#CRTC and #Telecom News In Brief

CRTC-commissioned public opinion research finds that 40 per cent of Canadians surveyed by IPSOS reported having experienced sales practices by telecommunications companies in Canada that they consider to be aggressive or misleading. The commission published the results ahead of its week-long public hearing on the issue, starting Oct. 22. Canada’s largest telecommunications carriers will appear before a full commission panel, as will public advocacy groups, senior advocacy groups and other stakeholders. Canadians are invited to participate throughout the hearing via Twitter using the hashtag #CRTCforum. Tweets using the hashtag which comply with the CRTC’s Rules of Engagement and which are posted between Oct. 22 (starting at 9 a.m. EDT) and the end of hearing will be added to the public record and considered for the CRTC’s report to government on the matter. Read the full story here.

Faith Goldy

Faith Goldy has had her complaint against Bell Media thrown out by an Ontario Superior Court judge. The Toronto mayoral candidate and conservative commentator was seeking an injunction that would have compelled the broadcaster to play her 30-second ads on its CP24 television station ahead of the Oct. 22 municipal election. Judge Peter Cavanagh, who heard Monday’s emergency motion, said in his written decision Tuesday that the matter is under the “exclusive jurisdiction” of the CRTC and while the court could grant an injunction in a “truly dire emergency even where a statutory tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction” he declined to exercise that jurisdiction in this case. Goldy’s counsel, constitutional and civil rights attorney Clayton Ruby, had argued that Ontario Superior Court should hear the matter because of its urgency. In his decision, Cavanagh states that with Goldy polling at approximately six per cent according to her counsel, it’s unlikely the outcome of the application would “have any realistic impact on the outcome of the election.” Earlier in the week, Goldy revealed that Rogers Media had also refused her ads after initially agreeing to a contract. Read the full story here.

The Competition Bureau has launched public consultations to better understand what influences consumer choice when buying internet services. The bureau is asking Canadians to fill out a short online survey as part of its latest market study, undertaken in May. Ultimately, the bureau says it’s aiming to find out if internet regulations could be smarter and more effective, as well as ensure that it’s focusing on the issues around internet service that matter most to consumers. The bureau anticipates publishing the study no later than June. Read more here.

Rogers Media employees at The Shopping Channel have accepted a new four-year collective agreement that includes wage increases, upgrades, improved benefits and job security. Unifor Local 79-M represents 90 employees in broadcasting operations who will see annual wage increases retroactive to June 2018 of 1.5, 2.0, 2.0 and 2.5 per cent. Showroom clerks, studio camera operators, photographers, general operators and technical directors, who make up 50 per cent of the bargaining unit, will also earn special upgrades. The new agreement includes language that clarifies that layoff, bumping and recall goes by seniority with no management discretion. Other gains include doubling severance pay to two weeks per year of service, capped at 52 weeks, improved contracting out language, and new jurisdictional language prohibiting non-union personnel from performing union work. Regular part time and casual workers who average 20 hours weekly will be eligible for benefits, and night shift and work on day off premiums are improved. The employer has also agreed to contribute to Unifor’s paid education leave.

Monique Lafontaine

Monique Lafontaine, Ontario commissioner for the CRTC, will be the Keynote Luncheon speaker at this year’s OAB Connection ‘18 conference set for Nov. 8 at the Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel. More info on this year’s speakers lineup is available on the OAB website.

Rogers’ 2013 NHL media deal is subject of a new book by The Globe and Mail sports writer David Shoalts. Hockey Fight in Canada: The Big Media Faceoff delves into the 12-year, $5.2 billion dollar agreement which marked the first time a professional sports league had sold all of its broadcast rights to one company. Shoalts also looks at some of the company’s missteps including replacing Hockey Night In Canada host Ron Maclean with George Stroumbouloupoulous.

Anne-France Goldwater

Anne-France Goldwater has won a lawsuit against Quebec’s V network over uncompensated rebroadcast and early cancellation of her TV show L’Arbitre. The broadcaster and producer of the show have been ordered to pay Goldwater over $600,000 in damages. While a clause in Goldwater’s contract didn’t allow rebroadcast on another channel other than V, the show was re-aired on MusiMax. Goldwater demanded $1,000 in damages for each episode, plus the $432,000 that would have been received for Season 8 of L’Arbitre, which was ultimately not produced.


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