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CRTC should intervene in CanWest plans: CEP

Briefs | 11/12/2007 12:50 pm EST

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada is saying that CanWest MediaWorks' plans to centralize its Global Television operations are in breach of its broadcasts licences and is calling on the CRTC to expedite a public inquiry into the matter. "These plans not only hurt both communities and approximately 200 broadcasting employees facing layoff, but are in breach of principles central to the Canadian broadcasting system and clear commitments CanWest has made to the CRTC," said Peter Murdoch, VP, media for CEP, in a news release. "It is incumbent on the CRTC to step up to the plate as the public regulator and call CanWest to account." CEP also notes that, in addition to the 200 broadcasting layoffs, CanWest is cutting editorial jobs in a number of newspaper newsrooms across the country. The fact that these layoffs come as CanWest tries to complete its deal to buy Alliance Atlantis with the help of an American investment house further draws the ire of the media union.
Added Murdoch: "The CRTC needs to tell CanWest clearly and directly that it can't buy a new property by ignoring the commitments it has made to Canadians and the CRTC in the past about its existing licences. If the CRTC doesn't act, then it is moving away from being an independent agency that serves all Canadians and the public interest, and closer to becoming an arm of the stock exchange."

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