Greater Trail residents will soon be listening to a new anchor deliver their news south of the border, from an entirely different city.
Shaw is adjusting its U.S. network feeds in the West Kootenay by Thursday – replacing five Spokane-based stations with four from Seattle and one out of Detroit.
“These were changes we were required to make by the (Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission) to meet their regulatory requirements,” explained Shaw spokesperson Katherine Emberly. “We made these adjustments in a number of different cities to match time zones with stations to have consistent High Definition and Standard Definition feeds.”
What appears to be a simple switch has one Rossland resident considering his options.
Ray Cantarutti relies on the Spokane channel for his American news and says this region is far detached from Seattle, which will now be the news feed received via Shaw.
“As much as there is Canadian nationalism in this town, the simple fact is we’re related to Spokane,” he said. “We have a historical grounding with Spokane, there is a far deeper connection.”
Cantarutti has already signed off on a letter to the CRTC and has had words with MLA Katrine Conroy.
He questions government’s hand in the regulatory requirements and wonders why consumers were not given proper notice.
“I’m disappointed from not only a citizen level but a consumer level from being left out of the loop,” he said. “I really wonder whether other people are aware of this and I don’t get the sense that they are, and I’m still wondering do my neighbours know? Does the community in general know and do they even care?”
Emberly acknowledges the frustration some viewers may have but said the decision was out of Shaw’s hands.
“Most of the programming on the U.S. networks can be found on the channel that was replaced with the exception being the U.S. news,” she said. “We really do apologize to our customers who don’t like the change but unfortunately it was beyond our control.”