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Metro ads running on Fox News concern Maple Ridge taxpayers, councillor

Fox ads are among many free PSAs run for Metro
Gordy Robson. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge Coun. Gordy Robson was ready for a fight, when he learned Metro Vancouver was running advertising on Fox News Channel.

Robson said he was contacted by two irate Maple Ridge residents concerned any of their tax dollars might be used to purchase advertising on the conservative cable channel, and Robson was sympathetic.

“It’s ultra-right propaganda. It’s not news,” said Robson, who also would not want to see the regional government support Fox.

He gave a notice of motion at the Jan. 12 Maple Ridge council meeting that he would bring the issue of Metro supporting the network with “our tax dollars.”

“I had calls from taxpayers who were furious their tax dollars were being misused,” he said in an interview.

He noted one of the Metro Moment ads features Maple Ridge’s own Blaney Bog.

But Robson has since learned the advertisements run for free, as public service announcements, or PSAs.

As a condition of international channels being carried by Canadian cable companies, the channels must air these PSAs. So Metro did not pay Fox, or any other U.S.-based channel to air their content.

Robson learned Metro’s PSAs are typically aired more than 500 times per month on American networks, including CNN, A&E, the NFL Network and others.

READ ALSO: COLUMN: The American sword of Damocles

Should Metro ads run on Fox News, even for free?

That’s a philosophical debate that Robson does not believe was a city council concern.

Robson said Fox News likely contributes to a viewpoint that leads to Canadian anti-mask protests, and pro-Trump demonstrations in Vancouver.

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

Neil Corbett has been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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