TV Niagara to file court challenge
BY GREG FURMINGER Tribune Staff
Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 09:00
- WELLAND - Wendell Wilks is still programmed to get a Niagara television station up and running.
Welland city council is backing the businessman who claims the CRTC’s
decision handed down last month not to grant TVN Niagara a license
violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I was tremendously disappointed when I read the decision, and I read it in detail, said Ward 2 Coun. Barry Sharpe.
Tuesday night’s council meeting, politicians endorsed a resolution
supporting Wilks, who is putting an argument together that the CRTC
ruling is in violation of freedom of the press and other media.
Wilks says it would be the first such challenge.
has never been an argument on Constitutional grounds, he said in an
address to council, saying he spoke as a Niagaran who is not being
treated fairly and not as a jilted applicant.
Wilks said it’s
unfair that said anyone can start a newspaper or produce an online
newscast, and they don’t have to jump through the same hoops as someone
wanting to provide the same information via TV.
Wilks, who said
he’s been accused of being the Don Quixote of Niagara for tilting at
windmills, has plans to start what he said would be Canada’s first
entirely high-definition television station, starting with 34.5 hours a
week of local programming costing some 3.96 million.
Those figures include 19.5 hours of local news that would cost the station 2.4 million.
Wilks criticized claims of Toronto and Hamilton stations that say they are tuned into Niagara.
are a place where there’s a lot more than calamities and tragedies and
body-bag stories, he said of what he perceives to be their only
interest in the region.
He also said they worked together against his application at licence hearings in June.
We think they do not want Niagara infringing on their revenue.
1 Coun. David Alexander compared the TVN bid to the Avro Arrow plan
scrapped by John Diefenbaker’s Conservative government in the 50s.
Larger forces conspired to take that away, Alexander said, adding many still have ill feelings about that decision.
said Toronto station owners have not made efforts to open a station in
Niagara because they have maxed out their licensing abilities.
That, he suggested, leaves him and his partners alone in trying to bring a station to Niagara.
Listen to TVN's CEO Wendell Wilks on a radio interview from CHSC.
A terrific interview in MP3 format, which you can stream from our site
or download in four segments.
To download these files, please RIGHT-CLICK
on the link and
select "Save Target As
" to save the MP3 files onto your computer.