Company suspends P.E.I. House coverage in favour of East Coast Music Awards events
Eastlink has taken a rather nonchalant attitude towards the P.E.I. Legislative Assembly this week. The telecommunications company usually does live broadcasts of proceedings in the House. Many Islanders tune in, especially for Question Period.
The House resumed Wednesday but Eastlink decided its priority was to cover the East Coast Music Awards. The company is a title sponsor for the awards gala Sunday night but has devoted lavish treatment for musical performances all week.
That shouldn’t absolve Eastlink of simply taking a pass on the legislature. Its daytime schedule this week was dominated by replays of ECMA events broadcast live the night before. So it’s providing a double dose of ECMA coverage throughout the region.
The network picks up the internal House feed so it’s not a big commitment for Eastlink staff or equipment. It could still show both ECMA events and House proceedings. It’s a simple matter to split its signal to show our legislature session on P.E.I. and ECMA coverage outside the province when there is a conflict in coverage. Its decision is baffling.
Eastlink is sending a signal that our legislature is simply convenient filler when there is nothing else available. It is letting down many Island viewers, especially citizens outside Charlottetown who don’t have convenient access to the public gallery or others who have more interest in politics than East Coast music.
It’s interesting to note that the CRTC recently ruled that northern service providers must carry proceedings of the Nunavut territorial legislature across the far-flung territory. Eastlink should take note of that ruling.
Some weekend thoughts
. . . Call us crazy, but when Halifax nurses went on a wildcat walkout Wednesday and then were out on a legal strike Thursday into Friday, how did that support their claim that the major issue is about patient care and safety? A number of Islanders referred to Halifax for treatment were affected by the work disruptions. What did they think watching nurses picket outside the hospital while surgeries were cancelled and patient care was put in jeopardy? Nurses were so upset at losing some bargaining rights that they lost sight of the fact that the cure should not kill the patient.
. . . My goodness, in a surprise move, the Canadian Revenue Agency decided to host a media tour Thursday at the Summerside Tax Centre. Do we really want to see hundreds of Scrooges rubbing their hands with glee as they fleece Islanders of their hard-earned money? Sending our tax returns by mail or electronically is as close as we want to come to the CRA office. With the end of the tax-filing season fast approaching on April 30, CRA offices say they received numerous requests seeking access to the tax centres. Media attending were kept out of certain areas because of privacy issues. There have been unconfirmed reports those restricted areas contained the racks, pillories and other torture devices kept as a warning for tardy taxpayers. If this is an example of a kinder, gentler tax man, then, well……
. . . All together now, a jig and a reel for P.E.I. Sen. Elizabeth Hubley who this week introduced a private member’s bill for an Act Respecting National Fiddling Day. This would designate the third Saturday in May as “National Fiddling Day.” A Saturday was chosen to allow and encourage people to enjoy the day to its fullest. It was fitting the motion was made with East Coast Music Awards activities underway this week in Charlottetown. Sen. Hubley, a fiddler herself, believes a National Fiddling Day in Canada is important, as the art of fiddle playing has a significant role in the cultural and social history of Canada.