Letter to CRTC re: Sun News

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NOTE: here are directions to submit your letter on-line (the actual example letter follows):

  • Go to the CRTC’s online “Participate in a Consultation” submission page
  • Click “I Agree” > Next
  • Click “Option 1″ > Next
  • On the “Choose Applicant/Licensee” page, scroll way down to (and click on) “2012-0687-1: Sun News General Partnership” > Next
  • On the “Submit a Comment” page, first choose “Opposition”, then type/paste your comments** in the “Enter Comment” field (and attach any files you think are relevant, e.g. PDF of an article that highlights Sun News’ racism, etc., which is optional) > Next
  • Click on “Do not want to appear” (at the April 23 hearings), and confirm “I agree” > Next
  • Click “NO” re: designated representative > Fill out the “Intervener/Respondent Information” (your name/address/email) > you must ALSO click on the bottom checkbox that says “I will be sending a copy of my comments to the applicant”, in order to continue the submission process (this is mandatory, and probably the CRTC equivalent of legal “discovery”) > Next
  • Confirm whether everything you entered is correct, and whether or not you want a copy of your submission by email > SUBMIT

– See more at: http://politicsrespun.org/2013/02/how-to-petition-the-crtc-against-sun-news-mandatory-carriage/#sthash.jUbt3t91.dpuf

SAMPLE LETTER

RE: Opposition to Mandatory Carriage RE: 2012-0687-1: Sun News General Partnership

I am writing to express my very strong objection to the following application:

10. TVA Group Inc. and Sun Media Corporations, partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Sun News General Partnership Across Canada Application 2012-0687-1

Application by TVA Group Inc. and Sun Media Corporation, partners in a general partnership carrying on business as Sun News General Partnership, for mandatory distribution on the digital and analog basic service pursuant to an order issued under section 9(1)(h) of the Broadcasting Act of the national English-language specialty national news Category C service Sun TV News.

The Commission notes that the programming of this service is devoted to English- and French-language mainstream national news and information programming. The applicant also provides updated news reports every 120 minutes, as required by Conditions of licence for competitive Canadian specialty services operating in the genres of mainstream sports and national news – Implementation of the Accessibility Policy and other matters, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-562-1, 18 June 2010.

The licensee states that it meets all the criteria set out in paragraph 11 of Criteria for assessing applications for mandatory distribution of its service on the digital basic service, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-629, 27 August 2010 and proposes that its service be offered for a per subscriber monthly wholesale rate of $0.09 in the French-language market and $0.18 in the English-language market.

As a strong supporter of a woman’s right to choose abortion as a reproductive option, I am particularly concerned because of information posted by the Huffington Post regarding Sun News’ allies in the anti-choice movement in the US:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/23/sun-news-abortion-crtc-_n_2535614.html

It is my view that Sun News should not be licensed to broadcast in Canada. It has shown itself to be a source of hateful attacks on Canadians who hold values and views that differ from those of its corporate owners. Sun News degrades the quality of public discussion by making abusive behaviour and expressions of hatred its every-day modus operandi cloaked as national discourse.

Furthermore, I believe that Sun News fails to meet the requirements of paragraph 11 of the Criteria for approval of applications for mandatory distribution on the digital basic service. Sun News should not be any given further means to distribute its bullying rhetoric to Canadians.

Thank you for your consideration,
[YOUR NAME]

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Violence Implied- March For (Whose?) Life

Yesterday sucked.

The March for Lies marched right on into O-town and the participants…well, they did what they do. I’m warning you now that this may not be the most coherent and cohesive blog-post. I’m in recovery.

Every year the March comes and makes me irate. It makes me sad. It also scares the crap out of me. Having thousands of people all around me who are so diametrically opposed to an issue that defines my very autonomy- people who would deny me that autonomy based on a faith-based set of principles- I get more than a little bit freaked.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the numbers are swelled by the hundreds of busloads of youth brought in from Catholic schools (your tax-dollars hard at work, folks!) across Ontario. But that makes it even more depressing, knowing that so many of those youth have been subject to indoctrination to such an extent. Sure lots of them couldn’t care less and just want a field-trip. Fair enough. But some of them, perhaps many of them, will leave having experienced a feeling a belonging for the first time in their lives. That euphoric feeling will carry them through all the evidence-based arguments, Charter challenge discussions and anti-paternalism tirades that you or I will launch at them. Scary shit, I say again.

This palpable threat I feel during Starch for Lime is due in no small part to the violence implied just below the surface of the event. The low-level stuff that, as an advocate against choice, you think so little of me as a woman you believe me incapable of making my own decisions, that I don’t know what’s best for me and my possible future children. Indeed, seen through anti-choice eyes, I am less-than. I am dehumanized. Enter the overt violence right about here.

Let’s not even get started on the actual call to arms that we naively believe is more or less contained to the US. They shoot and blow up people like me down there. Yay, pro-life!

I was telling a co-worker of mine about these feelings. She’s this beautiful, witty, intelligent woman and she’s First Nations. As I started to tell her about the fear I felt at the living, breathing oppression seething just below our office windows, my voice petered out. I can’t speak for her, but I imagined that oppression, palpable and dangerous, stares her in the face every day- mostly masked, but no less ugly.

There was no solace, no consolation in that. Yesterday sucked.

Privilege Safely Stowed. Now Can We Talk About Abortion?

Guilt goes a long way to getting results. Any Catholic priest can tell you that. To say nothing of those of us who grew up under the yoke of Catholic guilt.

I cast off that yoke years ago and I’m better for it, but guilt, insidious as it is still has power over me. And I resent that in a big way. I think that’s why I cringe at the insistence of some within the feminist and prochoice movement to constantly hammer away at the idea of privilege and its inherent dangers.

March For Life flyer from St Paul Catholic High School and voting station

I received a Facebook reminder yesterday for the pro-choice presence on Parliament Hill in response to the annual bullshit March for Life. I read the list of issues contained in the message (colonialism, ageism, dis/ability rights, education) each stated as being a “reproductive justice issue”.

*heavy sigh*

What I’m about to say is not going to be popular.

*sharp intake of breath*

Sometimes I feel that the need to appear progressive, cloaked in a show of inclusiveness, overshadows and ultimately endangers what we’re really trying to accomplish.

There. I said it.

*release of breath*

The issue is abortion access. If you say you understand abortion access and lack thereof, you must, or at least you should, understand that it is those who lack privilege (in all its variations, orientations, identities and degrees therein) in our society who have the most to lose when abortion access is limited/eliminated. That says it all.

But that’s not what I’m witnessing of late.

Instead we see the real issue: abortion/choice/reproductive and bodily autonomy piled on and confused with other, no less important, issues.

As a movement, we cannot do it all. Indeed, we do an injustice to all concerned if we even try. We also alienate people who would like to join the cause but don’t dare because they are being lead to believe they take on the weight of the world if they do.

What we get- indeed what we have- is a fractious group who are incapable of the focus required to move the issue of abortion forward. The resulting vacuum of coherence and over-arching vision in turn gets filled by right-wing zealots who do have the focus, and who organize effectively enough to rally a vote for a Conservative majority. They have a coherent vision, and it’s now frighteningly within their reach.

There is no doubt that the feminist movement of the past got many things wrong, not the least of which was a lack of inclusiveness and more than a smidge of elitism. This is indisputable. But have we so little faith in ourselves as progressive people and in the evolution of our movement that we need to constantly make a show of listing the marginalized?

Frankly, I find it beyond tacky.

We can be allies (a word I avoid because we are NOT at war and we minimize those affected by war when we use it), we can represent a myriad of voices, and we can welcome all into the fold and- here’s a novel idea- have them speak for themselves.

What we cannot do is misrepresent what we’re actually about. We have done exactly this and to the detriment of women’s lives. Guilt is a powerful thing, but it rarely brings about real change.

Only hard work can do that.