Intervention, observation ou réponse de l'intimé / Intervention, comment or answer by respondent

Date reçu / Date Arrived: 2012-09-21

Numéro de processus public / Public Process Number: 2012-370-2
Numéro d'intervention / Intervention Number: 1759
Demande(s) / Application(s): 2012-0516-2
Cas / Case: 171651

Demande à comparaître à l'audience publique / Request to appear at the public hearing: Non/No
Intimé / Respondent: Non/No

Commentaire / Comment
I continue to oppose the application by Bell Media to acquire Astral. So do most intervenors. The few intervenors in support of the creation of this juggernaut offer weak and self-serving arguments at best and, at root, stand to profit from the transaction.

Even more outrageous than the basic takeover proposal is Bell’s insistence on further poisoning an already rigged and gerrymandered benefits process. Of course it’s self-serving to include necessary, and in fact already-mandatory, infrastructure upgrades in the Territories as social benefits. It is even more outlandish to propose using benefits spending to set up a for-profit specialty channel when Bell would already secure a stranglehold over specialty channels were the acquisition approved. The structurally corrupt benefits process, which involves backroom dealings more reminiscent of the Mafia than a regulated industry, reached a new low in these proceedings.

Equally unseemly was the sight of would-be beneficiaries of these benefits essentially clutching and grabbing at five-dollar bills tumbling from the Charles Foster Kane–like headquarters of Bell Media. The entire benefits process needs to be cancelled in favour of an open bidding and application system overseen by disinterested third parties. I’ve proposed this before, but because I am not an executive at a former or future employer of a CRTC commissioner, the proposal was ignored.

Further, if one billionaire broadcaster after another can refuse to fund the sole credible research project into captioning and audio description over a term of nearly a decade, aided and abetted by a Commission that insists, when convenient to its corporate bedfellows and itself, that the listed recipients of benefits funding can never change once an application is filed, then Bell’s original benefits proposal can’t be altered either, with the exception of the egregious and cynical NorthwesTel component.

The CRTC, a bureaucracy, bureaucratically prides itself on refusing to “consider” submissions to proceedings from parties who did not manage to provide a submission before the first deadline. That rule has been specifically, and I suspect smugly, applied to me in the past, and it sure as hell needs to be applied to the CBC in this case. The CBC has an entire department that does nothing but deal with the CRTC and the federal government; if the CBC couldn’t get its act together to file a submission at the outset, any post-facto submission should in fact not be “considered.”

Bell should be aware that proposing to spend billions buying up a rival network while providing the shittiest captioning and audio description known to humankind is apt to result in a human-rights complaint it cannot win, of which the CRTC would be a co-respondent.

This entire process revealed the Commission, Commissioners, and broadcasters to be several degrees more craven, compromised, and structurally corrupt even than the most jaded observers could have imagined.

Copie envoyée au demandeur et à tout autre intimé si applicable / Copy sent to applicant and to any respondent if applicable: Oui/Yes

Information du client / Client information

Nom / Name: Joe Clark
Titre / Title:
Au nom de la compagnie / On behalf of company:
Adresse courriel / E-mail address:
Adresse postale / Address: Not given, Toronto, ON
Code postal / Postal code: M5W 1E6
Téléphone / Telephone:
Facsimilé / Fax: