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The Globe and Mail

Pierre Juneau, advocate for Canadian content, dead at 89

Pierre Juneau in Ottawa, 1996.

Tom Hanson / CP

A long-time friend of Pierre Trudeau who went on to become an early champion of Canadian content as head of the CRTC and CBC has died.

Pierre Juneau's long career fighting for Canadian musicians, actors and artists began when he joined the National Film Board in 1949 and moved up to become head of French content.

Trudeau was a freshly elected prime minister in 1968 when he appointed his old university friend Juneau as the first president of the newly created CRTC.

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Juneau mandated minimum standards for Canadian content on radio and television that won him few friends among broadcasters but the instant affection of Canadian performers.

Trudeau wanted Juneau in his government and he appointed him Communications minister in 1975 even though he did not have a seat in the House of Commons. Juneau was forced to leave his post within a few months after losing a by-election.

He went on to become CBC president. In 1987 he spearheaded the creation of CBC's 24-hour English language news channel, Newsworld.

Juneau was 89 when he died.

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