(Vancouver, 3 July, 2013) The Communication Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada has applied to the CRTC for a public hearing into Rogers’ decision to drastically cut its programming commitments to the 6.7 million people in Canada’s multicultural communities. Rogers runs all five of the over-the-air multicultural TV stations now in operation in Canada, in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto, and the CRTC is the independent federal agency responsible for licensing and regulating broadcasters.
“Our application asks the CRTC to enforce its ethnic broadcasting policy and to comply with Canada’s multiculturalism and broadcasting legislation,” said Stephen Hawkins, the President of Local 830M, representing workers at Rogers’ TV stations in Vancouver.
“Rogers recent decision to lay off 12 employees in Vancouver, who worked on Cantonese and Mandarin programming, is devastating news for these members and their families” said Hawkins “and sends a troubling message to the lower mainlands important and growing multicultural communities”.
Hawkins pointed out that when Rogers applied to take over CHMN-TV in Vancouver it told the CRTC and Canadians that “job losses are not likely on the horizon”, that “on the contrary …. we are likely looking at a modest increase in employment” and that “the best is yet to come” for multicultural programming in Vancouver. Since then, however, Rogers has laid off 15 people from the station, including five Chinese language reporters. In fact when Channel M began broadcasting ten years ago they employed close to 100 employees, now the station employs only a couple of dozen people and just a handful of field reporters and camera operators.
“CEP has asked the CRTC to hold a public inquiry to hear from the millions of people affected by Rogers’ decisions,” said Hawkins. “The CRTC should hold Rogers to the promises and commitments it made to obtain its licences.” He said that CEP’s members want Rogers to reinstate the programming it has cut and the people needed to produce that programming. “Vancouver’s multicultural communities deserve the quality programming Rogers promised when it was awarded these licences by the CRTC,” said Hawkins.
People who are concerned with Rogers’ decision to reduce Cantonese and Mandarin programming can contact the CRTC by writing to John Traversy, Secretary General CRTC, Ottawa, ON K1A 0N2; or by going to the CRTC web site at: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/RapidsCCM/Register.asp?lang=E ; or by calling the CRTC’s main, toll- free information number at 1-877-249-2782.
Contact: Stephen Hawkins, 604-317-2312, President@unifor830m.ca