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Dr. Laura:  Canadian Judgment Day Coming
Broadcast Standards Council decision to be released

THE battle against Dr. Laura has crept north.

Judgment Day
The outrage in the United States, heightened with the launch of on March 1st, has been receiving due attention in Canada.  Montreal radio station CJAD, which airs the Dr. Laura show, was targeted this week by Community members with e-mail requests for the station to either drop it or have Dr. Laura's approach changed.

US Community members protest outside Paramount Studios March 21st.
But Canadians have been protesting her for some time, actually.

"We've been dealing with that issue for about 6-months," stated Canadian Broadcast Standards Council Executive Director Ann Mainville-Neeson.  "Two Regional Councils were convened."

The Council, a national organization of broadcasters, sets standards for the industry in Canada.  Although membership is voluntary, most broadcasters are in.

Members of the Canadian public who disagree with the actions of a broadcaster can file a complaint with the Council.  It is forwarded to the broadcaster in question who responds to the complainant with a copy to the Council.  Should the complainant remain unsatisfied they can request a ruling.  With sufficient requests for rulings, a Regional Council may be convened.

"We've received complaints about the show, especially about the gay and lesbian [content]," explained Ms. Mainville-Neeson.  Regional Councils from Ontario and Atlantic Canada, each made up of 3 people from the general public and 3 from the broadcast industry, examined the complaints and the corresponding responses from broadcasters.

Their joint decision will be released in mid-April.  Included will be guidelines for Canadian broadcasters regarding what's acceptable where Dr. Laura and her show are concerned.

Ms. Mainville-Neeson was unable to say whether CJAD had been the target of complaints.

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Irresponsible broadcasting

"I would like to see her either cool down her rhetoric or allow other points of view," said Michael Fein of Montreal, one of the people who sent e-mails to CJAD this week.  "Otherwise I think she should be removed because she has the potential to cause violence.  She adds to an atmosphere of anger and hate towards gays with people looking for a reason.

There's a lot of fringe elements out there that don't need very much to justify their anger.
-Michael Fein
"I do not believe in censorship," he stressed, "but responsibility goes with it.  She quotes statements instead of facts, and one-sided information and never allows dissenting opinions."

Mr. Fein is disappointed in CJAD which he says has always been fairly responsible and plays a significant role in Montreal's anglophone community.

"But their attitude is short sighted in this case," he continued.  "The attitude of the program director is [towards] the tens of thousands of listeners and that the ads and sponsorship are more important than danger to the Community.  Therefore he denies [the danger].  I think that's very irresponsible."

Requests for comments by CJAD Program Director Rick Moffat were without response at time of upload.

Mr. Fein encourages members of EGALE, a Canadian national rights / lobby group, to complain to CJAD.  He's asked both John Aravosis of and the (US) National Gay Lobby to include that station in their listing of targets.

"There's a lot of fringe elements out there that don't need very much to justify their anger," he concluded.