Throwing the baby out with the bath water

Shunpiking is reproducing the press release issued 5 April 2005 by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Canada's cultural sovereignty remains at risk following release of the Government's response to the Lincoln Report, says the country's largest union of media workers - the 160,000 member Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

In its formal response yesterday to the unanimous Parliamentary Committee document entitled "Canada's Cultural Sovereignty", the Government has left open the question of foreign ownership of our cultural messengers, says CEP.

" While the Government says it will not lift foreign ownership restrictions on broadcasting, it leaves open the possibility of foreign takeover of telecommunications ," says CEP Media Vice President Peter Murdoch.

At the same time, Mr. Murdoch pointed out, the Government response acknowledges that "the broadcasting system continues to be shaped by the increasing convergence of the telecommunications and broadcasting industries and the creation of media conglomerates".

"In our view," he said, " telecommunications and broadcasting are one and the same industry. We should know because we are Canada's largest union in both sectors. In other words, foreign ownership of one threatens the continued domestic control of the other and it is about time the Government accepted that reality."

Mr. Murdoch called on Prime Minister Paul Martin to end uncertainty over the issue with a clear declaration that existing restrictions on foreign ownership will remain in place in both telecommunications and broadcasting.

For information: Peter Murdoch at (613) 230- 5200 or (905) 516-5720

For your information

For a Democratic Canadian Media
A draft policy document for consideration by members and officers of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada Winter-Spring 2004. 76 page pdf

Executive Summary

Canadian media must be accessible, diverse, accountable and offer a safe and rewarding workplace.

Today, both legislators and corporate ownership are going in the opposite direction.

Concentration of ownership, convergence of technologies, a narrowing of editorial and cultural voice, withdrawal of basic reportage, police threats, a failure to regulate, and a more aggressive stand with employees, all signaled the need for a strong CEP Media Policy. We believe we have it.

The CEP Media Policy sets out recommendations on the critical responsibility of the media to inform Canadians on the broadest range of our society's activities.

It proposes changes to ensure working environments which allow those entrusted with that responsibility to do so fairly, accurately and without fear of reprisal. And it encourages the nurturing of a vibrant Canadian voice, within our
broadcasting, print and new media sector.

In the course of drafting this document the experience and perspectives of our members who work within the media were surveyed. Their talent, hard work and often courage underpin this policy.

Experts were consulted, polls conducted and opinions sought from academics, activists and public lobbyists.

It is clear Canadians seek a more democratic, diverse and responsive media.

This Executive Summary highlights some of the major recommendations of our policy. The analysis of the Canadian media environment, the threats to it and the rationale behind the recommendations are in the body of the document.

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