In this video from early September Kory Teneycke, then a VP with SunNews TV and a former top aide to Stephen Harper, and Ricken Patel of Avaaz.org square off over the application by Sun media to the CRTC to start a cable news station called SunNews. The proposed new station has been dubbed “Fox News North” because it intends to take a hard hitting “conservative” approach to news coverage.
Left wing Canadian celebrities and “activitsts” have been vocal about the impropriety of such a channel actually going to air in Canada. For example, Margaret Atwood has signed an online petition hosted by Avaaz.org. The petition claims that “Prime Minister Harper is trying to push American-style hate media onto our airwaves”, and it has so far gained more than 80,000 signatures.
Since this interview a number of the petition signatures have proven to be fraudulent and Kory Teneycke has resigned. He has recently been hired by BHP Billiton, the Anglo-Australian mining company that has been trying to take over Saskatchewan’s Potash Corp.
The controversy over Teneycke aside, it seems odd to me that Canadian media people feel it is perfectly OK for a government agency to prevent a news organization from broadcasting “biased” news. If this isn’t a restriction on freedom of speech it is hard to see what would be. For an example of the “balanced” position preferred by status quo Canadian broadcasters see this debate over SunNews between Teneckye and Don Newman of the CBC.