CANADA – Avaaz: In 3 Days!

The deadline is just three days away for public comments opposing special CRTC favours for “Fox News North,” the right-wing network being readied by the Sun media empire. Sun wants the government to force cable companies to offer them to Canadian customers. In these final 72 hours, let’s rally thousands of Canadian voices against state-sponsored bias:
 

 

In three days, the deadline will expire on the CRTC’s public comment period on Sun TV — the proposed right-wing “Fox News North” network. This is our chance to be heard: the CRTC’s staff will be reading all the messages sent in by Canadians as it makes its decision on whether to force every cable provider to offer Sun’s channel, regardless of demand from customers.
The crony-media network’s attempt to win special access to our cable fees has sparked a nationwide outcry, with more than 80,000 Canadians adding their names in opposition in recent weeks. Avaaz’s petition drew a sharp response — including a website sabotage attempt that Avaaz has referred to the RCMP, a lawsuit threat by Sun, and a series of Avaaz-Sun debates on CBC that stopped only with Kory Teneycke’s resignation!

Now we’re down to the heart of the matter. In its application to the CRTC, “Fox News North” admits that it cannot survive in the open market. That’s why it’s asking for a “mandatory carriage license” — forcing cable companies to offer its channel for three years. That’s not free speech, that’s forced speech — and every message opposing it that we send to the CRTC during the next three days will be added to the public record and considered in the CRTC’s ruling. Click the link to add your message — Avaaz will hand-deliver the messages Friday to the CRTC headquarters outside Ottawa:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/crtc_no_handouts/?vl

The public consultation process is vital to CRTC decision-making. It’s the key way that individual citizens can weigh in to the formal process; the CRTC is required to consult these messages before reaching its final decision.
If we stay silent, and “Fox News North” gets its way, the public’s voice won’t matter: every cable provider will have to offer their channel. This is not what Canadians want: Sun’s own poll shows that only 5% of us are likely to voluntarily sign up. But Sun TV has friends in high places. (Teneycke has already been replaced by another conservative spin doctor — former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s press man.) Even though the CRTC has previously said that it would stop issuing mandatory carriage licenses for news stations, this decision could go either way.

These next 72 hours are crucial. Let’s urge the CRTC to enforce its own rules and deny “Fox News North” mandatory carriage — add a message now, and forward this email:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/crtc_no_handouts/?vl

Since Teneycke’s resignation, Avaaz has been flooded with messages from Canadians brimming with enthusiasm and optimism for what we can accomplish together. It is indeed exciting — but the fight is far from over. After the public comment period, Avaaz and many others will formally present to the CRTC in mid-November — and so will Sun’s allies. Quiet political pressure is likely to rise and rise until the final moment. There’s no time to lose in making our voices heard.
But although this fight has just begun, it’s already inspiring. Together, we’re taking on one of the country’s largest and most unscrupulous media empires — and we’re winning. It’s a beacon of hope in a world where crony media is growing as fast as Rupert Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi can spread it. In Canada and worldwide, the Avaaz community is premised on the idea that if enough of us join together, public voices can be heard above the private whispers of the powerful.

This week, the CRTC is listening.

With hope and excitement,
Ricken, Emma, Laryn and the whole Avaaz team.

Margaret Atwood’s Op-Ed in the Sun:
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/2010/09/17/15388296.html

Ricken discuses Teneycke’s departure LIVE on CBC:
http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Featured_Videos/ID=1592304620

Ricken debates Kory Teneycke LIVE on CBC:
http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Featured_Videos/ID=1582123926


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