Mr. Speaker, Canadians benefit from a competitive media in all markets.
Since 1961 the city of Pembroke has operated a licensed television station, first as CHOV, a CBC affiliate, later as CHRO, a CTV affiliate, and currently as A-Channel Ottawa, a Citytv member.
Each time the Pembroke TV station has been sold, local viewers have experienced declining local content and there have been severe job losses. CRTC requirements for local broadcasting have been routinely abandoned or discarded.
There has been an abdication of the responsibility of the local Pembroke station to serve the market that its licence is intended to serve. This has occurred despite conditions that have been put on the Pembroke licence renewal in the past to protect local community content and jobs.
It is our hope that future programming plans and commitments will be effective in ensuring that Pembroke's A-Channel will focus and keep its orientation on Renfrew County and the upper Ottawa Valley before any sale is finalized.
The residents of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke are calling upon the CRTC to return A-Channel to its roots in Pembroke, where it belongs.