Pierre Juneau, the Canadian politician who helped build his country’s music industry by requiring radio stations to broadcast more Canadian music, has died of heart failure at the age of 89.
Juneau was the founding chairman of the Canadian Radio-Television Commission, which was created by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1970 to regulate the country’s broadcasting laws. At the time, most Canadian radio stations were owned by American companies that focused on music popular in the American market, almost entirely ignoring songs by Canadian acts.
Juneau set requirements for a minimum amount of Canadian music broadcasting, with AM stations required to have 30 percent of the songs aired be of Canadian origin. This was a boon to artists such as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, Rush and Gordon Lightfoot, and it would later be instrumental in the success of bands like the Tragically Hip, Sloan and the Matthew Good Band, who have enjoyed great popularity in Canada while being fairly obscure in the United States.