Sun News denies Sen. Mike Duffy lobbied CRTC on network's behalf
Conservative Senator Mike Duffy leaves following a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 27, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
OTTAWA — Sun News Network has dismissed a CTV story based on one anonymous source claiming Sen. Mike Duffy tried to lobby the CRTC to approve Sun News's application for placement on basic cable.
"Senator Duffy does not, nor has he ever, been employed as a lobbyist for Sun News/Sun Media, nor have we asked Senator Duffy act as an agent on our behalf," Sun News vice-president Kory Teneycke said in a statement.
The CRTC also denies Duffy's involvement.
"He did not intervene in the process, and we are not aware of any other contact he had," said CRTC spokeswoman Patricia Valladao. "Our decisions are based on the public file that is before us, and there's nothing else."
Teneycke added that the broadcast regulator's process is "quasi-judicial" and not political.
Political input could become part of the process if the CRTC rejected the Sun News application and the network appealed the decision to cabinet — a route Sun News executives have already ruled out.
Teneycke says the Sun News application will live or die on its merits.
"We believe we have made a very clear, compelling, and public case for Sun News," he said. "We appreciate the support we have received from tens of thousands of Canadians who have mailed letters, signed petitions and e-mailed the CRTC as a part of their public consultation process."
Some cable and satellite companies carry Sun News, but many offer it as a specialty channel, while Telus and Manitoba's MTS Allstream don't offer it at all.
The CRTC decision is expected this summer.