Campaign against foreign ownership of Canada's media and telecommunications industries

(OTTAWA, January 26, 2004) -- A day-long conference January 15 in Ottawa examined the status of foreign ownership in the broadcast and telecommunications sectors. The conference participants agreed to mount a co-ordinated campaign to keep the media and telecommunications sectors in Canadian hands.

The Conference was attended by representatives of major cultural and workers' groups in the media and telecommunications industries. Participants included the CEP, l'Union des Artistes, ACTRA, the Council of Canadians, the Telecommunications Workers' Union, Société des Auteurs de Radio, Télévision et Cinéma, the Directors Guild of Canada, the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the Canadian Conference of the Arts and l'Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrice du Québec.

During the conference, the results of a national opinion poll commissioned by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) was released on Parliament Hill. A CEP news release stated that the survey shows that "Most Canadians support the maintenance of controls on the foreign ownership of our media and telecommunications companies and an almost equal number will vote for the politician who supports that position."

"Two thirds of Canadians strongly support the maintenance of existing foreign control regulations and 57 per cent are prepared to back their opinion up with their vote in the next election," said Peter Murdoch, media vice president of the CEP.

"The Chrétien Cabinet came out in support of the lifting of foreign ownership regulations while Mr. Martin has remained coy. We want him to end any uncertainty by declaring now that Canada and our communications infrastructure is not for sale.... Two thirds of Canadians strongly support the maintenance of existing foreign control regulations," Murdoch said.


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