OTTAWA, Ont. – The CRTC has approved a licence for a 24-hour Sun TV news channel which critics have dubbed “Fox News North.”

The channel would be Canada’s third all-news, English-language news channel, joining CTV News Channel and CBC News Network.

It is expected to hit the airwaves in March, according to Sun TV head Luc Lavoie.

Lavoie called comparisons to Fox News “totally ridiculous” and described the channel as “populist, blue-collar, irreverent and if one wants to go that way, right wing.”

According to Lavoie, Sun TV will present hard news from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., before switching to what he called “straight talk”, an opinion and commentary format.

The CRTC gave the channel a category 2 competitive license. As a result, cable and satellite providers have a choice on whether or not to carry the network.

This differs from CTV’s and CBC’s news channels – filed under a category 1 competitive license, which makes it mandatory for providers to broadcast the networks.