Unions call on CRTC to stop foreign ownership

    OTTAWA, Nov. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Unions representing workers in Canada's
media demonstrated today in front of the CRTC hearings into CanWest's purchase
of Alliance Atlantis, calling on the commission to reject the merger.
    CEP, ACTRA, CWA-Canada, and CUPE say that by linking arms with a giant
American investment house, CanWest is bringing in foreign ownership of our
media through the back door.
    "CanWest has been gutting newsrooms across the country, feeding its
unfettered desire for acquisitions, and now it is putting the critical issue
of Canadian ownership of our media on the table," says Peter Murdoch,
Vice-President, Media, with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union
of Canada. "The result is loss of jobs, loss of local programming, loss of
Canadian culture and identity."
    To date the CRTC has done little to halt the erosion of Canadian news and
dramatic programming, but the unions say they are not prepared to see foreign
ownership become a reality through the back door of a regulatory agency.

    The CRTC has a mandate under the Broadcast Act to regulate in the
interest of Canadians. Allowing foreign ownership through a labyrinth of legal
and investment mumbo jumbo won't wash, say the unions.

For further information:

For further information: Peter Murdoch, (905) 516-5720; Arnold Amber,
CWA/SCA-Canada, (416) 399-2632; Lisa Djevahirdjian, CUPE, (514)-831-3815;
Stephen Waddell, ACTRA, (416) 489-1311

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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