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CUPE has denounced CanWest’s decision to close its Sherbrooke Québec station and to eliminate local news programs in Montréal and Québec City.

As well, all broadcast and administration work will now be done in the West.

CUPE represents workers at Global TV in Québec. The local slammed CanWest for reneging on its promise to maintain a station in its own name in Québec City and to maintain local coverage.

Local president Anne Leclair said the closure was an immense loss for Québecers who want English news.

“Now instead of being able to find out what’s happening where they live, english viewers will now be getting a newscast put together in Toronto,” she said. “It shows flagrant disrespect for Global’s viewers.”

Leclair also denounced the planned layoffs of half her membership, saying the union is examining its options for fighting the CanWest decision and reducing its impact on union members.

Global got its Québec broadcast license in part because it committed to operating an english language TV station in Québec City. These moves would seem to be a complete abandonment of its obligations to the CRTC, Canada’s broacast regulator.

The Sherbrooke and Québec closures take effect immediately. Cuts to Montréal programming are scheduled for April 2008.