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Bell TV license creates need for protection says CEP

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OTTAWA � Yesterday's CRTC decision granting Bell Canada a broadcasting license in Ontario and Quebec is the final proof that media and telecommunications convergence has come full circle claims the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP).

It says the decision underscores the "urgent" necessity for the federal government to clearly support Canadian control and ownership of the industry.

"The Liberal government, we know, is toying with the idea of lifting foreign ownership restrictions on telephone and cable companies on the grounds that the two can easily be separated into distinct industries," said Brian Payne, president of the CEP in a media release.

"This latest CRTC decision solidifies our argument that the government cannot open one segment of the industry to foreign ownership without putting the entire industry in jeopardy of being gobbled up by American or other giant corporations.

"At stake are literally tens of thousands of Canadian jobs as well as the cultural sovereignty of the country," Mr. Payne said.

CEP represents 150,000 workers across the country and is Canada's largest union of workers employed in telecommunications and media. The Union, along with performing artists organizations and other cultural interest groups, has been leading a year long battle to keep existing foreign ownership restrictions in broadcasting and communications in place.

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