Revealed! Stephen Harper’s secret plan to take over the CRTC and launch Sun TV

Revealed! Stephen Harper’s secret plan to take over the CRTC and launch Sun TV

Now we know what he's smiling about (Image: World Economic Forum)

Lawrence Martin wrote a juicy column for the Globe today about Stephen Harper’s push for Sun TV, a conservative news station that would be akin to his own version of Fox TV. After the CRTC rejected Sun TV’s bid for a licence in July (saying there was “little to distinguish Sun TV from other all-news services”), Martin says Harper and Quebecor’s Pierre Karl Péladeau and Kory Teneycke (a former Harper spokesperson) are trying to oust the head of Canada’s entertainment bureaucracy. Here’s what we learned today:

1. CRTC chair Konrad von Fickenstein’s term is slated to end in 2012, but insiders report that Harper wants him out ASAP to replace him with someone more amenable to Sun TV.

2. Von Fickenstein either loves his job or really wants to mess with Harper. He’s been offered ambassadorships in Chile and judgeships but hasn’t given in. Is heading up the CRTC really better than having your own cook at a villa in Santiago?

3. CRTC vice-chair Michel Arpin’s term expires this month, and his request to stay longer has been denied. One down, one to go.

4. Greg Weston, one of Sun Media’s top political columnists, was promptly shuffled out by Teneycke when he took over the political coverage. You may remember Weston for breaking the G20 fake lake story.

5. The front-runner to replace either Arpin or Von Fickenstein is Luc Lavoie, Péladeau’s top crony. Appointing Lavoie might give away Harper’s intent to stack the CRTC, but Martin isn’t putting it past him.

Is Stephen Harper set to move against the CRTC? [Globe and Mail]