OTTAWA—The federal government will jeopardize Canadian culture by allowing foreign ownership of our telecommunications industry, says a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Authored by Julie White, a researcher with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, the study makes the case that common ownership and technological convergence in telecommunications and broadcasting have created a single industry.
“Lifting foreign ownership restrictions on telephone companies puts our broadcasting sector immediately at risk,” White commented. “The carriers (telephone and cable companies) are now also the content creators.” Bell Canada Enterprises, for instance, owns CTV television and the Globe and Mail.
“If Time Warner or any other giant multi-national were to buy any one of our telephone or cable companies, it would only make economic sense, from their standpoint, to use their foreign produced programming in Canada.”
The threat, she added, is very immediate with the Hong Kong round of international trade talks scheduled to take place in December, and the Industry Minister’s recent statement that he is open to relaxing foreign ownership restrictions.
Losing Canadian Culture: The Danger of Foreign Ownership of Telecom is available on the CCPA web site at http://www.policyalternatives.ca
For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer, 613-563-1341 x306.