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Results: 1 - 15 of 20658
View Mike Sullivan Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you, sir. Thank you to the witnesses.
This is amazing information. If I take this home and talk to the folks in my riding, they'll get more scared than they already are. We've been fighting for the past 10 years to reduce the level of exposure to diesel exhaust, which the WHO has reclassified as a class A or class 1 carcinogen.
How does this compare with 464 diesel trains a day going past your house in terms of danger to the individual? Is this something we can wait on, or is it something we should be acting on immediately in a riding such as mine?
View Mike Sullivan Profile
NDP (ON)
I agree.
The charts and graphs you showed us had two striking pieces to them. One, this seems to affect women more than men. I'll jump to the conclusion that maybe it's because their lungs are smaller; I don't know. Second, this seems to be on the increase since 1985, yet people lived in homes with radon many more years prior to that.
What is driving those two things? Are there any guesses from the panel?
View Mike Sullivan Profile
NDP (ON)
You mentioned that only less than 10% have tested their homes and Manitoba is the only place where there is some kind of government position, through Manitoba Hydro, or aggressive position, I guess, on this whole notion of testing and remediation.
Are you recommending that the federal government also enter the fray and start to provide funding? I can think of many in my riding who couldn't even afford the test, let alone remediation. Is there something the panel is suggesting as something we ought to be doing nationally?
View Mike Sullivan Profile
NDP (ON)
View Mike Sullivan Profile
NDP (ON)
As Mr. Fantino has already said, this issue is huge in the Italian community, both in my riding of York South—Weston and in Toronto generally, so much so that the Italian consul general called a meeting and brought in 70 representatives of the Italian community to complain about this decision, which had come as a shock to them.
Giuseppe Pastorelli, who is the Italian consul general, Emilio Battaglia, the new president of Comites, and the Honourable Joe Volpe, who publishes Corriere Canadese, all have said that this decision is a shock to the community. Many in the Italian community came to Canada years ago and speak little or no English, so they rely on OMNI to get their news of Canada in Italian.
That is now gone. It's not going to be replaced by anything until this fall, when some kind of lifestyle program is coming that's aimed at younger people. We have abandoned an entire demographic of the Italian community. They will no longer be receiving any news. With an election coming, it is like voter suppression. These people will not be able to be engaged in the electoral process.
At the licence hearings, you committed to adhere to the standard conditions of licence applicable to English language conventional television stations, which expect “the licensee”—I say the word “expect”, and I know that you are going to yell that it is not a condition, but an expectation—“to maintain a local presence”, and a local presence includes “providing seven-day-a-week original local news coverage distinct to the market; employing full-time journalists”, which you don't anymore, and “operating a news bureau or news gathering office in the market”.
That's what you committed to do to live up to those expectations, and I know there is a difference in the words, but with a federal election on the horizon, the Italian community is up in arms. They are fuming. They were talking about boycotting Rogers, which I don't believe you would want them to do. They are concerned that a big part of that community will no longer have access to be engaged in Canadian society in the way they were.
With all respect to all of the dire predictions, you can't take news in isolation and say that news doesn't make money and therefore you are cutting out news. All the broadcasters in Canada would stop producing news if that was the attitude, because nobody makes a ton of money doing news. That's not what the licences are for. The licences are a licence to give Canadians information as per the Broadcasting Act, and I'm sorry, but lifestyle programming for a younger audience doesn't cut it.
View Rathika Sitsabaiesan Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for being here.
I am going to read a quote from a letter that I think has already been mentioned. It was signed by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, the National Congress of Italian-Canadians, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations past president, Ryerson University, and the Yee Hong foundation. A lot of these organizations and their members are represented in my constituency, and are very concerned about cuts.
View Rathika Sitsabaiesan Profile
NDP (ON)
Their letter states as follows:
On the 7th day of May—Asian Heritage Month—...Rogers announced the elimination of all newscasts on its OMNI TV stations. For over 30 years OMNI TV has played a vital and essential role in reflecting and connecting Canada’s culturally diverse and multilingual communities. OMNI TV news programming creates a voice for Canada’s ethnocultural communities to challenge social injustices; it provides programming that pertains to their needs; and more importantly it gives these communities information that the mainstream media does not provide.
From what we've learned, this decision was made without consultation of community members and leaders, who have watched and benefited from OMNI TV for decades. In my opinion, and I know in the opinion of many who have written to me specifically, Rogers has abandoned the spirit of OMNI TV's licence by eliminating the local Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, and Italian news programming. We feel it's systematically dismantling OMNI's ability to meaningfully serve the multilingual audiences.
I know you said, Mr. Pelley, that you have a fiduciary responsibility to your shareholders. That means, quarter over quarter, trying to turn a profit. Your vice-presidents, in a conversation I had with them before, mentioned that not really much has changed: we still have services or programming in the same languages, it's just a pop-culture, news-ish kind of conversation show that's happening now.
But that's not what the communities are looking for. We know that well over a million people rely on OMNI for the news they're receiving on what is happening in this country. You may say that it's not making money....
Well, let me hear what you have to say. What is it you can say about the seniors and many people in my community in Scarborough who rely on the Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, and Italian to get news—not just current events conversation but news on what's happening in our country—in their language?
View Rathika Sitsabaiesan Profile
NDP (ON)
I'm glad you brought up advertisers. I'm sorry to cut you off, but I don't have a lot of time.
View Rathika Sitsabaiesan Profile
NDP (ON)
My understanding from the local businesses in these language communities is that they haven't really been courted by OMNI. You're saying that you don't have the advertising revenue coming in from the communities, the Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, or Italian communities, and yet I'm speaking with local chambers of commerce and individual entrepreneurs and they're saying that they really haven't been courted.
View Rathika Sitsabaiesan Profile
NDP (ON)
Maybe that's something to bring up with your advertising department.
View Rathika Sitsabaiesan Profile
NDP (ON)
I tend to disagree with your disagreement because I'm speaking with people on the ground and this is what they're telling me. It is what it is and I'm sure my 15 seconds are up now. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Mike Sullivan Profile
NDP (ON)
You stated several times that people have other options. In fact the Italian community doesn't have another option for local news in Italian. It isn't there. Nor does the Punjabi community.
I agreement with you that generally in Canada, in English and in French, consumers are moving away from conventional television to receive their news, not in big enough numbers to cause the kind of abandonment of news that is happening now but certainly not in these languages.
There is no other Italian facility for persons who don't have English. I agree that some of them have English, and they may go somewhere else. They're certainly talking about going somewhere else for their cable and cellphone providers.
The other comment you made was that you were going to provide some kind of current affairs access to news. Correct me if I'm wrong, Ms. Watson, but what you said was that the Italian community would be served by a lifestyle program starting in the fall.
That's really not going to help the Italian community at all.
View Mike Sullivan Profile
NDP (ON)
You talked about it in terms of the election campaign, and how people would be able to use that to get longer-form access to current affairs. That's not going to happen in the Italian community, and you just confirmed it. Maybe in 2016 there will be a different government then.
View Claude Gravelle Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to support my colleague. He talked about northern Ontario and the CBC. There used to be a program on CBC Radio that told stories from all over Canada, and it was very interesting. Unfortunately, that program disappeared with all the cuts.
On Radio-Canada, we can listen to a local program until 9 a.m. and then, until 4 p.m., we can hear about traffic in Montreal and about the Champlain Bridge. We can hear all sorts of things about Montreal, but we don't learn anything about other francophone regions of the country. There are many other francophone regions in Canada, but, unfortunately, ideas from those regions are not heard on Radio-Canada. I think it would be a good idea to hear from francophones outside Quebec.
Mr. Chair, you may know that we no longer even have access to Montreal Canadiens games in French in Ontario. The French broadcast is no longer available across the country, just in the region from west of Pembroke to the Maritimes.
We could do many things to improve Radio-Canada's television and radio broadcasts. Therefore, I will support my colleague's motion.
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