March 18, 2020 - Premier King speaks with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CEO
Premier King spoke with Catherine Tait, president and chief executive officer of CBC to express his disappointment in the corporations decision to suspend local news broadcasts across the country, including Prince Edward Island’s own CBC News: Compass program.
Premier King reiterated that at a time when the health and safety of Islanders is at a critical point and it is important to properly protect themselves from COVID-19, local news coverage needs to be in the homes of all Island households.
As a small province, Prince Edward Island news coverage will be lost on the national network. If we are going to get through this pandemic situation, we need to do so together and by leveraging all of the resources we have.
Ms. Tait explained that CBC is trying to service Canadians as best they can with stressed resources which require the need to manage resources in a sensible and responsible way. Ms. Tait explained that local reporters will be redeployed to supplement radio coverage but that the decision to pull CBC News: Compass will not be reconsidered at this time.
Premier King appreciated that CBC is facing challenging times and that difficult decisions need to be made. However, the President spoke about the special circumstances warranted for the North to keep their local broadcast and Premier King argued that Prince Edward Island should be treated the same because CBC Compass is the only local television news program.
The health and safety of Islanders is the greatest priority. The Province of Prince Edward Island is working closely with local, provincial, territorial and federal partners to minimize its health, economic and social impacts in Prince Edward Island and across the country.
Islanders with questions about COVID-19 should call PEI’s toll-free information line at 1-800-958-6400. The information line is taking messages 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and Islanders who leave messages will receive a call back within 24 hours from the Chief Public Health Office.
Islanders experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, or shortness of breath) within 14 days after international travel should call 8-1-1 to be screened and, if necessary, directed for testing.
Those requiring immediate medical attention should call 9-1-1.