VANCOUVER - "There is growing evidence that the Martin government is planning to let the Americans move in on our broadcasting and telephone industries," says the media vice-president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. "We have no intention of allowing that danger to our cultural and political sovereignty to occur."
The comment, from CEP's Peter Murdoch, came at the second in a series of nation wide rallies aimed at convincing the federal government to maintain existing restrictions on the foreign ownership of Canada's telephone and broadcasting companies.
The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting began the national campaign to combat the growing threat of foreign control of the communications industry in Victoria yesterday.
New polling data shows that nearly three fourths of British Columbians -- the highest percentage in the country -- are opposed to the federal government lifting restrictions on the foreign ownership of phone and media companies.
The rallies, co-sponsored by the Council of Canadians and ACTRA, the union of performing artists, are meant to draw attention to the issue before a federal election is called.
Ian Morrison of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting commented that "powerful lobbyists for the cable industry are at work right now, quietly persuading the federal government to allow Americans to buy them out. If they succeed, there is nothing to stop foreign companies from taking control of Canadian media and telecommunications too."
The 150,000 member CEP represents some 50,000 workers in both the telecommunications and media industries while the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is supported by 60,000 Canadian families and is one of the country's most influential groups supporting cultural sovereignty and public broadcasting.
For further information: Peter Murdoch at 905 516-5720 or Jim Thompson, 613 447-9592