Election2004 Questions

ACTRA asks ACTRA Questions 2004

One: Published Policy and press releases

Principal Spokesperson: Platform Chair

View Media and Communications in the official 2004 platform.

Important! FCC plan to reallocate UHF as part of shift to digital TV; affects some of the proposals below.

Media and Culture - Power of the Press

Our media maintains a profound ability to channel public debate. Every day editors decide what is news and what isn’t. This ability must be matched with a responsibility. Our media industry must accurately mirror the intelligence, diversity, history, creativity and decency of the Canadian people.

The Green Party will:
  • Provide stable base funding for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to provide quality television and radio programming in both official languages.
  • Enact a Royal Commission to create a set of principles and policies to propagate an independent, competitive and diverse media industry.
  • Create a national awards program to promote excellence in journalism.
  • Have the CRTC reserve more bandwidth for independent and non-profit stations.
  • Share Canada’s history by supporting more educational programming.

Two: Speaking Points

A list of "Sound Bites" that can be used by candidates

Three: A Backgrounder

Version: 20
First Cut Edit

Media and Communications
Sector: (Suggest which category this topic best fits under; e.g., Agriculture.)
Policy Statement: (In one line, describe the GPC policy statement. Should begin with “The GPC will …”)
Planks: (List in bullet form three to eight planks that can be implemented to support the policy statement. Summarize the
facts. Do not include the “motive” for the plank, or the background.)
Thrust: (Indicate which one of the three key Platform thrusts this topic supports: sustainability, community or good
Principle: (Where appropriate, provide a principle that this policy supports.)
Values: (Briefly describe how this policy addresses any of the GPC’s 10 key values.)

(Original Text Borrowed from GP of California)

All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political. economic, strategic, psychological, moral, ethical and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched or unaffected or unaltered.
Marshall McLuhan

Heavy viewers of TV violence suffer from a 'Mean World Syndrome' and that has all kinds of consequences.
George Gerbner, Dean Emeritus of the Annenberg School of Communications and pioneer in the study of media violence

Access to information has profound consequences to our democracy. Our major media outlets, public and private share a responsibility to enlighten and inform as well as entertain. Our goal must be to shape a media industry that accurately mirrors the intelligence, diversity, creativity and decency of the Canadian people.

"Results clearly show the value Canadians place on obtaining Canadian perspectives, so much so, that 7 in 10 would accept that a greater proportion of tax dollars be used to ensure that Canadian content is available to Canadians for many years to come."
Decima Research conducted the poll from 22nd to the 29th of October 2003,

Stable Funding for the CBC

Rebuilding the role of public broadcasting in Canada's media spectrum is part of the challenge. The CBC has been a major contributor to the development of our unique national culture. Providing stable base funding, independent of political interference is a must, but the CBC must also reinvent itself to maintain its relevance for future generations. A Green Party government would ban advertising on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's television service and maintain a no-advertising policy for the radio service.

CBC's Base Funding 2002 - $1,020 Million
CBC's Base Funding 2003/4 - $997 Million

CBC's core funding currently costs Canadians about 9 cents per day, well below the average for OECD nations.


Protecting writers from censorship.

People's Editors_

"'You have a bit of a problem here,' a European diplomat
was saying over lunch last week. 'Your media are not
representative of your people, your values.'
European Diplomat, quoted in the Globe and Mail, Thursday, January 23, 2003

The green party will impliment a program that will highlight where "public opinion" leaves off and editorial bias begins, and promote the highest standards of journalism.

-- provide public funding for a media watchdog to monitor all mass media outlets (serving more than 1,000,000 viewers/readers weekly)
-- allow the watchdog to be elected bi-annually by the audience of that outlet.
-- the watchdog will have a budget to purchase advertising on that outlet to suppliment quarterly public reports.
-- pay for the program with a surtax of 1% on advertising sales.

With a budget of 500,000 per office in 50 Canadian Newspapers and 80 Canadian TV Stations, the cost of the program would be 85 million, or less than three dollars per Canadian per year.

1997 - No Advertising on CBC Radio or Television

A- Under a Green Party government, the CBC would not be allowed to be subject to commercial pressures of any kind.
a- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's international radio service is irreplaceable in its role of defining, explaining and interpreting Canada and Canadians to the world.
B- A Green Party government would maintain funding for Radio Canada International and strengthen and expand the CBC's international services.

Media Literacy

Public schools should add media literacy to the curriculum.

New Technologies and Communications Regulations

The Green Party would have the CBC

1. Re-allocate unused bandwith in the UHF spectrum for digital wireless technology.

Links Facts and Resources

Somewhat Old Facts
There are 18.5 million telephone lines and 3 million cellular phones in use. There are 32.3 million radios in Canada and there are 535 AM stations and 53 FM stations. As of 1997 there was 80 television broadcast stations (with over 100 repeater stations) and 21.5 million televisions. In 1999 there was an estimated 750 Internet service providers (CASI). There are 120 daily newspapers, 108 are in English and the other 12 are in French (Pang). There are also seventy-five ethnic weekly papers published (Pang). Communication is part of the second largest service industry in Canada.

University of Alberta referrence page on media

The Average Canadian Adult spends

3h24m a day watching television
2h24m listening to the radio
36 minutes surfing the web
30 minutes reading the newspaper
18 minutes reading magazines.


Policy Detail

Supporting References

Federal Department:

One Line Policy Statement:





Stakeholders and Advocates:

Budget Implications

Public Relations