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Federal court sides with MTS over TV services for visually impaired

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Ross Eadie

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Winnipeg Coun. Ross Eadie’s bid to force MTS to offer better television services to visually impaired customers has been dealt a setback.

The complaint dates back seven years, when Eadie filed a federal human rights complaint about the lack of services, equipment and software offered by MTS for the blind.

Among the complaints still outstanding is that the set-top box does not provide audible cues allowing a blind person to use the menu for interactive programs. The human rights commission agreed to send the matter to its tribunal for a full hearing, but MTS, backed by several other telecommunications companies, appealed the decision to federal court.

In a decision made public Wednesday, a federal court judge sided with MTS and sent the matter back to the human rights commission for reconsideration.

The telecom firms argued that the CRTC – the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission – is the better avenue for Eadie’s complaint, but the judge was mum on that matter.

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