Al Jazeera launches in Canada

The international news network is now available on three channels across Canada, carried by Bell TV, Rogers and Vidéotron. Al Jazeera English is also set to open a Toronto bureau this summer.

Al Jazeera English (AJE), a 24-hour global news channel, began broadcasting in Canada this morning. The network, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, also announced plans to open a Toronto bureau this June, which will be staffed by seasoned foreign correspondents covering Canadian issues for AJE’s international audience, as the channel is broadcast in more than 100 countries worldwide.

As Canadian military troops prepare to pull out of Afghanistan next year, this country’s role in the war is one of the major issues of interest to foreign nations and it’s a topic that will be covered by the channel this month, a release stated. Other stories with an international twist that will air on AJE this month include reports on the environmental consequences of Alberta’s oil sands; reaction by Canada’s aboriginal people to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, and the current government’s policy on climate change.

AJE’s regular programming will also have special coverage of Canadian stories, including Frost Over The World with David Frost, and the Riz Khan Show, during which Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan will be debated by a Canadian panel of experts.

In Canada, AJE is available to subscribers of Bell TV (channel 516), Rogers in Ontario (176) and Vidéotron illico Digital TV (173). AJE launched in 2006 but received CRTC approval just last November after the regulator received 2,600 comments supporting the launch, and about 40 opposing it.