We've had some hot days this summer and it promises to be an even hotter fall, at least as far as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is concerned.
The press has been rife these past weeks with allegations that the Harper government is trying to pressure the upper echelons of the broadcast regulator in various ways, notably to obtain the CRTC's accord for the creation of a "Fox-like" right wing television news channel in Canada. The CRTC rebuffed a first application from Quebecor Media for such a channel (to be known as Sun TV News) earlier this year and is now considering a second application.
This is not the first time (nor likely the last, sadly) that a Government has tried to promote a project friendly to its interests before the CRTC. But this Government is not content with mere lobbying. In a sinister manner that has become in many respects its hallmark, the Government seems to have decided to go straight to the root of the problem. This is indeed a radical bunch in power in Ottawa at the moment.
If press reports can be believed, the Government is seeking the early resignation of CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein - a Harper appointee who apparently takes the idea of independent public service seriously. Von Finckenstein has been a controversial Chair whose decisions have pleased some people some of the time and no one all of the time. He has one of the toughest and most important jobs in Canada and he tries to do it properly.