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Fox News entry a threat to Canadian culture says CEP

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OTTAWA, - Canada's largest union of media workers is making links between the entry of Fox News to the Canadian market and the danger of foreign ownership of Canadian media.

In a statement released today, the Media Vice President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, called on the Martin government to clarify its position.

"Prime Minister Paul Martin must assure anxious Canadians that their telecommunications, cable and broadcast industries will not be sold to foreigners," said Peter Murdoch of the 150,000 member CEP.

"The entry of Fox News, the ferociously right wing U.S. television news channel, into the Canadian broadcast marketplace, makes it incumbent upon government to maintain and reward Canadian ownership of our primary cultural messengers," Mr. Murdoch added.

"It is critical government assure Canadians that their voice will not be lost in the din of table-thumping rants of polarizing news outlets. The current budget process is an ideal time for Mr. Martin to not only announce that there will be no sell-off of Canadian cultural messengers, but that the talented Canadians who work in the audio-visual sector will find increasing support for their work.

"We need to bolster our own cultural forces to ensure that we are not over-run by the bulldozer of loud-talking American network bullies. It's that direct and that simple," Mr. Murdoch said.

His comments came on the heels of an announcement today by the CRTC that Fox News will permitted on Canadian cable outlets in the near future.

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