CRTC: What Does It Serve a Nation?

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Yes, that's right; for a piddling 2.2% short-fall, in a decidedly tertiary category, the CRTC commissioners are willing to draw the station's management onto the carpet to "justify" their dreadful short-comings. 
 
The station is asking support of the public before January 23, 2008, the CRTC deadline for interventions. My letter is below, with details of how citizens interested in supporting local radio, made for and by the people of the lower mainland can respond. - lex
 
 
Greetings Commissioners; I read with dismay of the treatment your commission is meting out to Vancouver's Co-Op Radio. Co-Op is an entirely unique voice in Vancouver, serving millions of listeners who rely on its alternative programming, and multi-cultural broadcasts. But, that is obvious to anyone who has either listened to it for an hour or two, or checked out their program guide online. Which makes me wonder; "Just what is the agenda of the CRTC?"
 
Taking a one week sampling, and a week that includes a statutory public holiday, and then splitting hairs as to the amount of Canadian content played (in the sub-category of "General Music," something that accounts for a miniscule amount of overall programming) while refusing to acknowledge the majority of spoken word programming, all produced locally, (ie, in Canada) as "Canadian content" is to me an outrageous abuse of the CRTC mandate to best serve Canadians' best interests.
 
Again, who is being served by the commission's approach to this issue?
 
Perusing the CRTC page, I see the further consolodation of corporate media giants is given blessing, while small, citizen-driven media like Co-Op are forced to deplete their meagre funds and strain volunteer energies to account for their perceived failings, and made to perform at a distinctly higher standard than their commercial colleagues, who in contrast to Co-Op, play only top 40 music, with a minute or two devoted to local news and information per hour.
 
I for one will be watching this process, and reporting to my media network of concerned citizens, many of whom have turned their backs on what passes for information, as peddled by the same corporate monolithes the CRTC agrees should be allowed to further concentrate across all media.
 
This is, in my view, a truly pernicious misapplication of the CRTC's intended purpose to ensure those privileged with the use of the public airwaves operate in the best interest of both local and national listeners.
 
Without doubt, Co-Op must be allowed to continue its long tradition of fulfilling these mandates better than the corporate "alternatives" Canadians have suffered too long.
 

Sincerely,
Chris Cook
 
Pacific Free Press
Gorilla Radio
CFUV Radio, University of Victoria   

[I spoke yesterday with the author of the following alert, Hanna Kawas, long-time host of Voice of Palestine, and he informs that the CRTC has accepted the station's response to allegations of anti-semitism, etc. as unfounded. -lex]
 
Dear friends and supporters:
 
Vancouver Coop Radio is up for its licence renewal with the CRTC (see this article) and we are asking for your support in making sure that Voice of Palestine (VOP) and Coop Radio stay on the air. Coop has a long history of alternative radio broadcasting and giving a voice to the voiceless in Canada.  Furthermore, there was a recent complaint sent to the CRTC by pro-Israel advocates attacking VOP for using the term "ethnic cleansing" in regards to Israeli government policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. We were also referred to as "inflammatory" and accused of working to "slander the citizens of Israel and indirectly the Jewish people".  In fact, VOP is one of the few genuinely independent voices with no sectarian agenda that is still emphasizing the inalienable human and national rights of all the Palestinians i.e we do not support any government body, be it Israeli or Palestinian. We also have a long history of involving progressive Israeli and Jewish voices on our program.
 
Therefore, it is extremely important that our listeners and supporters across Canada tell the CRTC that Coop Radio and VOP play a pivotal role in informing the Canadian public and bringing vital information to people that would otherwise not be available. Please send positive and supportive messages to the CRTC highlighting VOP's 20 year history in helping to promote peace with justice in the Middle East. Please find below the steps involved in contacting the CRTC, either electronically, by fax or by mail.
 
In Solidarity
Voice of Palestine Collective
www.voiceofpalestine.ca
 
 
Filing an intervention for Vancouver Co-operative Radio's License Renewal

Deadline for interventions: Jan. 23, 2008

Vancouver Co-operative Radio's license to broadcast is up for renewal with the CRTC.  It would be of great value to us if the CRTC was aware of all of the community members and organizations that support our continued broadcasting.  In order to register your support for Vancouver Co-op Radio's license renewal, you must file an intervention with the CRTC.  You can file in one of 3 ways:


  • by using the electronic interventions/comments form located on the CRTC's web site at http://www.crtc.gc.ca under "Public Proceedings" then by selecting "Interventions/Comments Forms" or, by selecting the link below the description of each application within the Notice of Public hearing also located on the CRTC's web site under "Public Proceedings"; or

  • by fax to the Secretary General 819-994-0218; or

  • by mail at CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2.
 
Filing Electronically is the easiest way to file. Here are more detailed instructions if you need them.


Filing an electronic intervention for Vancouver Co-operative Radio:

Go to:  http://support.crtc.gc.ca/rapidscin/default.aspx?lang=en

  • Step 1:       Click on Notice #2007-18

  • Step 2:       Check the box beside # 200718215:  Vancouver Co-operative Radio (we're at the bottom of the list).  Press NEXT.

  • Step 3:       Choose Support.  Add your comments about why you think Vancouver Co-operative's Radio license should be renewed.  Or, you can attach a document.  Press NEXT.

  • Step 4:       This year, Vancouver Co-operative Radio is required to be present at an oral public hearing.  If you would like to make comments in support of Vancouver Co-operative Radio at this hearing, choose "Request to appear".  Otherwise, choose "do not want to appear".  Press NEXT.

  • Step 5:       Enter all required contact information.  According to CRTC rules, you must send us a copy of your intervention.  You can do this by e-mailing a copy of your letter of support to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or you can press the PRINT button in Step 6 and send us a hard copy (our address is below).

  • Step 6:      Confirm all the information you are submitting.  If you need to print a copy of the intervention, you can press PRINT.  Press SUBMIT.

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