December 21, 1967

LIB

Jean Marchand (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Marchand:

Mr. Chairman, if I may answer the hon. member immediately, I will say to him that the legislation governing private stations contains means of control. If there are abuses, the Board of Broadcast Governors can suspend the licence of a station, and I do not think there is any danger of an invasion by American culture through channel 4 in Quebec city. If that channel, which the hon. member looks at and which is as Canadian as any other station is guilty of abuses, the Board of Broadcast Governors has the means to take action to remedy the situation.

[DOT] (4:50 p.m.)

However, I know that some Quebeckers would be interested in making profits, in having that station under their control, but I do not think that it is the responsibility of the government to decide which member of the company is going to make profits.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   IMPLEMENTATION OF CANADIAN POLICY
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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

Is it about the same thing?

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LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Choquelte:

I could perhaps point out to the hon. member that I am not convinced that when channel 4 was opened in Quebec

city, the Quebec interests were entirely willing to invest in a television station. I am not convinced that Quebec city would have had its television station especially without the financial support which did not essentially originate from Quebec. I think that we would then have been deprived of the benefits of a television station which has rendered great services to the Quebec population. I am fully endorsing what the hon. minister of Manpower and Immigration has just been saying, that from a social and cultural point of view, Quebec channel 4 is a station extremely representative of Quebec, especially as it rebroadcasts the major part of the programs of channel 10, a station controlled by Mr. De Seve, in Montreal. As the hon. member is from the area of Jonquiere, Arvida and Chicoutimi, he does not have, of course, so many opportunities of watching all the programs on channel 4, otherwise he would have noticed that the programs broadcast are typically programs of interest to Quebeckers. Consequently, I do not believe that from a social and cultural point of view, the threat is as great as the hon. minister would lead us to believe.

As for the editorials, I tend to agree with him. They are certainly written from a capitalist point of view. However, private enterprise is essentially capitalist. Whether they concern investments in Quebec or elsewhere, you can be sure that editorials written by a station with Quebec interests would probably, if not certainly, be essentially the same as those heard on channels 4 and 5.

Mr. Chairman, the comments I wanted to make are not exactly related to the objections raised earlier by the hon. member for Lapointe. I wanted to call the attention of the hon. minister (Miss LaMarsh) or her distinguished parliamentary secretary (Mr. Beehard), to paragraph (e) of clause 2, which says:

-all Canadians are entitled to broadcasting service in English and French as public funds become available;

I think the wording is so vague that we do not know exactly where it leaves us.

Mr. Chairman, I have had occasion before to make representations and, even if I repeat myself, let me insist to the minister that relay stations of the French network be set up throughout Canada, until we can have stations which will originate local programs, in the urban centers where it would be possible to establish them.

December 21, 1967

The great problem of Canadian solidarity is based precisely on the existence of a sound barrier. In some regions of Canada, French consonances seem as strange as Hebrew or Arab consonances and this gives rise to frustrations and often to deplorable acts of extremism. It would be quite interesting, especially for the younger generation of English speaking Canadians who are unusually open-minded, to recognize more and more that the French fact is valuable for Canada and helps us precisely to distinguish ourseves from Americans and to check growing Americanism.

In school, youngsters are given some notions and rudiments of French and after leaving school, they have no opportunity to improve their knowledge. That is the reason why I should like, with the same emphasis, ask the hon. minister to act promptly, in order to establish everywhere, in Canada, relay stations of the French network, which would cost very little.

The clause becomes a matter for concern where it says: "as public funds become available".

Mr. Chairman, public funds are available. Just a little inquiry would suffice to reveal the extravagances of the C.B.C. For instance, and without indulging in personalities, when a Quebec interviewer is sent to Paris, on an expense account, to interview a French personality, while the C.B.C. representative in Paris is asked to cross the ocean to come to Canada and interview a Canadian personality, I say that is the type of abuse you find in the C.B.C. and which explains that funds are not available.

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?

Rémi Paul

Mr. Prud'homme:

Would the hon. member allow me to ask him a question? Could he tell us the name of the person sent to Europe to interview a famous Frenchman when we already had one interviewer in Europe?

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LIB

Auguste Choquette

Liberal

Mr. Choquelle:

Mr. Chairman, I have already mentioned his name once. Mr. Levesque was asked to go to Paris to interview Mr. Pompidou, although one of our most brilliant radio and television interviewers was already there at that time. The hon. member for Lapointe was in Paris recently, where he met Pierre Nadeau, one of our most brilliant announcers and most dynamic commentators. He is the Paris correspondent. However, the C.B.C. paid Rene Levesque to go to Paris in order to interview Mr. Pompidou. That was a considerable and unjustified expenditure.

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting

That is why there is no money to build relay stations in order to promote the French language in Canada. The only way to solve the problem of Canadian solidarity is to make the French fact a part of the Canadian heritage. If the French fact is not a Canadian heritage, it is because in certain areas of the country, due to the weaknesses I pointed out, due to the absence of relay station which would enable the diffusion and the propagation of the French language in the country, there are areas of the country where French is just as foreign as Hebrew, Arab or Japanese. That is the major obstacle to Canadian solidarity. So, I appeal most urgently to the minister, so that relay stations may be built. It would cost less than the Laurendeau-Dun-ton commission and would also allow French to spread throughout the country without extravagant expenditure such as were noted at the C.B.C.

That is the suggestion I humbly make to the minister.

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NDP

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

New Democratic Party

Mr. Herridge:

Mr. Chairman, I will be very brief. I have been occupied with other matters and not able to listen to much of the debate this afternoon. However, regardless of the differences of opinion I think it is quite correct to say that the C.B.C. is an institution which, generally speaking, Canadians are proud of, even though it has made its mistakes and blunders.

I understand, Mr. Chairman, that some hon. members brought to the attention of the minister certain matters that should be given consideration when everything is running smoothly again. I wish to bring to the minister's attention the fact that there have been numerous complaints from the Rossland and Trail area about timing of programs. Programs are received from Calgary instead of from Vancouver, and this causes certain inconvenience. Some interesting programs are not even received at all.

There have been numerous complaints from organizations and individuals in this regard, Mr. Chairman. I know Dr. Caple from Vancouver has visited the district, but apparently there is a technical problem which has not yet been solved. I urge that the C.B.C. do everything possible in the future to make certain that in the Kootenays, particularly in west Kootenay, programs are received from Vancouver for the same length of time as they are being transmitted over the station in Vancouver.

December 21, 1967

Topic:   BROADCASTING
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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

Mr. Chairman, I think there were several hundred in support of the C.B.C.

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LIB

Harold Edwin Stafford

Liberal

Mr. Stafford:

Mr. Chairman, television and radio can only be measured by what comes out of the receiver and into our homes. It is the program which influences, gives us ideas and educates us one way or another. It is the program, also, which provides us with facts and material to help us to make up our minds on public issues and on the role the government must play. I am referring of

December 21, 1S67

course to news broadcasts, and especially to public affairs programs.

I am concerned about this bill, as we must ensure that this powerful medium of broadcasting is placed in the hands of sound men. They must be provided with sound policy guide lines.

I note that clause 2(c) of Bill C-163 reads:

(c) all persons licensed to carry on broadcasting undertakings have a responsibility for the public effects of the programs they broadcast but the right to freedom of expression, subject only to generally applicable statutes and regulations, is unquestioned;

I also note that clause 39(1), which we shall be discussing later, reads:

The corporation is established for the purpose of providing the national broadcasting service contemplated by section 2 of this act,-

And so on. Here the bill stipulates clearly that clause 2 applies not only to all licensed broadcasters but to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as well.

Here we are dealing with a matter of accountability: Who shall be held accountable for the programs which come out of the television tube or the radio receiver? The bill is quite clear-as it needs to be, and it is vital that no one misunderstands its meaning-that persons who are licensed, and the management of the C.B.C., are to be held accountable. I raise this point because of my experiences during the past two years on the broadcasting committee as well as a result of my own researches.

Those of us on the broadcasting committee last year saw a bitter war raging within the C.B.C. between the producers of "This Hour has Seven Days" and some of their immediate superiors, and the management of the corporation. A small but determined group of producers made a bare faced attempt to destroy the corporation's top management, because top management had had the temerity to suggest that, in the face of public demand and demands made in this house to end serious breaches of good taste and the flagrant slanting of programs, a slanting which was against the best interests of the country, the program be toned down.

Not content with trying to unseat those in authority, these people at public expense instituted a telephone campaign from a hotel room opposite the C.B.C. offices in Toronto, to try to stir up protests on their behalf. One may read the details in the committee's reports. Mr. LaPierre, Mr. Watson and Mr. Canadian Policy on Broadcasting Leiterman also engaged in speaking engagements and in radio and television performances to build up their campaign against their so-called tormentors in C.B.C. management. Last year, following this extraordinary performance, I wrote in Canada Month:

Only forty people worked on the staff of '7 Days' -8,500 are employed at C.B.C. Yet the producers and performers of this relatively small group were able to resist and test the strength of the entire C.B.C. management while attempting to force the Canadian government and parliament to act on its behalf. Their strength was multiplied dangerously through the astonishing power of T.V. and by a carefully manipulated campaign in the press and on Parliament Hill. Seldom have Canadians seen such an occurrence that so occupied the country's attention and so scarred the image of the massive C.B.C. operation.

Unfortunately, press, radio and television supported the producers at first, but management of C.B.C. was given its right to manage and Mr. Leiterman, Mr. Watson and Mr. LaPierre left for politics and other fields. I note that Maclean's magazine pictured Laurier LaPierre on a recent cover as Canada's first socialist prime minister. May I ask this question: Did Mr. LaPierre's left wing politics start immediately after he left the C.B.C. or were Canadians who watched his program treated to a barrage of his thinking and ideas and the special ideas that his friends had? That program was supposed to be an objective but startling look at the world today. I think you know the answer, and I shall provide some specific evidence when we deal with the clauses of the bill.

A meeting of the broadcasting committee was held on June 27, 1966. Only twice had there been a larger attendance. We passed the following paragraph 21, amended to read as follows:

The committee deplores the manner in which public opinion was injected and drawn into the Seven Days crises by the producers. To prevent such incidents from becoming public issues in the future and to contain them within the C.B.C., it is imperative that a grievance procedure be set up in all centres of production. Grievances could thus be dealt with promptly and equitably, thereby preventing the dispute from becoming a matter of public controversy.

[DOT] (5:10 p.m.)

On only two occasions in 32 previous meetings of the standing committee had there been a better attendance, and this amendment was carried. The vote indicated majority criticism of the producers.

I was most concerned that at the last and much smaller meeting of the committee prior to the presentation of the report, this paragraph was ruled out by this minority, who refused to believe there was anything wrong

December 21, 1967

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting in the producers' set up. I note that the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River got the impression from reading the committee's report that we had exonerated the producers, and that he took exception to our whitewash of the situation. May I assure him that the majority of the committee began to realize that all was not well in the C.B.C., and that the final report did not properly reflect the thinking of the majority.

We must make certain that this bill gives the new management of the C.B.C. a clear mandate to enforce a policy which is also clearly stated in the bill, and that the C.B.C. management, not the producers, are accountable and responsible for what comes out of the T.V. tube or over the air waves. This does not mean, nor should it mean, a continuing war between both sides of broadcasting, but what it does mean is that when management says "do" or "don't", producers "do" or "don't"-or leave the corporation. Of course producers and artists are sensitive people and must be worked with carefully so that their talents are brought to bear on suitable subject matter. But let me remind the producers that the listening audiences of Canada are also sensitive people, and they elect members to parliament to see that in certain respects their wishes are carried out.

Section 2 of the Broadcasting Act states in paragraph (i) that the national broadcasting service should be among other things, a balanced service of information. It is essential that members of this house and the country at large should understand how badly unbalanced a performance we have been given in certain areas of broadcasting. Let me say right away, however, that there has been a noticeable improvement since this fuss was made in parliament. But not enough. The nature of the problems Canada faces in its broadcasting system and the serious nature of these issues can only be evaluated when we understand the power of broadcasting itself.

This power of broadcasting was thus ably described by the British broadcasting committee of 1949 in a report to the British parliament:

Broadcasting is the most persuasive, and therefore one of the most powerful agents for influencing men's thoughts and action, for giving them a picture, true or false, of their fellows of the world in which they live, for appealing to their intellect, their emotions and their appetites, for filling their minds with beauty or ugliness, ideas or idleness, laughter or care, love or hate.

Some of these problems are glaringly evident. Some time ago when Tom Gould resigned from the C.B.C. over the breach of good faith in using a story taken from a closed meeting at which the former leader of the opposition spoke, Dennis Braithwaite wrote in the Globe and Mail:

Ton Gould's resignation in protest may seem a drastic step in the circumstances, but Gould has been dissatisfied with the C.B.C.'s Ottawa news set-up for some months and simply flipped over what he considered to be a final lapse of professionalism. What ails Gould anyhow? What, for that matter, ails Stan Burke and most of the other top commentators in C.B.C. television news?

I have been doing a little study on this matter and I think the writer has put his finger on the point-lack of professionalism in the journalistic area. And where does most of the trouble lie? It lies with our old friends in the public affairs field who try to usurp the news field and give Canadians twisted versions of the facts, or, as the parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister stated earlier in this debate, try to influence us through the process of distortion by omission. The news editors, too, share in this criticism. For instance, some recent examples of the antiAmerican bias of a number of broadcasters is strongly and tragically apparent.

On November 17, 1967, probably as a result of pressure from very top management in C.B.C. and the influence of statements made in this house, television carried the entire news conference of President Johnson of the United States. Let me quote some of the press comment on the president's performance. The Montreal Gazette of November 18 describes him as being "self assured and unusually forceful in his first formal White House meeting with newsmen since August 18." The Ottawa Citizen of the same date commented: "It was like the L.B.J. of old- the master performer, cool, suave, in command." The Ottawa Journal, also of November 18, had this to say:

The President was exuberant as he told the television press conference over-all progress is being made in the anti-communist war. Many observers regard his dynamic performance as a preview of his 1968 presidential election campaign.

The Globe and Mail of November 18 prints a headline across seven columns on page 1 reading: "The Real Johnson Stands up on T.V. and Draws Raves." The comment was:

It appeared that Mr. Johnson had at last discovered how to be as effectively persuasive with a mass audience as with a private gathering.

By contrast here are the key words used in describing the president's performance by

December 21, 1967

5749"

our C.B.C. Washington correspondents

immediately alter the broadcast: "At last the attacks are getting to President Johnson", and "he is running scared."

I would call this deliberate anti-

Americanism. Anti-Americanism is not a new phenomenon in C.B.C. and on Canadian television. I quote the following from an editorial which appeared in the Ottawa Journal on March 3, 1966:

The impression left by some reports-notably by some C.B.C. commentators-of the "great" U.S. debate over Viet Nam has been that President Johnson was a man beleaguered on all sides by dissenters from his policies...

What we have not always had is a proper perspective on these dissenting views. The implication was often left that these men represented widespread attitudes in the U.S. Congress (Senators Morse and Fulbright).

This week's votes-932 to 6 in the Senate and 392 to 4 in the House of Representatives-approving another $4.8 billion to finance more forces in southeast Asia should adjust the perspective.

It is significant that 41 per cent of those interviewed in a nation-wide poll approved the way in which Mr. Johnson is handling his job, a rise from 38 per cent recorded in the Gallup polls of September and October. I say this to hon. members: None of you saw this on C.B.C. from our Washington correspondent, but every time public opinion polls dropped against the president, James Minifie or his friends quickly made Canadians aware of the fact.

Even worse, the strong bias of some of the C.B.C. public affairs crew against the United States position in Viet Nam shows up time and time again. Tom Gould, who recently spent two years in Viet Nam, expressed his views at a faculty dinner speech reported in the Carleton University newspaper of November 17 as follows:

Today's prevalent anti-American feeling Is caused by television, Gould said. Cameramen in Viet Nam are only photographing the sensational, even if it is irrelevant to the war effort. He told of one instance where a group of laughing marines were filmed setting fire to so-called South Vietnamese peasants' huts. People sitting back in the States nice and comfortable in their $35,000 homes, naturally think these fellows are savages. "Sure they are laughing" says Gould, "they were alive." A couple of hours later these same marines were almost wiped out-that was a Viet Cong village that they had destroyed. The television commentator neglected to mention this point, he said. With television, film coverage is a necessity; if there is no film clip to go with a story the story just doesn't get told. Gould urged the audience not to rely solely on television for their information on Viet Nam, but to also read newspapers, magazines and books on the subject.

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting

Further on the article reads:

"The number of innocent people being killed by the Viet-Cong is far greater than the number being killed by the Americans", he said.

[DOT] (5:20 p.m.)

Later it states:

He also had criticism for the Chester Ronnings and other "self-appointed" Viet Nam experts. He explained, "I used to be intimidated by these people but when I returned from Viet Nam I realized how little they know.

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NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Brewin:

May I ask the hon. member a question? Is he associating himself with these remarks about Chester Ronning, a very distinguished Canadian diplomat?

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LIB

Harold Edwin Stafford

Liberal

Mr. Stafford:

I am simply reading certain excerpts, and there are thousands, to show the bias and imbalance of these programs. I think this will be self-evident if the hon. member will listen for a moment or two.

I have here another serious area of concern-an area of blatant propaganda. I will read the key parts of the statement made by one Gerry Sperling over C.B.C. "Viewpoint" on November 27, 1967. Let me begin with a quote:

"Our every action is a battle ary against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people's unity against the great enemy of mankind: the United States of America. Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that other men intone the funeral dirge with the staccato singing of the machine guns and new battle cries of war and victory."

This is the concluding paragraph of Ernesto Che Guevara's last published work, his message to the tri-continental congress. It is clear that Che's attitude towards revolution in Latin America has also been the attitude of the Cuban government... Cuba says-and I must say I agree-that the only way to change this situation is through violent revolution. The entire rotten social structure must be overturned and in its place states must be set up on the Cuban models.

Further on he says:

The Cubans believe, as I have said that these changes can only be brought about by violent revolution. Dedicated guerillas such as Guevarra will be the trailblazers.

And again:

The United States' puny efforts on behalf of social reform through the Alliance for Progress and its hysterical reaction to the possibility of a mildly reformist regime in Santo Domingo has convinced Cuban and other Latin American revolutionaries that no meaningful change can be brought about in Latin America through peaceful democratic means.

Cuba will support revolutionary movements in Latin America morally, materially, and by example.

5750 COMMONS

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting

Then further down it says:

Fidel Castro has made this abundantly clear in his eulogy to Che: "They are mistaken", said Fidel "when they think that his death is the end of his theses. Che's political and revolutionary thinking will be of permanent value in the Cuban revolutionary process and in the Latin American revolutionary process".

So says Fidel Castro, and I believe policy will not change because there is no alternative. Once you become committed to radical social change in Latin America, the only course of action open to you is violent revolution.

I note that a question has been raised by the hon. member for Villeneuve addressed to the hon. member for Essex East about the French Canadian students who have been secretly going to Cuba for alleged revolutionary training. We need to know if Cuba considers Quebec to be Latin-American in the same way as this C.B.C. program describes, and is a target for Cuban-style revolution- and we need to be very certain that no help for such an effort comes from the C.B.C. The C.B.C. public affairs programs also rushes to expose Canadians to all those teach-ins which end up giving strong support to anti-Americanism, but you do not see them searching out men to give the other side for balance.

Two years ago we were saturated by C.B.C. public affairs programs, with a vast documentary done by Patrick Watson and his allies on the wondrous advances being made by Red China. I have not noticed the rush of these same producers to give us another vast documentary on the tragic terrorism of the Red Guard which has engulfed China. Why have they not been interviewing the thousands of refugees who have fled the terror of that upside down world into Hong Kong, Formosa and elsewhere? Why have they not sent a camera crew up to the Northern borders of India where almost every week the Chinese army conducts raids into India? And, even more important, why have we not had from Patrick Watson and his friends a full documentary on the rape of Tibet- which still goes on-and which they conveniently left out of their China documentary? Tens of thousands of Tibetans have escaped, and do so daily-and now live next door to starvation in northern India.

Canadians need to know the full truth from the C.B.C. To add further fuel to the fire, let us examine how accurate a picture we are getting on the serious racial problem in the United States. We have been deluged with one-sided views of the American racial

DEBATES December 21, 1967

issue on the C.B.C. The much advertised one-hour presentation a few weeks ago on American police preparation for riot control was a clear endeavour to create an anti-U.S. atmosphere. Then again, a veritable orgy of hate came over our T.V. screens when on September 24th this year the program "The Way It Is" interviewed extremist negroes.

Why do we never see the other side of the story-the very extensive improvements which have been made in a number of areas in race relations across the border? This year for example, on American television on November 15 came an excellent presentation of a successful desegregation experiment at the elementary school level in Evanston, Illinois. The vast majority of schools in the United States have been integrated. But this great success story is never told to Canadians. Why have we not been told that in western Europe only 8 per cent of all its youth enter university, but 15 per cent of all United States negro youths enter university. And there are many more statistics of this kind. You have heard Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael and other extremist negro leaders interviewed over C.B.C. Why have we not heard the moderate majority leaders over C.B.C.?

And last but not least, I have a statement by Rev. Garth Hunt, dated Ottawa, December 17, 1967. Rev. Garth Hunt is a Canadian missionary, who has been in South Viet Nam for ten years and was back in Canada for five months prior to his return to South Viet Nam. He knows the country intimately, facilitated by his excellent working knowledge of the Vietnamese language. This devoted Canadian missionary has been travelling across the continent on a speaking engagement since his return, and was interviewed numerous times by commentators on T.V. and radio in different Canadian cities regarding his experience in Viet Nam. I met him in Viet Nam last summer. He has given me this statement:

The great bulk of the news and Information about Viet Nam which I have heard and seen particularly on Canadian radio and T.V. programs since returning to this country, closely approximates the propaganda emanating from North Viet Nam. It is not only misleading, but a great deal of the time is in direct contradiction with the realities I saw and experienced myself during my ten years in South Viet Nam and especially during the past year when I covered more than 10,000 miles of that country examining the situation at close hand.

Furthermore, many of the news commentators with whom I have appeared on my Canadian trip have, following the broadcast when I have

December 21, 1967

presented the facts from Viet Nam, asked this question-"Why are we not getting this other side of the story from C.B.C. news commentators and commentators"?-I can only come to this conclusion that Canadians are being misled by the news gathering and communications media in only getting one side of the story.

This act must be so clear in its mandate to the management of C.B.C. and the private stations that never again will Canadians be plagued with barefaced distortions and serious omissions over the air waves. If we are to play our part in shaping a workable world, we can only do so if we are given factual, balanced and fair presentations of news, information and viewpoints. Unbalanced presentations also lead to pressures on government that can be dangerous to the democratic system. Freedom is a precious jewel and it is our job to preserve it. This act is an important weapon in the continuing battle.

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SC

Alexander Bell Patterson

Social Credit

Mr. Patterson:

May I ask the hon. member a question? To his knowledge has this Mr. Garth Hunt been asked to appear on the C.B.C. to present the other side of the story?

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LIB

Harold Edwin Stafford

Liberal

Mr. Stafford:

I can find that out.

[DOT] (5:30 p.m.)

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PC

Louis Ralph (Bud) Sherman

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Sherman:

Mr. Chairman, I listened with a great deal of interest to the contribution which has been made in this debate thus far. I might say that although my hon. friend from Elgin and I sit at almost diametrically opposite ends of the political spectrum there is no contribution to this debate which has been made to date in which I concur more heartily or with which I agree more fully. From time to time I have had the opportunity to discuss the question of C.B.C. news and public affairs coverage with the hon. member from Elgin. This has arisen as a consequence of our mutual interest in the subject and through our good fortune in having had an opportunity to travel to the Far East last spring together.

I wish to say at this point that I do not intend to subject members of this committee to repetition or tedium with regard to many of the points he raised. I think it might suffice if I were to say at this point, and let it go at that, sir, that he has stated what I believe is a very compelling and cogent case and one which should be of extreme concern to all thinking Canadians. It is one which certainly is of great concern to me and I know to many other members of this house on both sides of the Chair.

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting

I have a good many suggestions and interpolations which I intend to inject into the examination of this legislation, as the examination exercise proceeds. When we reach the clause by clause study there are a number of suggestions I should like to make, and one or two amendments which I should like to propose. I appreciate, however, that at the moment we are deliberating in respect of clause 2 and I shall confine my remarks to the general coverage of that umbrella at this stage of the debate. In that regard may I say that I believe my colleague the hon. member for Acadia earlier today made an excellent case for control of C.B.C. programming decisions and decision making. He pointed out serious and in fact critical weaknesses in the proposed legislation. One portion which concerns me to a great extent is paragraph (d) of clause 2 which states that-

-the programming provided by the Canadian broadcasting system should be varied and comprehensive and should provide reasonable opportunity for the expression of conflicting views on matters of public controversy-

I think that this provision, sir, although philosophically one with which I can agree, is neither clinically nor mathematically strong enough, nor is it clinically or mathematically deserving of the endorsement of this committee in its present form. It pays mere lipservice to an idea. It does not go half far enough in laying down firm guide lines for control in the area of programming decision making, guide lines which I think are demonstrably necessary in C.B.C. broadcasting today as a consequence of the many controversies which have arisen in the past two years where public affairs programming, in particular of the C.B.C., is concerned. I believe the wording of that clause is simply the wording of a hollow pledge.

I should like to see a much more compelling safeguard against the one-sided coverage of controversial issues than that which is provided by the words in that paragraph. Later on in the deliberations I intend to move an amendment which contains wording which will meet my case and my point. The amendment will provide not only that programming by the Canadian broadcasting system be varied and comprehensive, and provide of course an opportunity for the expression of conflicting views on matters of public controversy, but also that responsible and balanced treatment of matters of public controversy should be guaranteed. It is not sufficient to say that we should provide only an opportunity for the expression of conflicting

December 21, 1967

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting views on matters of public controversy. That opportunity has been provided since the C.B.C. was created, but this has not made any difference in the programming of public affairs by the C.B.C. The fact that a C.B.C. station exists in a given area is sufficient proof of the provision of reasonable opportunity. All one need do is open a C.B.C. station and then it can be argued that a reasonable opportunity for the expression of these conflicting views has been provided. That is not good enough, sir. I think we have had ample demonstration of that, particularly during the last two years.

What we should like to see is a guarantee that conflicting views will be articulated so that issues and problems of public interest will be aired and examined in a balanced, fair, objective and impartial way so that we do not have just one side of a story, such as has been the case in respect of C.B.C. public affairs programming. This is one area therefore where I intend to move an amendment.

Another area which distinctly disturbs me is that covered by paragraph (h) of clause 2 which reads as follows:

Where any conflict arises between the objectives of the national broadcasting service and the interests of the private element of the Canadian broadcasting system, the objectives of the national broadcasting service must prevail:

I know that my good friend and colleague from the broadcasting industry, the hon. member for Burin-Burgeo, who has made in this house a number of eloquent contributions to the cause of broadcasting since he entered the house, agrees with me in this regard. Perhaps I should put it the other way and say that I agree with him, because I believe he has carried the torch in the area I am discussing, and in respect of the argument 1 intend to put in the next few moments. He has already carried the torch, and I endorse his position and argument in support of it. In any event, we are agreed that that specific wording contains great danger and peril where private broadcasters are concerned for the future, sir. We know what the drafters of this legislation intended by that wording. We know that philosophically they are giving expression to a principle which, on one certain superficial level, I believe would find support from the majority of Canadians.

[DOT] (5:40 p.m.)

What the drafters of this legislation are trying to say, in the event of a national emergency or in the event that the public

good or interest is at stake, is that the conflict shall be resolved in such a way that the objectives of the national broadcasting system shall take precedence over the interests of the private element of the Canadian broadcasting system. But, that is not what the paragraph says, although it may be what it means. It may be what the drafters of the legislation meant, but it is not what they say. Two days from now, two weeks from now and certainly two years from now all this debate will be forgotten, all the argument, all the exchange of views will be buried and forgotten; they will be part of ancient parliamentary history with regard to broadcasting. What will remain, like the laws of the Medes and the Persians, will be a codified, rigid, authoritative statement of policy in the sphere of broadcasting to which all parties to a conflict, including the arbiters of the conflict, will turn for the purposes of reaching a decision and coming to a conclusion.

What they will base their decision and conclusion on will be the words of the statute, not the arguments that had taken place in committee of the whole house or the broadcasting committee, not the free, moderate, temperate exchange of views between those of us on all sides of the chambers who are interested in this question. Their decision and conclusion will be based on the codified, rigid words that will be down in black and white, and will say for all time that-

-where any conflict arises between the objectives of the national broadcasting service and the interests of the private element of the Canadian broadcasting system, the objectives of the national broadcasting service must prevail.

I submit that that is unCanadian, it is undemocratic and it is definitely not in the interests of the private enterprise tradition which has played an integral part in building this country and this continent. The objectives of the national broadcasting service can be very broad indeed when it comes to interpretation. What are the objectives of the national broadcasting service? It may be that should a dispute arise in my city or in the constituency of anybody in this chamber between a private company and the national system, with regard to an available television channel or an available radio frequency, the C.B.C. will be competing for that channel, that frequency, that location and that privilege of serving the public and contributing to the broadcasting industry, and in truth also making a profit if it is possible to make one.

December 21, 1967

In the context of a situation such as that, which is certainly common in twentieth century life, the objective of the national broadcasting service is to obtain that frequency or that channel, and the broad, philosophical, visionary concept that is embodied in this wording that was placed there by the drafters of the legislation, which by itself is intrinsically of great value and merit, would no longer exist.

The litigants in a case like that would not be talking about service to the Canadian nation, the idea of Canadianism, the concept of national unity and all the other philosophical arguments which the drafters of this legislation attempt to anticipate, but would be talking about the facts of life in the marketplace, dollars and cents, the right to operate, the right to serve a certain area, the right to obtain a certain frequency, channel or station where they are denied that right. The objective of the national broadcasting service in that context and that situation would be to obtain that frequency.

On the basis of the wording of this proposed legislation the private broadcaster has no opportunity for his case to be heard, no hope whatever of a fair adjudication and dispensation of the case, and no hope whatever of obtaining that available frequency or channel because it says right here in the codified legislation, among other things, that where any conflict arises, the objectives of the national broadcasting service must prevail.

So the decision is made for all time that you must not come, as a private broadcaster, into an area of competition with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for anything that could be interpreted or construed in any way as an objective, whether it be the obtaining of an available channel or frequency or a certain kind of esoteric service to the people of Canada as part of the exercise of nation building. Just don't bother if you are a private broadcaster, because it is stated definitively and conclusively for all time that it is the C.B.C. objective that shall take precedence, and the desire of the C.B.C. for that channel or frequency shall be the one that prevails.

So I am not happy with this clause and, as I suggested a few moments ago, neither is the hon. member for Burin-Burgeo who in my opinion knows more, and has demonstrated that he knows more, about broadcasting than anybody in this chamber at the present time. He raised the issue at the time we were

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting examining these clauses in the broadcasting committee, and with my support. We got nowhere with our objection at that time; but I can assure the house that one of us will raise it again and he will have my support, and I hope the support of a great many members of this chamber. There is a serious oversight in the wording of this paragraph. The drafters of the legislation have not considered what will happen two years from now when conflict arises in the area of specific market ambitions.

So I intend, and I am joined by my colleagues in this party, to move an amendment to this paragraph when we come to it. The amendment will say, not that when such and such a conflict arises the objectives of the national broadcasting service must prevail, but that when such and such a conflict arises the general good of the viewing and listening public shall take precedence over all other considerations. I see no legitimate grounds on which anybody in this chamber could take exception to that kind of amendment.

I hesitate to anticipate the fate of the proposed amendment-I have been here long enough to know better-but I say at this juncture that if it is defeated it will disappoint me greatly. I think what the drafters were trying to do, the interests they were trying to protect, will be protected by an amendment which provides that the general good of the viewing and listening public shall take precedence. The right of the private entrepreneur will similarly be protected by eliminating the offensive wording in the legislation as it now stands, and to which I have already referred.

In the few minutes remaining to me may I also, since it is the Christmas season and many of us have paused to pay tribute to various members of the house this afternoon regardless of their political persuasion, say that I was distinctly impressed by the remarks of the hon. member for York-Humber who spoke in this debate a short time ago. I think he made a succinct and extremely vital contribution to the debate. I always listen with great interest to the hon. member and at no time was I more interested than during his contribution to this debate, because it is a subject that is close to my heart and close to my background.

[DOT] (5:50 p.m.)

I would say at this juncture that I think the position which the hon. member for

5754 COMMONS

Canadian Policy on Broadcasting York-Humber has taken with regard to cable television is absolutely and emphatically the right one, the only honest one and the only legitimate one. This is a subject on which I have expressed myself in the past. I see no legitimacy, no democracy and no morality in discriminating against Canadians because of the particular area in which they live. I say that Canadians, no matter where they live in Canada, can read American newspapers and magazines, can go to American movies and can drive American cars, but if they live out of range of the United States connected microwave, a little too far north of the border, they cannot watch American television because it will corrupt them, and it is not Canadian to do that sort of thing. I say this is hypocrisy and poppycock. We have a great northern half of the continent to populate, to cultivate and to develop, and one of the little luxuries and comforts of life nowadays is television.

Television brings us many forms of entertainment, excitement and information, and if we want to encourage people to go to the northern part of our country, to dig for the riches of our northland and to develop the vast expanse of territory which lies fallow and ignored at the present time and on which our very future in this world depends -if we want people to go into these areas and to live under conditions of relative hardship, why should we deny them the one or two simple pleasures and luxuries which can be made available to them so easily through the system of communication which exists, or could exist, in this country linking us with the communications media in the United States?

I know the hon. member for York-Humber was talking about a slightly different matter when he spoke about people living in areas served at the present time by C.A.T.V., who made their choice as to what they want to watch by paying a fee. I am going a little further than that and saying that in the northland-and one does not need to go to the far north; he can go as far as the cities of Calgary or Edmonton, or indeed any city which is out of range of the United States connected microwave-the people cannot watch and be entertained by, and have the range of choice of, the same king of television entertainment as is available to those Canadians who live in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and even my own city of Winnipeg, which is served by one United States outlet.

DEBATES December 21, 1967

This is discrimination and hypocrisy of a dangerous form. Why is it that when it is technically feasible, and when our Canadian brethren in all the major centres along the border are free to tune in to American television with great frequency and regularity, as is borne out by the ratings, a person in Calgary, Edmonton, McMurray, Churchill, Aklavik or anywhere in the north is denied the same opportunity?

So in sharing the position that the hon. member for York-Humber has taken, I go further geographically in my appeal for some kind of reasonable, fair and equitable approach by the Secretary of State and by the authorities in the C.B.C and the Canadian broadcasting system to all the other Canadians who are penalized by virtue of their place of habitation.

It has often been argued that if two Canadian channels are available in a given area, Canadians have the necessary choice and are given the necessary opportunity to express their preference. This kind of argument is semantical nonsense when examined in the light of the situation in areas served by C.A.T.V., such as have been mentioned by the hon. member for York-Humber this afternoon; because as he stated, the decision is made in very clear, articulate and unarguable fashion by the viewers in that area when they sign up for a C.A.T.V. subscription and pay their fee. That is the casting of the ballot. If the C.B.C. needed a clearer expression of choice or preference, I am sure the exercise would be purely academic because it is clearly stated, by viewers who subscribe to that service, that their preference is for variety and freedom of choice, not that they are going to watch United States entertainment all the time, but that they want to have the option and the choice in the swing of the dial.

There are a number of other areas on which I should like to comment at this stage of the debate, but I will not have the opportunity. I can see by the clock that I am down to the last minute and a half of my time in this sitting of the house, and under the orders that have been adopted for the Christmas recess I realize that I will not have an opportunity, nor will other hon. members, to speak on this subject until some time in January. At that time I will make some other suggestions and interpolations, and I intend to press for the two amendments to clause 2 that I have mentioned are being prepared by us.

December 21, 1967

Private Bills

At that time I intend also to take up the cudgels on the points which were raised earlier by the hon. member for Elgin concerning anti-American public affairs programming. I believe this is an extremely serious and critical problem which affects Canadian-Ameri-can relations, which militates against Canadi-an-American progress, and social, economic and military progress in all forms. It is one that is demeaning to us as a nation and one that has reached a crisis point and must be controlled or eliminated before Canadian-American relations are damaged beyond repair.

Mr. Chairman, may I call it six o'clock?

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   IMPLEMENTATION OF CANADIAN POLICY
Permalink
LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. It being six o'clock and in order that the house may proceed to the consideration of private members business, shall I rise, report progress, and request leave to sit again at the next sitting of the house?

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   IMPLEMENTATION OF CANADIAN POLICY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Progress reported.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   IMPLEMENTATION OF CANADIAN POLICY
Permalink
LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

It being six o'clock, the house will now proceed to the consideration of private members business as listed on today's order paper. As there are no "notices of motions (papers)" on today's order paper, the house will proceed to the consideration of private bills and public bills.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   IMPLEMENTATION OF CANADIAN POLICY
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Before this takes place, Mr. Speaker, may I interrupt to ask the house leader to resolve some of the rumours which have been going around the lobbies. Are we to continue until ten o'clock tonight or do we cease operations at 7 p.m.?

[DOT] (6:00 p.m.)

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
LIB
PC

December 21, 1967