Council to Rogers: Bring back OMNI newscasts

Toronto council — minus Mayor John Tory — voted Thursday to urge Rogers to bring back its OMNI television newscasts.Councillor Anthony Perruzza successfully got council to vote to petition Rogers Media Inc. “to reinstate multi-language news programming at OMNI.”Last month, Rogers announced it was ending the OMNI stations’ newscasts in Italian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi.“OMNI cultural news services has long been an important and accessible source of local and international news for Toronto’s multicultural communities,” Perruzza wrote in his motion to council that was seconded by Councillor Chin Lee. “The elimination of news reporting in non-English languages negatively impacts many Torontonians who have relied on the service to stay informed on current events.”Perruzza’s motion was approved late Thursday in a 35-3 vote.Rogers said in a statement released that the move was made because of the changing media landscape and was an attempt to stay relevant.“Our programming changes reflect the changing needs of our viewers and allows OMNI Television to better serve our audiences with local and non-traditional content that is truly reflective of our communities,” the company said Thursday.Tory sidelined himself on the issue ahead of the debate in an effort to avoid potentially breaching the municipal conflict of interest rules.Late Wednesday, the mayor scrambled to declare his interest on the item after council quickly voted to add it to the meeting agenda before wrapping up for the night.“I have an involvement with the Rogers Family Trust which has nothing directly to do with this, but out of an abundance of caution it’s to do with the Rogers company so I felt it best to declare an interest in it,” Tory told council before leaving the chamber.After Tory walked out of the room, council voted to re-open the vote and re-add Perruzza’s motion to the agenda. Tory wasn’t in the chamber on Thursday when the item was voted on.For the full story please visit:

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