Letter of Support, CEP Application 2013-0996-4

I am writing in support of CEP’s application which asks important questions of Rogers and the CRTC.

CEP 830M represents the Unionized employees at City TV and OMNI BC.  OMNI BC’s operation employees joined our local when OMNI was relocated to City TV’s building in September 2010.  We signed up OMNI’s editorial employees this past spring and were granted a certificate by the CIRB on May 14th, 2013.  We are currently negotiating the terms and conditions for what’s left of OMNI’s editorial group with Rogers.

I attended CRTC hearings held in Vancouver on March 5th, 2008.  During those hearings Rogers gave Canadians assurances in response to concerns expressed by CRTC Commissioners, the CEP and other interveners. Rogers acknowledged employing 42 editorial staff in their Channel M operations and indicated that number would be maintained and possibly enhanced in the future.  Rogers executives reassured the CRTC they had no intention to reduce employment levels over the next five years.

What Rogers has done over those five years is contrary to statements made in 2008.  Steady reductions to local daily programming and employment have lead to a state of affairs that needs to be explained through a CRTC public hearing process.  OMNI has only one Chinese language reporter west of Ontario and just a handful of Punjabi editorial staff responsible for the entire country. In short they are a shadow of what they said they were going to be.

It concerns me that when Calgary was experiencing an unprecedented flooding crisis this summer, none of Calgary’s most vulnerable multicultural communities were able to receive important information by local OMNI journalists in their own language.

The billion dollar Company that is Rogers in 2013 needs to live up to commitments it made to Canadians when it was given the responsibility of Canada’s only national over-the-air multicultural broadcasting license in 2009.

I look forward to appearing in front of a public hearing into this matter.


Stephen Hawkins

Local President, CEP 830M