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June 2003

    ICTV Claims Misrepresentation, censorship by Cable Service

    "Shaw is complaining about ICTV's ability to administer programming policy while, in fact, they have demonstrated an inability to very simply communicate clearly their concerns over programming to a community TV Corporation," answers Andrew Lithgow, executive director of ICTV Independent Community Television Co-operative. "Rather than engage in mature and clear dialogue with ICTV, they have rushed a letter off to the CRTC in what reads like a poorly executed attempt to impugn our organization."

    Responding to a complaint by Shaw Cablesystems to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, ICTV questions whether the complaint was necessary and
    why Shaw's report of the facts surrounding the events are misrepresented.

    On April 21 at a World Federalists meeting at the Vancouver Unitarian Church, Alfred Lambremont Webre, J. D., M. Ed., connected the United States and "rogue nation." Webre's comments were taped for presentation as "War and Militarism: Weapons Free Space" for Social Issues, a regularly scheduled ICTV program produced by the Global Justice Video Project. A Shaw representative said to Pedro Mora, a producer of Social Issues, the program would not be broadcast because the United States was referred to as a "rogue nation."

    "We have heard informally that Shaw's business activities may be influencing its decision making process regarding administration of the community channel; in particular, Shaw's heightened sensitivity to programming even remotely critical of American policy," states ICTV’s Andrew Lithgow in response to the complaint. "Once again, we have grave concerns about Shaw's ability to administer the community channel on behalf of local communities and Canadian citizens."
    The CRTC community media policy (Public Notice 2002 - 61) clearly states the role and objectives of the community channel should include providing "a reasonable, balanced opportunity for the expression of differing views on matters of public concern," he said.

    Community television is one of three elements that, according to the Broadcasting Act, comprise the Canadian broadcasting system. The other two elements are the public and private broadcasters.


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