Broadcaster

Green Party still seeing red

9/23/2003

TORONTO - After hearing back from CRTC staff last week that Ontario's broadcasters are not doing anything wrong by barring the Green Party's leader from the upcoming leaders' televised debate, the party has asked the Commission "for a formal decision," says its press release.

As reported last week by www.broadcastermagazine.com, the Green Party had launched a formal complaint and does want the Commission itself to consider the matter.

The Commission had asked the broadcasters to specify the coverage given to the Green Party to date. "The Green Party is disappointed that the Commission staff did not criticize broadcasters for their failure to do so," adds the Green Party release.

"After the Commission itself makes its decision, we will review it and consider what additional legal avenues we will be pursuing, which could include launching suits for damages against the CRTC and the broadcasters," said Green Party legal counsel Peter Rosenthal.

"This interim response from CRTC staff fails to fully respond to our complaint, so we will continue to pursue this with the Commission," added Rosenthal.

"We continue to be deeply frustrated and disappointed that we are still excluded from the debate," said Peter Elgie, deputy leader of the Green Party of Ontario. "And we still don't know exactly why the consortium has taken this position.

"We are deeply frustrated and disappointed that the consortium of TV broadcasters refuse to uphold the democratic process and include our party in the televised debate," said Elgie. "The result is that the people of Ontario are being denied basic information they need to make informed decisions because a very small group of executives has made an 'editorial decision.' That's unacceptable and, quite frankly, smacks of censorship and interference in the political process.

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