The CBC decision to cancel AM radio broadcasting services throughout Yukon is a perplexing one. In fact, it could very well lead to situations relating to injury or death for some, particularly over the long winter months.
A substantial number of our citizens reside beyond the limited reception range of existing FM transmitters. These people will no longer have access to this extremely important, sometimes life saving, public information.
CBC must be compelled to continue operation of its Yukon AM broadcasting services, at least until an acceptable, affordable alternative can be implemented. The public must now become involved!
Most mariners and aviators would quickly agree that weather forecasting has always been viewed as an essential service. Without it, there would only be chaos over both land and sea. Here in Yukon this information permits our families and individuals to pre-plan all daily or future activities with safety and security in mind. This enables everyone to minimize the possibility of discomfort or injury arising from rapidly changing regional climate conditions.
Residents and travellers have easy access to our system of roads and highways. However, services and facilities are often long distances apart, with some remaining closed over winter. To date, CBC has been providing much-needed weather information and advisories by means of their several scattered AM transmitters. This is an essential service that will soon be discontinued and will no longer be available to Yukon residents.
This raises extremely important points to consider, particularly where lives could be at stake. I do strongly recommend that affected residents consider making their concerns known by letter, phone, email, or in person to CBC Yukon at Whitehorse. It would also be helpful if they could be made known to the national broadcasting regulators, namely the Canadian Radio-televisionTelecommunications Commission, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2.
The CRTC commissioner for British Columbia and Yukon is Stephen B. Simpson. His phone number is listed as (604) 666-2914, or his assistant can be reached at (604) 666-8661. Obviously, this is an extremely serious problem worthy of everyone’s early attention.
Donald E. Taylor