In mid-March Drs. Robert Walley, and Robert Quigley, both members of the Board of Directors for the Right to Life Association Newfoundland, filed a complaint to CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) against the CBC, for what they claim to be censorship. The association accused the CBC of “consistent, blatant partiality” and denial of access to its facilities.

The Right to Life Association feels that it has been deliberately barred from expressing its point of view. In a formal complaint, the association referred to the “promise of performance” statement included in the CBC broadcasting license which under the subhead “Balance” states, “CBC programmes dealing with matters of public interest on which differing views are held must supplement the exposition of one point of view with an equitable treatment of other relevant points of view.” The complaint cites three examples of what it termed “unfairness and lack o balance” on the part of the CBC and its officials.

Excerpts from the complaint letter read as follows,

  • “Dr. Marion Powell, who authored a discussion paper for the government of Ontario on free-standing abortion clinics, was interviewed on the Morning Show on CBC Radio, St. John’s. Our organization which as demonstrated very substantial support in the Newfoundland community, was point blank refused the opportunity to respond.”
  • “The CBC, Radio and Television, have recently given extensive publicity to the problem of AIDS and the alleged high degree of protection to be afforded by condoms, a questionable proposition at best. Our effort to gain access to the public to provide information as to the serious moral and health implications of promoting condoms as a preventive, by expert professional spokespersons, has been absolutely barred and blocked the CBC and its officials at the highest level of the corporation in the region.
  • “Our organization has arranged for the visit to Newfoundland, as guest speaker of our annual general meting, of a foremost spokesperson for public morality in great Britain, Valerie riches, a professional social worker and nationally-known and regarded authority and member of The Responsible Society . . . The CBC has declared that it will have nothing to do with covering this important event, interviewing Mrs. Riches etc.”

The CBC locally has denied these accusations, but Right to Life Newfoundland is “sticking to their guns,” according to the latest coverage in the Evening Telegram, a local St. John’s newspaper.

The only response to date from the CRTC is a note acknowledging receipt of the Association’s complaint.