Mr. Mohamed, Mr. Dunlop, and Ms. Ziniak
"The ethnic population in Toronto/Hamilton is growing
rapidly, at about twice the rate of the population as a whole. By 2011, over
68% of the people living in the Toronto area will be of ethnic origin,"
says Madeline Ziniak, Vice President and Station Manager of Multilingual
Television, Rogers Television.
We, members of the Portuguese
community of Ontario and also members of the 68% ethnic population living in
the Greater Toronto area are asking that OMNI/Rogers reconsider bringing back
the Portuguese news and programming to its station.
After almost 30 years of offering Portuguese programming to
the Portuguese community of Ontario, OMNI whose parent company is Rogers has
opted to cancel the news in Portuguese along with Canada Contacto.
Our community was there for CFMT, Channel 47, and now OMNI
through all its name changes, licensing proposals and always ready to write
letters to promote and pledge support to this TV station, yet without any
notice to the community or regards to the Portuguese business the doors were
closed like we never existed.
Omni boasts itself as a "a leading provider of
ethnocultural television programming, OMNI.1 broadcasts 60% of its programming
in no less than 15 languages to communities encompassing more than 18 cultures.
Its ongoing commitment to reflecting the evolving needs of its diverse audience
is evidenced by a regular production schedule that sees more than 22 hours of
original multilingual programming produced each week - including a one hour
Italian language newscast on weeknights, and a Portuguese language newscast
that airs each weekday" yet it has shut the doors on one of the largest
ethnocultural communities in Southwestern Ontario. How inclusive and diverse
has Omni become in the last months? When deliberately removing our community
from its list, are we no longer diverse enough? Census Canada informs us that
60% of Torontonians’ mother tongue is neither English/French, yet OMNI after
almost 30 years of partnership with our community appears to demonstrate with
the cancellation of Portuguese programming that we no longer meet the criteria
of an “ethnocultural “community.
We, now daughters and sons of immigrants and
business of the community that once was called upon to support
your application for licensing agreements, are now asking that you reconsider your
decision and include us in your multicultural programming and also acknowledge
the impact on the many of elders that are no longer being offered free over-the-air
multilingual/multicultural television on
a regular basis.
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