CLASS ACTION AGAINST VIDEOTRON
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Montreal, July 13, 2015
The firm Grenier Verbauwhede is representing Independent Community Television Montreal, a non-profit organization, and André Desrochers, a consumer, in a class action against Vidéotron on behalf of all subscribers to its cable television service in Greater Montreal who have had an active contract since July 13, 2012.
Community television, and especially local expression, are considered by the Broadcasting Act and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as vital components of our broadcasting system.
Videotron customers pay a mandatory contribution of 5% on each monthly bill to finance Canadian programming, two of which are used by Vidéotron to operate its own community channel, MAtv (formerly VOX).
On February 4, 2015, the CRTC found that Videotron, though it receives large sums from its subscribers for the operation of MAtv, does not provide the local content and opportunities for involvement that it is required to provide under by law and in virtue of CRTC requirements, in the service area of Greater Montreal.
The CRTC stated in particular that:
"An analysis of the programs broadcast revealed that the vast majority of individuals identified as promoters of access are television professionals, not community members. [...]
The fact that minorities (linguistic, ethnocultural and Aboriginal) do not see themselves reflected on MAtv demonstrates, in the Commission's view, that Videotron could do more to specifically reflect the Montréal community and, in particular, its diverse make-up."
Specifically, the CRTC ruled that Vidéotron only provides approximately 2/3 of the local programming that it should provide.
The suit is brought by ICTV and André Desrochers so that Videotron customers of the service area of Greater Montreal can be compensated for community television services to which they are entitled and for which they paid, but that they did not receive.
SOURCE: GRENIER VERBAUWHEDE AVOCATS
For further information:
Maître Bruno Grenier