The black sheep heads to the butcher’s

Am I the only one who doesn’t really understand the collective hand-wringing over the plight of TQS? Exactly how did the future of a third-rate TV network whose only success was in the realms of late-night softcore porn and phony “debates” between insufferable blowhards become a constitutional issue?

[PQ leader Pauline Marois’s] comments were sparked by Remstar Corp.’s announcement this week it was cancelling all newscasts on French-language television network TQS and will lay off about 270 journalists.

This kind of decision would not have happened if Quebec called the shots for the telecommunications sector, Marois said.

“We could dictate our own rules on the importance, for example, of preserving local news and a diversity of information and communication,” she told the national assembly in French. “These [elements] are fundamental to a people’s identity.”

Now, it’s certainly unfortunate for those who’ll be losing their jobs. And there’s also something to be said for TQS’s dogged determination to cover even the most regional news events in Quebec while every one else converged on Montreal and Quebec City.

But while the feds and the province pore over the fine print in the station’s broadcasting license from the CRTC and publicly nurture their newfound appreciation for diversity in Quebec’s news industry, the ongoing lock-out of journalists at the Journal de Québec stretches into its second year; Quebecor, which owns the JdeQ, is consolidating its stranglehold on all media in the province; and Télé-Québec, the state-owned broadcaster, struggles to recover from a series of budget cuts imposed by many of those currently in government.

So, enjoy the overdubbed version of Die Hard and the clips of American Funniest Home Videos rescued from the cutting floor while you still can. Apparently, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

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