The president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation unleashed a scathing criticism of Sun Media in front of a Parliamentary committee on Tuesday, accusing the newspaper chain and TV network of misleading its audience with reports on sexual harrassment at the CBC.

Hubert Lacroix, CBC president and CEO, implied to the Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women that Sun News had failed to uphold journalistic standards when it reported that the CBC is a “hotbed of sexual harassment.”

Lacroix described as “outrageous” allegations made against CBC personality David Suzuki that Suzuki was “procuring girls to be his escorts.”

Contrary to Sun Media’s reporting, which said that there 1,454 documents related to sexual harassment in the CBC since the start of 2010, Lacroix said there had been three sexual harassment complaints, and all of them had been addressed.

He noted that many passages in the documents that Sun Media obtained under access to information laws (which the privately-held Sun Media is not subject to) contained many blacked out passages, as required under privacy laws.

But “Quebecor’s Brian Lilley used that as an excuse for speculation and innuendo,” Lacroix told Parliament. “He linked CBC to sexual harassment at the RCMP and … to the recent revelations of sexual abuse at the BBC. … He insists that he’s just doing his job, holding CBC to account.

“If that were true, you would think he might have asked us a single question about this before he launched his attack.”

Lacroix went on to criticize the Quebecor-owned Sun Media for what he described as an “outrageous” claim that David Suzuki has clauses in his contracts demanding that he be surrounded by attractive young women wherever he goes.

The claims were based on an access to information request for documents surrounding a visit by Suzuki to John Abbott College.

Lacroix quoted from a statement from John Abbott College regarding the report: “There was no rider in Dr. Suzuki’s contract specifying the gender or dress code of those assisting him throughout the day. The negative comments and innuendos made are demeaning to those students and to the college.”

The statement went on to describe the Sun News report as “falsification of information.”

Lacroix’s comments come as the Sun News TV network petitions Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC, for a “mandatory carriage” licence that would require satellite and cable broadcasters to broadcast the network as part of its basic cable service.

Sun says the must-carry licence is necessary for it to survive; the network lost $17 million in 2012 and projects larger losses in the years to come.

Opponents of the application accuse Sun News of irresponsible journalistic practices, and say its opinionated, right-wing take on the news is out of step with Canadian values.

Activist group Avaaz.org says 25,000 used its network to send comments to the CRTC opposing the Sun News licence.

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  • A Brief History Of Sun News

    Pictured: Sun News host Ezra Levant

  • Under pressure?

    Controversy surrounding the Sun News Network began even before the network went on the air in April, 2011. The Globe and Mail reported in the summer of 2010 that <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/lawrence-martin/is-stephen-harper-set-to-move-against-the-crtc/article1677632/">CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein was under pressure from the Prime Minister's Office to resign</a>, in order to pave a smooth path for Sun News to be granted a licence by the regulator. Finckenstein denied the allegations.

  • 'Stop Fox News North'

    With concerns swirling about the possibility of a PMO-driven political agenda at Sun News, the activist site Avaaz launched "<a href="http://www.avaaz.org/en/no_fox_news_canada">Stop Fox News North</a>," a campaign to pressure the CRTC to deny a licence to the news network. The network responded by citing Avaaz's U.S. roots and noting that left-wing billionaire George Soros has contributed to the group, in an apparent effort to discredit the petition as a "U.S. import."

  • Soros Threatens To Sue

    Future Sun News personality Ezra Levant went further than most in his criticism of Avaaz and its links to George Soros (pictured above). Levant suggested in a column that Soros, who is Jewish, aided the Germans in the Holocaust as a teenager. After receiving a letter from Soros' lawyers threatening to sue, <a href="http://www.torontosun.com/comment/2010/09/17/15388356.html">the Sun newspapers ran a retraction</a>.

  • Art attack!

    Sun News was on the air for only about six weeks when its first major controversy erupted. The CRTC received a record 6,676 complaints from viewers after host Krista Erickson aggressively challenged dancer Margie Gillis over the issue of whether artists should receive taxpayers' money in the form of grants. The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council eventually ruled <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/03/krista-erickson-margie-hills-sun-news_n_1253421.html">Erickson was within her rights to express her opinions during the interview</a>.

  • Sun News vs. CBC

    Sun News has made the CBC's public funding a signature issue, repeatedly attacking the network for taking $1 billion per year in taxpayers' money while competing against private-sector broadcasters. But the CBC is fighting back. It put out a press release noting that Quebecor, Sun's parent company, enjoyed $500 million in subsidies over five years, and argued that -- unlike the CBC -- it is not publicly accountable to taxpayers.

  • 'Chinga tu madre'

    Ezra Levant got himself in trouble again in December, 2011, when he responded to Chiquita Bananas' declaration it wanted to avoid oil from the oil sands. "Chinga tu madre," Levant said to Chiquita -- a phrase that translates as "f--k your mother." The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/13/ezra-levants-chiquita-chinga-tu-madre_n_1594452.html">declared Levant's outburst a violation of ethics standards</a>.

  • Fake Citizenship Ceremony

    Canadian journalism reached an embarrassing nadir in the spring of 2012 when it emerged that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tag/sun-news-fake-citizenship-ceremony">a citizenship reaffirmation ceremony broadcast on Sun News had been partially staged</a>. Six federal bureaucrats had posed as newly-sworn Canadians during the event that had been reportedly requested by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Kenney's office apologized to Sun News. Government officials later alleged Sun News was aware of the bureaucrats posing as new Canadians.

  • In your home, like it or not?

    Sun News <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/13/sun-news-mandatory-carriage-crtc_n_2122391.html">applied for a "mandatory carriage" licence in the fall of 2012</a> that would require cable and satellite operators to carry the network as part of their basic cable package. Though neither CBC News Network nor CTV News Channel currently enjoy mandatory carriage, they did when they first started out, as Sun News has pointed out.

  • Millions in losses

    Sun News reported in January, 2013, that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/21/sun-news-loss-crtc-basic-cable_n_2522396.html?utm_hp_ref=canada">it lost $17 million in 2012</a>, due to weak revenue because the channel is only carried in 40 per cent of Canadian homes. Parent company Quebecor is saying the network will continue to lose money unless its request to the CRTC for mandatory carriage on basic cable is granted. Pictured: Quebecor CEO Pierre-Karl Peladeau

  • 'The Jew vs. the Gypsy'

    Sun News personality and well-known right-wing pundit Ezra Levant issued a formal, on-air apology after a September, 2012, segment in which he declared that the Roma were not a race, and were rather "a shiftless group of hobos" who "rob people blind" and whose "chief economy is theft and begging." The Toronto police reportedly even launched a hate-crimes investigation into the segment, at the request of a local Roma group.

  • Denied Mandatory Carriage

    In August 2013, the CRTC, Canada's telecom regulator, rejected Sun News' application for mandatory carriage. The network had asked the CRTC to make them a mandatory part of all basic cable services, arguing it would not survive financially without it. Though the CRTC rejected the Sun News application, it also launched a review of the rules surrounding cable news networks. Among the possible outcomes are a realignment of channels so all news channels are grouped together on the dial, and the possibility of a "must-carry" order for Sun News, which would mean that all TV service providers would have to at least offer the network. Pictured: CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais