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Slashing of local news in Quebec bad news for all Canadians

When the new owners of TQS, a private TV network serving Quebec, announced their plan to eliminate the network’s news department and killing the local news shows, members of the Canadian Media Guild were troubled but not surprised. The CMG is urging the CRTC to do what’s necessary to stop the Remstar Group and prevent other Canadian broadcasters from following suit.

“We have been warning the CRTC about the death of local TV news,” says Lise Lareau, national president of the Canadian Media Guild. “The move at TQS is only the most recent and most dire example. It’s the result of a couple of situations that the regulator, or the government, need to address: funding for local programming and rules requiring news from conventional stations. The killing of local news should not even be an option for TQS.”

The Guild has recommended that local conventional stations get a portion of satellite and cable fees from subscribers in their area to pay for local programming, including news. It has also urged the CRTC to reintroduce a policy requiring local news from local broadcasters.

“The Remstar Group’s behaviour towards its employees reflects an unbridled lust for profits before all else”, says the Guild’s director of Francophone Affairs, G?rard Malo. Moreover, “closing local newsrooms reduces the diversity of editorial opinion and the overall quality of information. News is the lifeblood of democracy, and it’s a fundamental service that these companies – that are, after all, protected by regulation – should be required to provide.”

For more information please contact Lise Lareau at 1-800-465-4149 or 416-591-5333, or write to info@cmg.ca

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