Western Jewish Bulletin, May 24, 1996 (9) AM 1040 faces CRTC probe Complaints of airwave racism are now under formal examination Roberta Staley, Staff Reporter Canada's broadcasting watchdog is probing complaints that Vancouver radio station CKST AM 1040 is broadcasting hate propaganda. "We're analyzing the complaint and the response," Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) senior officer Michelle Edge said. "At this point I can't give you an indication of what aspects we're going to be looking at or what stages we're going to be going through." Ms. Edge also couldn't say when the investigation by the broadcasting regulator would finish. The CRTC received formal complaints in April from Alan Dutton, executive director of the Canadian Anti-racism Education and Research Society, and Richmond's David Pearlman that CKST provided a forum March 18 for anti-semitism. The show, _Nightline B.C._ with host Charles Maclean, featured guests David Irving from England and Canadian Jewish Congress national spokesman Bernie Farber. Mr. Irving, a British author and Holocaust revisionist, was convicted in Germany of "slandering the memory of the dead" by preaching that the Auschwitz gas chambers were a hoax. He has been banned from entering Canada. In documents obtained by the _Bulletin_, Mr. Dutton formally complains to the CRTC that "Mr. Irving is a self-confessed 'moderate fascist' who has made a living by, among other things, denying the Holocaust." Mr. Pearlman formally complains that "this program and station has fomented hatred against Jews upon the basis of free speech." The station airing _Nightline B.C._, Radio One Broadcasting Corp., is suing the _Bulletin_ and Mr. Dutton for libel in relation to the paper's issues of April 5 ("Hatred on the airwaves?") and 12 ("Radio station in hot seat") which reported on the complaints. The paper also published a letter from William Nichols of Vancouver (JB March 29, "Freedom to spew hate") complaining about the program. Ms. Edge said the suit will not affect the CRTC probe. As a first step, the CRTC asked the radio station to respond in writing to the complaints put forward by Messrs. Dutton and Pearlman. Programming director Terry Bell responded: "AM 1040 rejects categorically the entire allegation contained in these complaints. They are both without merit and I am left wondering why they were made at all." The ball is now in two courts, said Ms. Edge. "If one of the complaintants was to not find the response satisfactory, it would be most critical for them to let us know about that in writing." Mr. Dutton has told this paper that he will be writing the CRTC to say the response is insufficient and does "not address the issues that we raised." In response to Mr. Dutton's original letter of complaint, CRTC acting director Marguerite Vogel states that Canada's 1986 Radio Regulations note that it is an offence to broadcast any abusive material that, when taken in context, tends or is likely to expose an individual, group or class to hatred or contempt based upon race, religion, sex, age, or disabilities. "The CRTC is of the view that any such remarks should not be broadcast in the first place, and are not capable of being balanced by comments made in another program aired by the licensee." Ms. Edge said the CRTC will review the case to see whether there has been a breach of the regulations, whether the complaint has been addressed and if further action is required. "A possibility may always exist that a licensee may not have addressed the complaint to our satisfaction," she said. The CRTC has the power to warn, lay fines or pull broadcasting licenses if it finds a station contravenes the [sic] roadcasting and telecommunications regulator's guidelines. "At this point I can't say what we're going to do. We haven't had an opportunity to read it through in great detail," said Ms. Edge. Mr. Dutton has also criticized a March 22 broadcast with guest Paul Fromm of Toronto. Mr. Frommis a founder of Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform, an advocate of severe restrictions on minority immigration. He has spoken at a neo-Nazi Heritage Front rally.
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