The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) says all CBC/Radio-Canada employees will receive sick leave during the COVID-19 pandemic. CMG says under pressure from the union, CBC/Radio-Canada has agreed to extend paid sick-leave to all temporary employees for scheduled work during the pandemic. CMG has also asked the broadcaster to extend the Apr. 1 deadline to submit annual leave requests. The union says there is too much uncertainty to force members to make leave plans at this time.
Bell, Rogers, and the majority of telecommunications providers are making accommodation for customers as many transition to working from home. For wireless and home phone consumers, and small businesses, Rogers and its brands, Fido and chatr, are waiving long distance voice calling fees across Canada from now until Apr. 30. Rogers and Fido have also temporarily removed data usage caps for customers on limited home internet plans from now until May 31. Bell is also waiving extra usage fees for its residential internet customers. Videotron is suspending data limits (overage charges) on all residential and business internet plans for existing customers until Mar. 31. Cogeco Connexion says it will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic. Shaw Communications, meantime, is providing open access to Shaw Go WiFi hotspots across Western Canada until further notice.
The Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) board of directors has made the call to cancel its June conference at Fairmont Banff Springs. Rather than postpone the event to later in 2020, WAB will focus its efforts on its 2021 Conference, set to take place June 9-10, 2021.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is cancelling its upcoming national conference, scheduled to happen May 29-31 in Montreal, and changing the format of its in-person awards gala. The CAJ awards jury continues to review and deliberate this year’s nominations with a short list to be released as planned on Apr. 6 and the winners announced online May 30. The CAJ board is currently exploring options for online training and networking opportunities to fill the gap left by the cancellation of this year’s conference. CAJ says it also plans to release a set of best-practices for journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be made available soon.
The CRTC has suspended all deadlines between now and Apr. 10 for open proceedings, including the Broadband Fund and Wireless Review. The commission says deadlines will be announced in the coming days.
The CRTC is set to host delegates from around the world in Ottawa, Oct. 5-8, during Communications Policy & Regulation Week, organized by the International Institute of Communications (IIC). The week will consist of a number of events, including its International Regulators’ Forum, hosted by the CRTC along with ISED’s Spectrum and Telecommunications Sector, and its flagship annual conference. The international gathering brings together senior decision-makers from the telecommunications, media and technology sectors with an aim to encourage open dialogue to shape the global policy agenda. The event was last held in Canada in 2009.
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