NDP delivers keynote speech at national broadcasting forum
OTTAWA – In an age of increasing media concentration and laissez-faire regulatory decisions, New Democrats are warning that Canada’s cultural industries continue to lose ground. Heritage Critic Charlie Angus (Timmins – James Bay) made the remarks today in Ottawa in a speech to representatives of Canada’s cultural and audio-visual industries.
“Over the last twenty years we have seen the CRTC and government allow more and more of this country’s media to fall into fewer and fewer hands,” said Angus. “The result is that consumers have been short-changed and Canada’s creative industries are being sold-out. We need to re-establish clear targets to represent the public interest.”
Angus, who was invited to be the keynote speaker at the invitation-only forum entitled “Strengthening Canada’s Communications Industries,” noted that the foundational rules of Canada’s broadcast and communications industries are based on a simple quid pro quo. The government created protected markets in exchange for commitments from the cable and broadcast giants to provide a diversity of Canadian voices and programs.
“The media giants of Canada haven’t lived up to their end of the bargain. Our newspaper, radio and television empires are providing us with an increasingly narrow pool of voices. Quite simply, Canadians are being ripped-off.”
Angus attended the forum to share ideas and listen to recommendations that he can bring to his work in Parliament.
“We need to re-establish the basic obligation to ensure diversity and cultural expression on our airwaves,” he said. “What we have now are over-concentrated empires providing less and less content. It’s simply not sustainable.”
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