Stefan Klietsch grew up in the Ottawa Valley outside the town of Renfrew. He later studied Political Science at the University of Ottawa, with a Minor in Religious Studies. He ran as a candidate for Member of Parliament for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke three times from 2015 to 2021. He is currently a Master of Arts student in Political Science at the University of Carleton.
YourTV management "bizarrely" obstructing recovery of local political history, says three-time candidate
In the 2015 Federal Election, YourTV Ottawa Valley's studio recorded high-quality videos of several Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke All-Candidates' forums and aired the footage on local television and on YouTube. However, after the conclusion of that federal election, YourTV deleted the footage from the servers at its Pembroke studio and from its YouTube channel. At the same time, YouTube archives deleted material from larger YouTube channels, videos which can often be recovered at request of the channel owners. Three-time federal candidate Stefan Klietsch had contacted YourTV Ottawa Valley hoping to recover footage in which he was featured but which he could not personally access.
"YourTV Ottawa Valley has produced high-quality programming in service of the community," stated Mr. Klietsch. "So it is bizarre that the management of YourTV has shown stiffness and even tenseness in my request for access to YouTube archive footage of myself alongside past local candidates."
Upon Mr. Klietsch making his request to YourTV, Program Manager David Feeley flatly responded, "We keep an organized approach to how we administer our programming especially online and as such cannot support recovering content." When Mr. Klietsch tried to probe and clarify this line of reasoning, Mr. Feeley would not allow for a conversation. Mr. Feeley further refused to clarify whether he was prohibited by YourTV procedure from assisting. Mr. Feeley stated in a second email, "I have nothing to offer... At this time I will consider this matter closed," cc'ing fellow managers with the implication that Mr. Klietsch is unworthy of a conversation.
"What I feel to be frustrating is not that YourTV has refused assistance to my request, but rather that YourTV's managers have taken every opportunity to disrespectfully slam the door in my face when trying to clarify my request," added Mr. Klietsch. "What I feel to be strange is the desperation of YourTV management to not be understood. I offered to pay Mr. Feeley money just to have him start a respectful conversation with me, and he would not have it."
Mr. Klietsch further attempted to probe the tense posture of the YourTV managers with cheeky and light-hearted teasing. YourTV Senior Director of Programming and Community Relations Tim Caddigan abruptly responded, "This type of personal attack is unacceptable. Cogeco does not tolerate harassment, outrageous insults and abuse directed towards our employees." When Mr. Klietsch challenged Mr. Caddigan to stand by the allegation of "harassment" in a more public forum, Mr. Caddigan and his fellow managers responded with renewed silence.
"Levelling accusations of harassment and abuse without having the honesty to stand by them is one thing," said Mr. Klietsch, "but making those same accusations in the face of invitations to dialogue is suggestive of a culture of tenseness and dishonesty unworthy of the management of a professional organization. Really, I just wanted to obtain videos of sentimental value to myself and of value to local political history."
"Why is the management of YourTV too tense to have a conversation about accessing past footage that their organization already spent money to produce, footage which implicates a repeat political candidate and which could help educate the community on past local political history?"