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CUPE 3540 has launched a ‘Don’t pull the plug’ campaign to fight newsroom cutbacks in Northern Ontario. The local, which represents seven reporters and technical staff at the Sault Ste. Marie station, is working with community groups to reverse the cuts.

CTV announced October 19 it was cutting news coverage in Northern Ontario by closing stations in Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay and Timmins at their MCTV network. The area affected represents two-thirds the land mass of Ontario.

Decision-makers at CTV in Toronto have decided the newsroom in Sudbury should cover the whole area – a territory larger than France.

This is the kind of thing that contributes to Northern alienation,” says Tori Cook, president of CUPE 3540. “It won’t matter what is going on in Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay or Timmins. There will be no one to report it.”

CUPE National President Judy Darcy called on the CRTC to intervene to stop the station closures. “CTV is abusing its corporate privilege and its promise to northern Canadians to serve their community needs and interests,” she said. “The CRTC just renewed CTV’s broadcast license because of support from northern residents. This is a slap in the face.”

Protest faxes can be sent to CTV CEO Ivan Fecan at
416-332-5178 or through ctvnorth