Sun TV News Update: OpenMedia.ca encourages Canadians to keep writing to the CRTC, even as Teneycke steps down

Vancouver, BC, September 15, 2010 – OpenMedia.ca, Canada's largest media democratization group, is cautiously celebrating this morning's announcement that Kory Teneycke has resigned his position as VP of Development at Quebecor Media due to the controversy surrounding his former role as Prime Minister Steven Harper’s Director of Communications. He will be handing the position, as well as leadership of Sun TV News, over to Luc Lavoie, Brian Mulroney's former spokesperson.

Though Teneycke’s announcement did not directly reference campaigns aiming to prevent Sun TV News, commonly called ‘Fox News North’, from acquiring a broadcast license that includes a mandatory access exemption, there is little else to which he could have been referring when he cited “the controversies of the past month”.

Public interest groups including OpenMedia.ca have launched campaigns, such as “Dear Sun TV - You're Not Special", expressing concern that there may be political pressure from the Harper government imposed on the CRTC to grant Teneycke’s station mandatory access to TV sets, which would constitute special treatment in light of the Commission’s moratorium on licenses that involve such rights.

OpenMedia.ca holds that Sun TV News should not receive special treatment. No other channels of this type have the business guarantee that this network has requested.

“This is a positive development that will separate Sun TV News from Harper’s government, and further the autonomy of the CRTC as it prepares to rule on the network’s license application,” said Steve Anderson, national coordinator at OpenMedia.ca. “But Teneycke’s resignation also reinforces speculations that there was a connection.”

“Having another conservative spokesperson run the station,” added Anderson, “still raises questions about political connections and the potential for political influence over the CRTC and cronyism. It is evermore clear that there should be no special treatment for Sun TV News.”

Canadians are encouraged to send their comments discouraging political and industry pressure on the CRTC through OpenMedia.ca, to ensure that they are represented on the public record. They can do so at http://openmedia.ca/notspecial.

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About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is a national, non-partisan, non-profit public engagement organization working to advance and support an open and innovative communications system in Canada. Our primary goal is to increase public awareness and informed participation in Canadian media, cultural, information, and telecommunication policy formation.

About “Dear Sun TV - You're Not Special”

The ‘Not Special’ campaign is a project of OpenMedia.ca that encourages Canadians to send their comments about Sun TV News’s license application through OpenMedia in to ensure they will become part of the public record. Copies of their submissions will also be sent to Steven Harper.

Contact

Lindsey Pinto
Communications Manager, OpenMedia
778-238-7710
lindsey@openmedia.ca