Al-Jazeera lands broadcast licence

OTTAWA — Al Jazeera’s English-language news network will be coming soon to the cable and satellite dial, after winning the approval of Canada’s broadcast regulator.

OTTAWA — Al Jazeera’s English-language news network will be coming soon to the cable and satellite dial, after winning the approval of Canada’s broadcast regulator.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved the Qatar-based network’s application to be offered by digital cable and satellite service providers.

In the past, the regulator had hesitated to allow non-Canadian channels that competed with domestic services, but said its decision was in keeping with a policy of promoting a diversity of editorial points of view.

It also did not impose the kind of surveillance of the network’s content that it did on Al Jazeera’s Arabic service in 2004.

Al Jazeera English is broadcast in 100 countries on television and via the Internet, and employs roughly 1,200 journalists, some of them Canadian. Managing director Tony Burman was former editor-in-chief at CBC News, and helped drum up support in Canada for the application.

Such figures as the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, NDP Leader Jack Layton and Conservative Senator Hugh Segal backed the bid for a licence.

Groups such as the Canadian Jewish Congress and B’nai Brith Canada did not oppose the licence, but said they would remain vigilant to the content being broadcast.

But one commissioner, Marc Patrone, provided a dissenting view on the licence application. He argued that the commission should have taken into account the record of Al Jazeera’s arabic service, which had been scrutinized for offensive content.

He expressed doubts that the two networks are wholly independent.

“It’s also a missed opportunity to send a message internationally about levels of journalistic standards and codes that we consider important enough to demand from all news broadcasters who wish to operate in this country,” wrote Patrone.

“Adding diversity is necessary, but not at any price.”

Just Posted

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

Red Deer approves 10 cannabis retail stores

Locations approved around the city

One trillion litres of sewage leaked into lakes and rivers over last five years

OTTAWA — Last Wednesday, a team of people from the Lake Ontario… Continue reading

Woman bitten at Red Deer dog park

Dog owners reminded to control their pets

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month