Union urges CRTC to expedite public inquiry into news cuts at Rogers’ OMNI Television

Aug 31st, 2015: CARTT.CA

TORONTO – A union representing some employees at TV stations operated by Rogers Media is using the upcoming federal election to help push forward its demand that the CRTC “hold Rogers to account” for cutting news on its OMNI TV stations earlier this year.

In a letter to the CRTC dated August 29, 2015, Unifor Local 723M says that “ethnic communities across Canada have been denied access to free television news about the election in their languages since the election was called” earlier this month.

This,continues the letter, is why the Commission should expedite Unifor’s request filed in June for a public hearing into the matter.
“The harm to voters’ rights is why we asked for an
expedited hearing. To date, the CRTC has remained silent on our request”, reads the letter signed by Rogers Unit Local723M vice-president Angelo Contarin. “We are gravely concerned that the CRTC’s silence lends a troubling patina of authority to Rogers’ decision, and that some broadcasters may interpret this silence as tacit consent to even more cuts to over‐the‐air broadcast news.”

In a Part 1 application dated June 5, Unifor 723M asked for an expedited public hearing into the cancellation of original local ethnic television newscasts by Rogers Broadcasting Limited on its OMNI stations, and a mandatory order requiring their reinstatement.
Rogers Media announced in May that it was cancelling local third-language newscasts on its five OMNI TV stations in Ontario, Alberta and B.C., a move that resulted in the loss of 110 jobs at the stations.