Mr. Chris Seidl
Dear Mr. Seidl:
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming on radio, television and online, supported by 364,000 Canadians, and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party. FRIENDS requests to appear at the public hearing in order to address the following arguments.
FRIENDS intervenes in support of the application of the Cable Public Affairs Channel because CPAC is unique: operating in both official languages in a non-commercial manner, it offers citizens the tools they need to participate in Canadian democracy.
In addition to gavel-to-gavel coverage of the House of Commons and many of its Committees, CPAC carries hearings of your Commission and a myriad of other meetings/events that bear upon public affairs, unfiltered by editorial comment.
We note that, although its average audience may be considered modest in comparison with other channels, millions of Canadians tune in from time to time when issues of concern to them are covered. We also note that CPAC’s ‘library’ of past coverage is immense and accessible to viewers/listeners on demand.
In addition, CPAC’s recent new offering Perspective with Alison Smith provides Canadians with the only long-form weekly current affairs show focusing on international affairs on Canadian television.
For these reasons, FRIENDS strongly endorses CPAC’s request for mandatory distribution on the basic service and for a 1¢ increase in its per subscriber monthly wholesale rate (to 13¢/month).
cc: Catherine Cano, President, CPAC