Canadians deserve diversity

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When my fiance and I got engaged we knew that meant changing how we do things.

Whenever two people get together, you’ve got two sets of traditions and only about half the time to observe them in. It means giving ground and taking on what your partner likes and dislikes in concert with your own preferences.

One of my sweetheart’s long-time traditions, an annual trip to Knee Lake Resort to visit her dear friends Phil and Liz-Ann Reid and fish for trophy northerns and walleye, has certainly been easy to accept. This year’s pilgrimage was again phenomenal – great staff, great service, great fishing!

Of course, not all marital compromises are as easy to swallow, but as Canadians we should be used to it. The regional nature of our nation means what one part of the country wants isn’t always going to work somewhere else.

When you attempt to be a national media outlet, meeting this challenge will often determine your success or failure. This is why Truck News doesn’t stand alone.

Although it would be easier – to say nothing of cheaper – to simply work on one magazine and send it out across the country whether it serves the needs of 100 per cent of your readers or not.

If you’re only read in Ontario, but distributed from coast-to-coast, are you really a national magazine?

I certainly don’t think so and neither does Ted Light. That’s why we have Truck West, to offer uniquely western coverage to what is truly a distinct society within Canada.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. are very different provinces than Ontario and Quebec – anyone who understands anything about Canadians must see this to be true.

It’s also the reason we operate a western news bureau in Calgary under the leadership of my second in command, James Menzies. We don’t stop with Western Canada, mind you. The latest addition to the Truck News staff, Katy de Vries, has been added to the team with the primary role of maintaining and expanding our editorial contacts in Eastern Canada (she can be reached at 416-442-2194 by the way).

Add these to our fixture in Quebec, Carroll McCormick, and you’ve got a team able to effectively cover all of Canada’s very diverse regions.

While I was on my vacation to Manitoba, I witnessed first hand what can happen when a national wannabe ignores one region in favor of another.

TSN, which claims to be Canada’s sports network, chose to delay its broadcast of the Labor Day Classic between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in favor of a rain-delayed NASCAR race.

NASCAR has certainly grown in popularity of late, especially among Upper Canadians (as they like to call Ontarians in Atlantic Canada). And granted, the all-western match-up probably wasn’t going to draw a huge audience outside of the two provinces involved. But the network showed its true colors when it ignored the Canadian pigskin tradition.

At the very least viewers in Canada’s breadbasket could have been split away from the main network only to be rejoined by the rest of the country once the race had wrapped up. But that didn’t happen.

There’s an old saying in television broadcasting: “This is a great industry except for having to deal with advertisers and viewers.”

If TSN continues to provide one-size-fits-all programming – ignoring regional concerns along the way – it’s certainly going to see what life is like without viewers from Western Canada to say nothing of the all important advertisers.

John Curran can be reached by phone at 416-442-2091 or by email at


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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.

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