How to Petition the CRTC against Sun News’ Mandatory Carriage

Photo source: Globe and Mail

Remember this? Well, you’re about to see a lot of more of Sun New’s hateful and inflammatory programming if Quebecor Inc. gets its way. The owner of the TV network that regularly advocates for the do-or-die free market has launched a campaign to get mandatory carriage for Sun News, meaning that Sun News would be included in all basic cable packages in Canada.

Canadians have overwhelmingly rejected Sun News’ brand of yellow-journalism (here’s a particularly offensive Sun article describing Attawapiskat as a “cesspool”), but under mandatory carriage, cable subscribers would NOT be able to opt out of their subscription to Sun News. How’s that for free market competition? Other the other hand, the struggling TV network would have its yearly $17 million loss covered by a new $18 million revenue (or about $4 per cable subscriber). You can find more information about Sun News’ application for mandatory carriage on rabble.ca and on thetyee.ca.

If you OPPOSE the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granting Sun News a mandatory carriage license for their questionable programming, you can submit your opposition to the CRTC, but you’ll have to be quick – the deadline is Feb. 20, 2013. The process is a bit fickle, so I’ve posted a step-by-step guide below. You can do this online in about 5 minutes.

Please note I did not create this guide; it was passed around the WAM! Vancouver listserv. It’s also worth noting that any submission to the CRTC is considered a public submission; your name and email will be made public.

Here’s the guide:

Assuming you would be submitting as an individual consumer, and not on behalf of an organization or other person, follow this procedure:

  1. Go to the CRTC’s online “Participate in a Consultation” submission page
  2. Click “I Agree” > Next
  3. Click “Option 1″ > Next
  4. On the “Choose Applicant/Licensee” page, scroll way down to (and click on) “2012-0687-1: Sun News General Partnership” > Next
  5. On the “Submit a Comment” page, first choose “Opposition”, then type/paste your comments** in the “Enter Comment” field (and attach any files you think are relevant, e.g. PDF of an article that highlights Sun News’ racism, etc., which is optional) > Next

    **Example letter (recommended you edit/write your own):

    The Sun NewsNetwork broadcasts sexist, racist and other hateful/inflammatory programming that does not reflect my values. It’s fine if their private supporters want to purchase their channel under their current license, but the fact that they are seeking “mandatory carriage” in order to fund their type of “yellow-journalism” just proves that most Canadians do NOT care for their programming. We do not think Canadian tax dollars should fund or make it easier for their biased coverage to enter our homes, whether in the form of basic cable coverage, or in any other format. We request you DENY them “mandatory carriage”. Thank you for your consideration.

  6. Click on “Do not want to appear” (at the April 23 hearings), and confirm “I agree” > Next
  7. Click “NO” re: designated representative > Fill out the “Intervener/Respondent Information” (your name/address/email) > you must ALSO click on the bottom checkbox that says “I will be sending a copy of my comments to the applicant”, in order to continue the submission process (this is mandatory, and probably the CRTC equivalent of legal “discovery”) > Next
  8. Confirm whether everything you entered is correct, and whether or not you want a copy of your submission by email > SUBMIT

You are done with the CRTC’s form, but note you are ALSO expected to send a note of opposition directly to Sun News for the CRTC to consider it a legitimate submission. Submit your opposition to Sun News being granted “mandatory carriage” by writing to them directly* at:

TVA Group Inc. and Sun Media Corporation
c/o Québecor
1600 Maisonneuve Boulevard East
Montréal, Quebec
H2L 4P2 Canada

~ OR VIA ~
Fax: 514-380-4664
Email: reglementaires@quebecor.com

Be sure to include “RE: Opposition to Mandatory Carriage RE: 2012-0687-1: Sun News General Partnership” in the subject line and in the document itself. SAVE A COPY for your records, as the CRTC may require proof of your submission for it to be valid.

If you would prefer to not use the online submission process, you can instead submit your comments to the CRTC* by snail-mail or fax:

By mail: CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
By fax: 819-994-0218

*Be sure to include “RE: Opposition to Mandatory Carriage RE: 2012-0687-1: Sun News General Partnership”

Here are two other online petitions against mandatory carriage of Sun News. Though I doubt the CRTC is obligated to consider them, it can’t hurt to sign them anyway:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/848/434/892/help-deny-sun-news-medias-application-for-mandatory-coverage/

http://www.change.org/petitions/canadian-radio-television-and-telecommunications-commission-do-not-approve-mandatory-carriage-for-sunnews-network-2

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Alex Tse writes when no one's looking. She believes in the true meaning of hipster and she'd like it if you became her vegan cupcake friend. Find her on the internetz @alexnotangry and http://alexnotangry.wordpress.com.

54 thoughts on “How to Petition the CRTC against Sun News’ Mandatory Carriage”

  1. well, if sun tv gets forced onto me, this may be the last straw for buying any kind of cable. getting programs online and nhl/mlb directly would pretty much cover what would be even more of a waste of money if sun’s brain eaters were foisted upon me.

    particularly because their free-market attempt at being viable failed. that’s capitalism for ya! unless it gets in the way of your propaganda machine.

    not to say, though, that the rest of corporate media hasn’t been eating our brains for decades.

      1. Not sorted at all– any one who purchases cable will still have their money going toward Sun News’ vitriolic garbage, whether they change the channel or not.

        1. My money continues to go toward the CBC, where is it that I can opt out of that, you do not agree with the Sun and I do not agree with the CBC, either both stay or both go, very simple and fair as well.

          1. CBC and Sun are not in the same ballpark. It’s not Grade A Liberal vs. Grade A Conservative. Sun isn’t even the talented rookie. Sun is quite simply C-grade crap TV. The ratings already show what the CRTC hearing will show and what we already know: the majority of Canadians don’t want this channel.

            I’d honestly rather have the Vision Network.

  2. Thank you so very much for this article. My letter has been submitted to the CRTC, and I will be sending via e-mail and regular mail a letter to Sun in accordance with your suggestions and CRTC requirements.

  3. I agree with you in part. You don’t like Sun News for some reasons. I don’t like CBC and CTV for many of the same reasons.

    There is also the problem where content providers and distributors are the same entity. CTV/Bell for example are the same company. Bell should be told to be a distributor or a provider, but not both. Same boes for Rogers and Shaw to name some others.

    Ideally, we should have providers that do nothing but distribute signals, other entities can make content. We can then go a la cart for all channels. I only watch about a half dozen channels with any regularity and should not be forced to pay for dozens of others.

    Free market approaches don’t work with TV signals in Canada right now. Just look at Bell. Why would they want to give a fair shake to a competitor. Then there is the billion dollar subsidy to CBC that CTV, Global and others don’t get. That is not a free market. Friends of mine want to get Sun TV, but are unable as their cable provider Telus does not offer it, though Al Jazeera is offered.

    It will be interesting to see what the final outcome is.

      1. Its really not all that complicated Kevin, I’m pretty sure I don’t see Sun News trying to have other stations removed from the airwaves, or to stifle their commentary.

        Yet as soon as Sun News arrived up here in its present incarnation its been under attack, anything goes for those stations that report on the news with a left of center slant but the same does not hold true for Sun News when they report on the news with a right of center slant, that my friend is called being hypocritical.

        Its commentary such as this in this artical that is the real problem in our society…………….”Canadians have overwhelmingly rejected Sun News’ brand of yellow-journalism (here’s a particularly offensive Sun article describing Attawapiskat as a “cesspool”)”

        Canadians have not rejected Sun News, what a blatantly biased point of view, the fact is the VAST majority of Canadians are still not even aware that it is here, why, because its being blocked from viewers by competitors who have a monopoly on the airwaves, “Bell and Rogers” and the content, that is not how capitalism works and its for this reason only that I am perfectly fine with them being on the cable packages.

        Cheers to you as well my friend and try and view the world and the topics in it with an open mind instead of trying to stifle opinions and viewpoints that you do not agree with.

        1. Gee, Gary, I hope your “cheers” in the final paragraph wasn’t too sarcastic – at the very least, we’re posting your comments and are thus not trying to stifle your opinion.

          Sun News does its best to remove other stations from the airwaves – they have viciously and constantly called for the outright dissolution of the CBC, and they ran articles criticizing the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network’s application for a renewal of its mandatory carriage license when it was up for renewal as well. Indeed, there are a number of suggestions that Sun News is merely an extension of Pierre-Karl Pelardeau’s (owner of Quebecor) ongoing campaign to defund the CBC so that he would have more access to advertising in the Quebec markets.

          Canadians have rejected Sun News. SunTV ran massive advertising campaigns when they launched *with free carriage on all networks* to try and build its viewership and expand its reach; it has not seen any success in this regard. I’ve even read that one of SunTV’s flagship shows – with Charles Adler – averaged about 1,000 viewers during a primetime slot recently. If that’s not a rejection, I don’t know what is.

          I think if you actually read what was written, we’re not opposing the right of SunTV to exist. I think we’re contesting their ridiculous version of ‘journalism’ that involves making up stories and complaining that the rest of the media isn’t covering them – mostly because they’re not real stories. See Ezra Levant’s multiple libel lawsuits. What the petition is opposing is SunTV’s insistence that they should be forced upon the ‘market’ as it is; unless SunTV at least pretended to have some quality to it, we should all oppose that.

          Cheers, my close-minded friend!

          1. Nonsense.

            They aren’t trying to get CBC off the air. Some there like Brian Lilley and Ezra Levant want the to be privatised. They want the CBC to be accountable for how it spends $1 billion in taxpayers money.

            They want the CBC to abide by the REPEATED court rulings that they are indeed subject to the same laws re: fulfilling FOI requests a other government agencies are.

            1. No, they want CBC defunded and wound down.

              And I think that any organization that receives public funding should be accountable under FOI – including the CBC, SunTV and Quebecor.

              However, there are limits. I think that Ezra’s adventures in attempting to FOI things that no other company would ever release (like contract negotiations or trade confidences) is an attempt to create a controversy where one doesn’t necessary exist.

          2. First and foremost, I use “cheers” alot in my daily travels on the interwebz, as to your question of “sarcasm” let me point you to your original reply “Thank you for your lovely comment.” yes that is what I call sarcasm, so yes I did respond in kind.

            Why do you feel the need to point out that you “allowed” me to comment, very generous of you considering I was neither rude or confrontational, nonetheless the fact that you had to say that speaks volumes.

            Your comments regarding Sun News and their own commentaries and articles on the CBC is poppy cock, this is taxpayer money and they need to be held to account, that is all Sun News is doing, the non-sense about Quebec and more advertising or whatever your trying to say is a bunch of malarkey, Quebecor was already a thriving entity before Sun News came into existence.

            Again with the “Canadians have rejected” Sun News, not sure where your going with this as really all you have done is add further proof to my point already that the 2 major media players in Canada, Bell and Rogers are doing everything in their “hefty” power to block Sun News from gaining a foothold, anyone with half a brain can figure this out on their own.

            The comments about Charles Addler are more then likely right, though this 1000 viewer show probably has a few asterisk beside it, like what day was this particular show on, what was it up against, was their any huge world news story going on at the time.

            Further to that, Charles had a very very successful radio show, his popularity is well known, perhaps it does not translate as well to television or the more likely option is people are still not aware of the channel, people being like they usually are will not search high and low and scream at Bell and Rogers when they can’t find a station, once again this is part of the concerted effort of Bell and Rogers and the usual folks on the left who can’t stand any opinion/comment that does not jive with their own view of the world.

            Kevin says-” I think we’re contesting their ridiculous version of ‘journalism’ that involves making up stories and complaining that the rest of the media isn’t covering them – mostly because they’re not real stories. See Ezra Levant’s multiple libel lawsuits.”………………Could you kindly link me all these “false” stories, ie: the ones that you don’t agree with hence they are false and lies……………..and these libel suits, are these the same type that Rob Ford has been beating.

            Try and be just a little impartial Kevin, clearly these “libel suits” are meant for one thing, to try and shut up the messenger or at the very least to scare ezra off from reporting on them.

            Kevin says- “We’re advocating that no one ought be forced to pay for a TV channel they don’t want to see.”

            Really now, thats all it is, well clearly I and many others do not believe that but more importantly………………………show me where I am able to opt out of paying for the CBC, please link me where I am able to do this then we can talk about Sun News being “forced” on you.

            P.S.- I’ll also bet anything that you are one of many who through the years have bitched and moaned about how Ma Bell and Rogers have a monopoly and are gauging you the consumer………………………yet when they continue as they have been, with their monopoly, of trying to block and hide Sun News you seemingly have no problems with either of them.

            Cheers Gary

            1. Gary, I’m glad you’re on a first name basis with the SunTV personalities.

              Google search “Ezra Levant” and “libel” and you’ll see how courts of competent jurisdiction have found him guilty.

              As for the rest, I sincerely hope you enjoy your daily travels through the interwebz and that our little site has worked you into such a rage.

              Free speech to you, brother.

              1. Interesting interpretation of “rage” but what can you do I can only express my point of view, I can’t force anyone to see things my way, nor do I try though, its all about civil conversation as far as I’m concerned………………………….and just maybe we both may learn something about others that may not agree with us, no matter the reason why.

                Cheers Gary

  4. Here’s an idea for all you Sun News haters:

    If you don’t like, DON’T WATCH IT.

    I despise CBCNN. I’m not trying to get their licence revoked or downgraded. I simply removed the channel from lineup so it doesn’t appear.

    We have freedom of speech in Canada. It’s not freedom of speech but only if you agree with the political left.

    1. No one’s advocating that Sun News ought not exist. No one’s advocating that we take their right to free speech away.

      We’re advocating that no one ought be forced to pay for a TV channel they don’t want to see.

      1. “We’re advocating that no one ought be forced to pay for a TV channel they don’t want to see.”

        Having said that, I don’t see how not advocating for cessation of taxpayer funding to the CBC is not hypocritical. You’re funding the CBC whether you agree or not. That’s not a question of spin.

        If you have a problem with the CRTC granting anybody mandatory carriage, then let that be your point.
        But I for the life of me can’t understand how objecting to Sun News requesting what the law grants is re-spinning for social, political or environmental justice.

        You don’t like Sun News so you advocate not applying the law as it is applied to others?

        You’ve got one funny definition of justice, which apparently includes censorship as you see fit.

        Are you worried people are going to watch it? If they do, isn’t that their choice?
        Or are you of the opinion that they shouldn’t have that choice?

        You hardly qualify to take issue with free enterprise.

  5. I very much want Sun News to be afforded the same rights as the CBC, CTV, etc. The CBC was set up in 1937 to allow the whole of canada to get Canadian news. Since anik 1 and many other satelites many years ago we have no need for the CBC to be subsidized period, never mind close to a Billion a year of our taxdollars. I usually only watch it as I am amazed how they try to influence us with only showing stories which show the Conservatives in a bad way and the Liberals in a good light. I always change during the commercials. Often after watching the CBC I feel like the Russians in the communist era must have felt after viewing the Government broadcaster with their propaganda. I am always appalled when they show some expert on a subject but fail to disclose their bias by not stating that they also are an ex-president of the Liberal party, etc. I am appalled by the bias and lack of objectivity or fairness and how they pick their experts and carefully find people who share their leftist view but not give other views nearly as much coverage.
    I very much like Sun News and fully disagree by how they are characterized by people who disagree with what they say. Rather than slandering them and calling them aweful names, why not debate them on the issues.
    I have the basic cable now mostly for my children but almost cancelled cable when Sun News was taken off the basic package by my provider. I do not like being held hostage by the CBC and CRTC with what I can view, If their was another way to view what we wanted like a new satelite provider, etc. on my TV I would be very happy.
    I very much like having another view or light on a story or issue, for example how the chiefs of the Attawaticat nation have squandered the many millions of dollars of money and what the chiefs have hoarded not going the people it was meant for, then slandering anyone who calls for an independant audit., etc.
    Please allow me watch what I want and not watch what I do not want.
    I do not think we should be forced to pay what we pay for the CBC and do not think Sun news should be shunned and slandered by people who might not want an alternative to their views.

    1. Hi Mark,

      I don’t think anyone here can prevent you from watching what you want to watch. We are merely asking to not be made to pay for SunTV if we don’t want to.

      As for the how the communist propaganda affects me, I’ll have to have my political officer check in with the Politburo and tell me what to think.

  6. First off CBC News Network and CTV News Channel do not get mandatory carriage. Sun News wants to eb the only news station that gets mandatory carriage. I simply can’t see teh CRTC going along with this.

    Fist off, the CRTC is trying to deregualte the market. Mandatory carriage for Sun News would be a move back to re-regulation. Even if they were going to pick a cable news network for mandatory carriage, I doubt Sun News would get the nod, since they’re editorial commentary completely eclipses their news, and they don’t seem to have much int he way of news correspondents in comparison to competing stations in the market.

    I think Sun News knows this but this campaifn will probably give them a bit of a rating boost. Pretty smart really. Probably not enough to keep them from insolvency, though.

  7. I will be re-posting my response in a day, if you choose to not post it, reaffirming my suspicions that you want nothing to do with free and open dialogue, then I will take the screenshots and post them around some other sites that I know your type peruse.

    I’m sure it will not make a lick of difference but some will see this site for what it really is, just an outlet for more propaganda from the left.

    Cheers Gary

    1. Cheers, Gary. I work full time and don’t always get around to approving comments.

      Post your screenshots wherever you want and allow me to reaffirm your suspicions that I’m some sort of crypto fascist commie nazi out to keep you from seeing Ezra every night before bedtime.

      Internet debate obviously means so much to you that it may be worth investing some time in your own blog that people could choose to read and hyperventilate over if it strikes their fancy.

      Cheers, love, and unicorns!

    2. And frankly, if our tag line of “re-spinning for political, environmental, and social justice” didn’t already make you think that we might be “left”, I fear for your reading comprehension.

      1. Your an interesting one Kevin but only in the sense of how fascinating it is that so many folks like yourself that are left of center act so much alike, my point though is I read through all the posts and got to this one, its hard to not notice your condescension but thats hardly surprising, you just can’t help it.

        You make your smarmy comment about me not noticing the title of this website and hence its political leanings, which are clearly blatant btw, in particular your responses to my comments…………………….yet you go around all day bashing Sun News for all intents and purposes for being exactly how you are and by extension how this website is along with the CBC, can I say hypocrite again, yes I think I will, thank-you very much.

        So far as my recent post goes, I apologize in some ways but fact is you responded so quickly to my other posts and I see alot of stuff from you here so I was wondering where your response was. I’m happy you are working full time, yes I work full time as well, we are quite lucky now a days.

        There are some other comments I could directly respond to by I really get bored quickly listening to your type, like the one above that calls me a ” crypto fascist commie nazi ” is that not the same type of behavior that your always accusing Sun News of as well.

        This is a great little story, there are many many comments and points of view that I like but read it and tell me why again that Sun News does not deserve to have this mandatory license, at for as long as the CBC and CTV had.

        http://j-source.ca/article/would-mandatory-carriage-sun-news-network-be-victory-intolerance-or-media-diversity

        Cheers Gary

  8. Your an interesting one Kevin but only in the sense of how fascinating it is that so many folks like yourself that are left of center act so much alike, my point though is I read through all the posts and got to this one, its hard to not notice your condescension but thats hardly surprising, you just can’t help it.

    You make your smarmy comment about me not noticing the title of this website and hence its political leanings, which are clearly blatant btw, in particular your responses to my comments…………………….yet you go around all day bashing Sun News for all intents and purposes for being exactly how you are and by extension how this website is along with the CBC, can I say hypocrite again, yes I think I will, thank-you very much.

    So far as my recent post goes, I apologize in some ways but fact is you responded so quickly to my other posts and I see alot of stuff from you here so I was wondering where your response was. I’m happy you are working full time, yes I work full time as well, we are quite lucky now a days.

    There are some other comments I could directly respond to by I really get bored quickly listening to your type, like the one above that calls me a ” crypto fascist commie nazi ” is that not the same type of behavior that your always accusing Sun News of as well.

    This is a great little story, there are many many comments and points of view that I like but read it and tell me why again that Sun News does not deserve to have this mandatory license, at for as long as the CBC and CTV had.

    http://j-source.ca/article/would-mandatory-carriage-sun-news-network-be-victory-intolerance-or-media-diversity

    Cheers Gary

  9. Of course, Sun has every right to be in every home in Canada. The individual will decide to watch or not. I have long held that since the CBC is taxpayer funded, it should be reflective of Canada and Canadians. It is high time that the content it broadcasts no longer be exclusively representative of the anti-development, anti-progress, anti-government, pro -union, left leaning population sector. There needs to be much more balanced perspective coming from this nationally funded outlet. We need much less nonsense that doesn’t matter (ie; 60 minutes discussing what King Louis’ character and relationship with the commoner was all about) and a lot more about what interests the average Canadian, today. It is elitist radio and extreme liberal on TV. Either straighten it up so that it reflects Canada or shut it down !

    1. that’s hilarious, laurie!

      “60 minutes discussing what King Louis’ character and relationship with the commoner was all about”?

      you make it sound like that has nothing to do with canada in the 21st century with king harper, his sense of entitlement and contempt for the majority of canadians who voted against him!

      this comment WINS!

      1. Are you children still going on about this………………..” the majority of Canadians who voted against him!”………………………….you lost already, get over it and I’ll add this, trying to be polite, if you can’t see that state of our country with Harper in charge as “good” then you are really just another blinded ideologue.

        We will never get anywhere with this kind of thinking, never.

  10. These pro sun news people clearly work for sun news ,lol, who else would care so much about ” faux news” ment strictly to keep people angry and divided.

  11. This airs racism and hate speech . I am against the renewal of their licence. They should never qualify for any public funding or tax money either

  12. You may not like the CBC, but it is arguably an integral part of Canadian heritage, being the first broadcaster, and the only one to make a serious attempt at unifying canada through its programming offer.

    Sun however, is shocking in its bias – its stories (I cannot in seriousness call it journalism) are theatrical, sensationalist and with a clumsy political agenda. I dont think I should be forced to pay for it, particularly if it wants the funding because market forces determined it is a commercial failure.

    1. I don’t know if I like the idea that one of the roles of the CBC is to “unify” Canada. I think that its role should be to offer programming that is needed and valuable. Political motives or things like that ought not be in the equation.

      But yes on Sun’s bias.

  13. Where do I Petition the CRTC to go ahead with Sun News’ Mandatory Carriage? I love Ezra Levant when he exposes the truth, instead of feeding us lies like all other media has since day 1.

  14. Blah blah blah.

    What I’m reading here is a subjective opinion on Sun News’ content, which clearly the author doesn’t like. Fair enough. For the record, I don’t agree with mandatory carriage at all, and I’d like to see it cease for CBC, APTN and all the other channels I’m forced to pay for and never watch.

    Until that day arrives, I think it is perfectly reasonable for Sun News to pursue their application. It is patently unfair that many of the distributors have their own content which they are eager to protect. As mentioned above, Sun News hasn’t been rejected, it simply doesn’t have a high profile yet, and a good chunk of that is being unfairly locked out of distribution.

    Now maybe you found the article about Spence ‘offensive’. I didn’t. I actually found it kind of pedestrian. In a free society there should be space for ‘offensive’ ideas. I know this post is ostensibly about ‘unfair’ mandatory carriage, but really it’s about censoring content the author(s) don’t like. It’d be nice if those on the left would stop trying to shut down dissenting thought.

    1. Not trying to “shut it down,” as if we could. (Why does the right wing think we’re so powerful?)

      Just expressing our concern that such a thing would need to be mandatory carry across the country.

      1. Yet you guys aren’t in a rush to end mandatory carry for CBC, APTN, etc. I can’t escape the impression that this has more to do with content than the injustice of mandatory carriage. If it were HuffTV Canada making such an application, would it bother you as much?

        1. I suppose, to be honest, that it does have something to do with content. I think that mandatory coverage is something that can be considered when the content being carried is not completely ridiculous but is rather on the whole of benefit to the public to which carriage is mandatory; while I know that there’s a value in what Sun News carries, and I do strongly believe that there’s a value in SunTV being on the market – I don’t advocate them not having access to the market at all – I don’t think that they’re on the whole ‘beneficial’ to the broad public.

          So. If they weren’t full of characters who tempt libel and slander with every breath like Ezra, or were vicious race- and religion-baiters like Michael Coren, and actually worked harder at pretending to be a neutral or objective source for news – rather than being an outrage-generation-station, then maybe I’d reconsider my opposition for mandatory carriage.

          While I know that you’ll suggest that the CBC is a viscerally socialist left wing state broadcaster, I really do want to ask you if you seriously believe that. I don’t think that the CBC actively cheerleads for the NDP; I don’t think that they active work against the Conservative party. While I do have very strong biases, I believe that I can see past them – indeed, I consider it a mark of intelligence to be able to recognize your biases, observe other people’s biases, and still appreciate their arguments – I don’t think that the CBC is inherently biased.

          If anything, perhaps you feel that the CBC’s news operations skew liberal? I would tend to argue that the fact is that reality tends to skew liberal.
          HuffTV? Depends on their content… so, I think that your impression that this has “more to do with content” than mandatory coverage is entirely correct, but maybe not in the way that you think.

          Content is important, but in my mind, more in terms of a manifestation of the overall approach of the station to its primary function than in terms of its political leanings. Overall, the CBC is actually oriented towards telling Canadians what happened in Canada today. Overall, SunTV is really freaking busy telling its audience why the NDP and Liberals are socialists out to tax the world to its death, and they oppose workers and the economy and trade and here’s Ezra and he’s going to yell at you.

          I’m being a little hyperbolic, yes, but I’m sympathetic to the suggestion that Canada needs an explicitly right-wing media outlet. It makes a certain amount of sense. But I don’t know if it needs to be paid for by everyone in the country.

          I would just as strongly react to a CBC news story exhorting the importance of shared ownership of industry as I do to a SunTV story explaining why medicare is destroying the country and needs to be stopped. Neither are “news,” both are propaganda, and neither deserve mandatory coverage or taxpayer subsidy.

          Actual news programming, where stories of things that did happen – that’s news. And that’s what the CBC does, predominantly, and well. The Sun media empire doesn’t, really, and I think that’s rather objective.

          Anyways, I’ll probably expand on this later.

          1. Well, at least you’re honest.

            Until content and distribution are broken up, and new channels aren’t forced to compete against publicly funded behemoths or cable-company owned subsidiaries, I think it is perfectly legitimate for them to play the game as it is being played.

            You use the terms libel and scandal. If there were anything actionable that Sun News was saying, they’d be in court every day. For example, describing Attawapiskat as a ‘cesspool’, while harsh, it not that far from reality. In fact, I personally know a number of natives, and that is how they themselves would describe their own reserves. Did you look at the pictures? And Sun was careful not to indict individual natives, most of whom are exposed to this through no fault of their own.

            CBC culturally is pro-Liberal. I can say that because I know high-up liberals who are involved there. Culture has always been dominated by the left. Probably a left brain thing with artists, etc. I don’t know. They did a survey in the US some years back — 90% of journalists surveyed at the various mainstream media outlets self identified as left of center. I’m certain it’s no different here. It’s not strident demagoguery, it’s more the dishonest cloaking of bias, selectivity in what is reported, a tendency to give one party the last word, etc. I wouldn’t mind if they were honest about it – it’s the fact that they pretend to be objective and earn undue trust that way — that bothers me. Definitely not as bad here, but extant.

          2. The other question I would ask you is in your HuffTV comment. Why should *I*, as a ‘right wing’ viewer, have to pay for that, simply because it’s ok by you? Why do *you* get priority over me in terms of what is acceptable content? We are equal citizens, are we not?

            I hope you don’t take this as a personal attack — I am just pointing out what I feel are logical inconsistencies and why I feel this is more about censoring what we don’t like to hear as opposed to outrage about paying for it. Although I lean right (in most respects — I’m very liberal on social issues), I actually don’t mind having alternative points of view forced in my face. I think we are getting too tribal in the age of the internet — too inclined to shut out opposing views and seek the company of those with whom we agree. I don’t like intellectual inbreeding. I like being challenged. A HuffPo will sometimes make me think. A Sun News can do that also. They can’t be wrong all the time.

            1. You know, I think in my reply to you earlier, I wasn’t clear on the HuffTV hypothetical. I think that the distinction I tried to make was if it could be of broad benefit to the audience; in truth, because Huffington Post makes its money by primarily repeating wire service news and not really generating its own content, I highly doubt I’d think that I would support mandatory coverage.

              I don’t get priority over you; you posed me an question as to my assessment as to whether a hypothetical station ought to get coverage. You got *my* opinion. I certainly don’t consider myself powerful enough to make the CRTC’s decision for it.

              Regarding your culturally liberal assessment of the CBC – if we were to disconnect the term ‘liberal’ from the political party, I’d be tempted to somewhat agree with you. While there’s no real citation to the 90% of journalists identifying as liberal, I think it’s worth noting that there are correlations available (if you’d like cites, I can try to find) that suggest that increased education tends to result in increased left-of-center identification.

              I’ll use my mother as a parable. She used to hate the CBC. Not because she felt that they were biased, but because she couldn’t stand the content. As of late, she’s been listening to the CBC. She says that the coverage is more in-depth, more varied, and more explanatory than other stations. Because there isn’t the same profit motive behind the CBC’s news coverage, the network is able to go more in-depth in its journalism and actually explore stories. Unlike, for example, Global TV, which does a 2-minute package on the story leading to the commercials and the all-important sports segment. SunTV’s claim to market success is its exceptionally right-wing opinion that runs the show; their news is potentially “par” in terms of coverage and quality. I have a good amount of respect for David Akin, one of SunTV’s journalists, because he’s at least balanced – I can acknowledge he may be biased, but he doesn’t trend into the demagoguery that Ezra or Coren does.

              As for whether or not SunTV is before the courts all the time – at the very least, Ezra sure is, and the amount of official apologies that SunTV issues (and that Ezra then mocks), their legal department is doing its best to avoid suits.

              I don’t think you can say the same about *any* “news” station in the country, nevermind CBC.

              1. Kevin I’m well aware that you lack the power to compel anyone to watch ‘HuffTV’. I just wanted to expose the somewhat hypocritical stance you and others have taken on this. You suggest that if our fictional ‘HuffTV’ were of ‘broad benefit’, it might be worthy of consideration for mandatory carriage. What you leave out is that ‘broad benefit’ is an entirely subjective thing, dependent on the views of the beholder. It isn’t possible to separate one’s bias in making these kinds of subjective decisions. Which is why the entire system needs to be flushed.

                Finally, there is no reason in 2013 for a government mandated and taxpayer supported ‘station’ or ‘channel’ to exist. There is a plethora of Canadian information providers now. It is unreasonable for them to have to compete against a government funded behemoth. I don’t doubt CBC does do the odd bit of excellent reporting. For what it costs taxpayers, it better. But its time has come and gone. Until it and mandatory carriage depart, it is entirely wrong to deny Sun News (and others) access to the same privileges it has and leave the playing field uneven.

  15. Conservatives love to rant about the CBC’s left wing bias but I’d love to see some actual proof of this supposed bias from the network that gives Kevin Fucking O’Leary not one but TWO programs to spread his disgusting vile mug around.

  16. A lot of people compair the CBC and sunnews which is really unfair. The CBC gives equal representation to both sides of political argument even when one sides argument is inappropriate or inconsistent with the view of the majority of reasonable Canadians. On sun they bully and ridicule the few guests and commentators on their shows that disagree with them and regularly compair anyone less radically conservative than they are as fascists and communists or spouting propaganda. At least twice a day sombody says “gays and wacky leftist pink shirts goose-stepping”. While its true the CBC receives federal funding it is equally true qubecor and videotron both receive federal funding, qubecor is a privately held company so any tax money they receive goes to line their shareholder pockets; while the CBC a crown corporation receives money it goes to run the programming and news.

    If sun news already had mandatory carriage status they would be decrying this as over regulation and communism and say we are discouraging investment in Canada by not allowing companies to succede on their own merits by interveening. In fact videotron a cable company is quietly opposing other applicants for new or renewing mandatory carriage licenses because they know their margins will be affected by paying more to carry some of these channels.

    Conservatives are such hypocrites they will jump up and down throwing a hissy fit if regulation is not to their advantage, but when it is quietly take advantage.

    If sun news wants to be a big player in news they need to develop a relationship with the truth, ethics and morals. They need to stop being a racist homophobic mouth piece for bigoted hate groups.

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