications,
Energy and Paperworkers union of Canada.
    "We are not going to sit back and let the CRTC sell off Canada's
broadcasting industry to the U.S. The decision is a violation of the
Broadcasting Act and we expect all opposition parties to be outraged and
demand action to rescind it. Changing foreign ownership restrictions under the
Act is a political decision not that of a regulator.
    We are not prepared to let Stephen Harper use a regulatory agency to get
through the back door what he is afraid to bring through the front door with
legislation. Canadians do not want their communications and broadcast
industries in the hands of foreign ownership. It threatens the sovereignty of
our cultural industries and needs to be stopped.
    "Sadly, it is also further evidence that the CRTC is now entirely focused
on the financial interests of big media and has abandoned its role as a voice
for public policy.
    "How the CRTC can count a maybe-provision in 2011 speaks to a regulator
prepared to make up the rules as it goes along to suit the wishes of big
corporations. Canadian audience and consumers are not being served."

For further information:

For further information: Peter Murdoch, (905) 516-5720

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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