Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

URGENT ACTION ALERT: TELL THE CRTC TODAY TO STAND FIRM AGAINST POLITICAL INTERFERENCE

September 28, 2010

Background

RNAO’s mission to pursue healthy public policy includes a commitment to diversity, inclusivity and democracy. A free media is the cornerstone of democracy. This is why RNAO urges the CRTC to make no exceptions -- no queue jumping – favouring the Sun TV (known as “Fox News North”) “application to win special access to our cable fees.

Media giant Quebecor Media Inc., the owner of Sun TV, has applied for a specialty television cable programming channel to be known as Sun TV News. Details of the CRTC application can be found here.

Sun TV was gearing up to open by early 2011 with a “must-carry” category one licence, meaning that cable companies would be required to offer it as part of the package. However, a new cable licence must be issued by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the CRTC ruled that the kind of licence sought by Sun TV would not be available, if at all, until October 2011. In fact, the CRTC was not accepting any applications for the mandatory carriage of specialty services until June 2012.

Sun TV then applied for “mandatory access” for three years during which time cable viewers would have no choice but to pay a portion of their cable fees to Sun TV. What is the problem with this? Rather than win over viewers on their own merits, Sun TV wants favourable treatment and, in effect, “a licence to print money” – YOUR money. Sun TV should be required to play by the same rules as anyone else.

It is now feared that the Prime Minister’s office will intervene to allow Sun TV to ‘jump the queue’ and be granted the three-year mandatory access cable licence contrary to any decision of the independent, arm’s length CRTC.  The RNAO and all Canadians who believe in freedom of the press and not political interference with the CRTC, are calling on the CRTC to resist political interference and deny Sun TV queue jumping and favourable treatment.

If you agree, NOW is the time to speak out. Until FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1, the CRTC wants to hear from you. Tell the CRTC: “Stand firm against political interference - No Special Treatment for Fox News North”.

As leaders in your community, your views matter. When nurses and their families talk, politicians listen. Please speak out now!

Read more:

Globe and Mail, "Is Stephen Harper set to move against the Canadian Television Radio and Telecommunications Commission?":

Don Newman, CBC News, "The absolute last thing this country needs":

What Can You Do?

1.  Email the letter below directly to the CRTC. Friday, October 1 is the deadline for all concerned Canadians to tell the independent CRTC to stand firm against political interference and not to grant special treatment to Sun TV.

 

Your letter will be automatically copied to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, NDP Leader Jack Layton, Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

 

2. Sign the Avaaz.org on-line petition.

Avaaz.org is a non-profit group that describes itself as a “new global online advocacy community that brings people-powered politics to global decision-making”. You can sign their online petition Stop Fox News North here.

3. Please share this action alert and petition with your colleagues, friends and family and ask them to write as well.

 

CRTC: STAND FIRM AGAINST POLITICAL INTERFERENCE - NO QUEUE JUMPING AND NO SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR FOX NEWS NORTH

 

Below is the email that will be sent automatically to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and copied to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, NDP Leader Jack Layton, Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

 

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