Dear Ward 18 Residents, Organizations and Local Media:
I am sharing the text and a pdf copy of the letter that I recently sent to Rogers Media Corporation regarding the loss of OMNI multi-cultural news programs in Cantonese, Italian, Mandarin and Punjabi.
This recent loss follows the cancellation of Portuguese language programming in 2013 and it makes it ever more challenging for Toronto's multi-cultural communities to stay connected and informed with Canadian content.
Ms. Colette Watson
Vice-President, Television Operations
Rogers Media Corporation
475 Richmond Road
Ottawa, ON KRA 3Y8
June 3rd, 2015
RE: Loss of OMNI's multicultural news programs
Dear Ms. Watson,
It has recently come to my attention that Rogers is cancelling OMNI local news shows in Cantonese, Italian, Mandarin and Punjabi. This follows on the loss of Portuguese language programming in 2013. First and foremost, please allow me to share my extreme disappointment at the loss of this special language programming.
As an elected official of multi-cultural descent, I am closely connected to the multi-cultural communities. I am very familiar with the challenges these communities faces and the many wonderful ways in which they enrich Toronto's diversity.
Toronto's multi-cultural communities are large, hard-working, and community-oriented populations. They rely on the special language programming OMNI offers, in order to stay connected and informed with Canadian content.
Since arriving in Canada at the age of 15, the programming delivered by OMNI was a source of information, awareness and comfort. It was a connection to a larger community, and a life-line to the culture I cherish and brought with me to Canada. I understand firsthand the importance of this programming, which reaches many new Canadians that would otherwise have much more difficulty being engaged and informed on the issues facing their new home.
I strongly oppose the decision to cut multi-cultural news programming because I believe it closes off, and isolates important Toronto communities. It restricts access to an important source of cultural content and makes it more difficult for the multi-cultural communities to share information about events, festivals and news.
There is a well known saying in Portuguese, uma coisa boa é conhecida quando é perdida, which means "a good thing is known when it is lost." I strongly urge you to reconsider the elimination of OMNI's multi-cultural news programming, which represents a significant loss to both the affected cultural communities and the strength of Toronto's diversity.
Ward 18, Davenport
Cc: Ward 18 Organizations