Unions urge limits on airwave ownership

Also discuss gov't investment in Canadian TV drama

OTTAWA -- Canadian labor unions on Monday urged Ottawa to limit foreign, mostly American ownership of the domestic airwaves.

"Canadian culture matters to all workers because it's our identity, who we are as a nation. Action is needed, and through the Canadian Labor Congress, we've got three million voices behind us," Arnold Amber, a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. producer and director of the Canadian Auto Workers union, told delegates to the five-day CLC convention in Toronto.

Other labor issues up for debate included a call for the federal government to increase investment in Canadian TV dramas, reduce media convergence and compel broadcasters to increase their local TV news coverage.

Canadian actor R.H. Thomson ("The Englishman's Boy," "October 1970") also called on the federal government to abandon Bill C-10, proposed legislation that would end tax credits for domestic film and TV shows deemed offensive.

"Canadian workers agree that government censorship of the film and television industry as proposed in Bill C-10 is bad news for culture, bad news for jobs, and bad news for the economy," Thomson told the convention.