Yukon Housing tenants denied free CBC TV

CBC ended its analog broadcast this summer. Since then, some residents have been eligible for free programming through Shaw Communications’ local television satellite solution.

Yukon Housing Corp. has denied residents continued free access to CBC television.

CBC ended its analog broadcast this summer. Since then, some residents have been eligible for free programming through Shaw Communications’ local television satellite solution.

But to access that program, a satellite dish must be installed.

Yukon Housing will not allow tenants to install satellite dishes because of the potential damage it could cause to rooftops.

NDP MLA Kevin Barr wrote a letter to Housing Minister Scott Kent in September asking him to help find a solution for the affected residents.

Kent replied that he had asked the housing corporation to review the issue.

In the legislature on Nov. 15, Barr asked Kent if he had any response from the corporation.

“Many Yukoners care about continued access to CBC TV,” said Barr. “Cuts in services have the greatest impact on low- and fixed-income people in our communities.”

The housing corporation had not yet responded, replied Kent.

A week later, Barr had his answer.

“The Housing Corporation has accommodated tenants in the past who wanted to install a satellite dish and found that damage to the building and the cost of repairs can be considerable,” said Kent.

That’s not good enough, said Barr.

“According to Shaw, satellite dishes can be installed on balcony railings to not damage buildings,” he said. “They can be installed on roofs without damaging buildings or they can be mounted on tripods, again without damaging buildings. A solution can be found. It seems to me that the minister just isn’t interested in finding one and low-income Yukoners who lost access to over-the-air CBC TV are the ones who will suffer.”

“My responsibility to the comfort of individuals living in the Yukon Housing Corporation units and the taxpayers of the Yukon and Canada who invested in upgrading some 350 social housing units has to be top consideration in this case,” said Kent. “I do feel for those individuals who no longer have access to CBC TV based on the decision of that corporation, but again, I think my primary responsibility is to the safe condition and integrity of the housing stock that we have.”

Shaw’s free local satellite program expires Nov. 30. Potential customers can call 1-888-782-7602 for more information.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at jronson@yukon-news.com