CRTC must look into the farce of letters of support to contenders for a radio station

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A month ago, I wrote that “with the CRTC this week issuing a notice of hearing for January 27 in Surrey at 9 a.m. at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel at 15269 104th Avenue, some competing parties for a licence for a radio station to serve Vancouver are even busier trying to find dirt on each other.
“This includes digging up court cases and judgments from the past as well as any cases coming up; finding flaws and incorrect claims in the applications; and pointing out problems of those who are already operating radio stations.”
Well, one of the interesting things that has emerged in this process is the letters of support that have been given to the various contenders. Some politicians have given such letters to as many as five to 10 contenders in an obvious bid to keep everyone happy. Even a senior RCMP officer from Surrey has given a letter of support to two contenders.
It was amusing to learn that when different contenders, who thought that they had been given exclusive letters of support, learned that their competitors had also received similar letters, they were furious!
As some members of the community noted, South Asians are a well-knit community and they would willingly sign forms to oblige anyone – just to keep everyone happy.
That is why some years ago we had that ‘scandal’ where so many South Asians found their names on the membership lists of both the BC NDP and the BC Liberals! Of course, some of them claimed that they had signed no such forms and that others had forged their signatures.
Another thing that has angered many people is the role of some ministers who have decided to support some contenders. People point out that though politicians can support their constituents as MPs or MLAs, they cannot do so as ministers. So where should they draw the line?
This issue as well as the farce of the same people issuing letters of support to more than one contender is something that the CRTC should take a serious look at.

-RATTAN MALL