TORONTO - As Cabinet prepares its sentence on the Petitions to Cabinet, submitted by - count them – four applicants who responded to a CRTC Request for Proposals (Call 2017-154-1), the Prime Minister should reflect on what was exceptional, unique or filled the urgent need in the Rogers/ OMNI proposal.
These are the criteria the CRTC identified for all potential respondents who were asked to fill a void Rogers/Omni had created by walking away from its Multilingual, Multicultural news and current a.airs programming in 2015.
The Allophone community, now at 22% of the Canadian population, was left without access to news delivered by Canadians, from a Canadian perspective, by their own “community sensitive” journalists in their language of origin.
What is more o.ensive is that Rogers was and is left to determine what Allophones want, how it will be generated and when it will be aired. Somehow, our elected political representatives seem to think that this is consistent with our much ballyhoo- ed Multicultural Act.
Readers please forgive me, but I am about to collapse to the temptation and say: “we may need different representation”. Heaven forbid someone comes forward with some inane suggestion that the CRTC decision fell within the parameters of the Broadcasting Act.
Four applicants (out of eight) have already indicated they will challenge the government, which is now in the unenviable position of assuming the responsibility for the CRTC’s bad decision, in Federal and Supreme Court. Nothing less than a Cabinet decision to send the decision back to the CRTC for reconsideration is acceptable.
We have written at least 10 articles in an e.ort to explain the Call and the Decision in an effort to be transparent and informative. Clearly, we have a business interest in promoting our response. We also believe it is time that 22% of the population – the Allophones, third language- speakers) have access to their own news and information television station.
The government already provides some $1.8 Billion to the CBC to do that for the Anglo-French communities; with our tax dollars.
Nothing in the Rogers/OMNI proposal is in any way exceptional or unique. It is a “do as we used to do or want to do” application, offensive to the 7.2 million Canadians who have already said NO to Rogers/OMNI pap.
We offered the government a way out of their mess (by association): if the OMNI model is good enough for Rogers, let them keep it BUT there is room for another license. Grant that and keep Rogers/ Omni out the competition.