CRTC, Telecom & Media News – CRTC hosts Facebook consultation on CBC/Radio-Canada

The CRTC wants to know if you see yourself reflected in CBC/Radio-Canada’s programming. It’s asking Canadians for their opinions as part of the public broadcaster’s licence renewal process. The commission is hosting a Facebook consultation until Dec. 9 where the public can leave comments, or submit them online, by mail or fax until Feb. 13. The public will also have an opportunity to share opinions on how content relates to the following themes: reflection, production, accessibility and discoverability, and contribution to democratic life in Canada. CBC/Radio-Canada’s current radio and television licences are set to expire on Aug. 31, 2020. As part of its review, the CRTC will hold a public hearing in the National Capital Region, starting May 25, 2020.

The Competition Bureau says Canadians could save substantially on their wireless bills if Bell, Rogers and Telus were faced with more competition from regional carriers like Freedom Mobile and Videotron. The bureau makes the assertion as part of a submission to the CRTC’s review of mobile wireless services, finding that the big three telcos are able to charge higher prices in most of Canada, where they possess market power. In regions with wireless disruptors however, prices are 35 to 40% lower. The Bureau recommends that the CRTC pursue a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) policy where Bell, Rogers and Telus would have to sell temporary access to their wireless networks to regional carriers who intend to invest and further expand their own networks. It says this would spur additional price competition in the short term, while avoiding the risk of declining network quality in the long term.

The Federal Court of Appeal says it will hear challenges to the CRTC’s August decision lowering the wholesale rates that govern how much large telecom carriers can charge smaller competitors to access their broadband networks. Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Cogeco, and Eastlink launched a group appeal, while BCE filed on its own. The ruling means a stay on the new rates will be extended until a final ruling. Retroactive to 2016, the new rates are aimed at increasing competition and consumer choice, while lowering cost. The big telcos argue the measure will limit their ability to invest in their networks, with the retroactive rate decrease estimated to cost BCE $100 million, alone.

TekSaavy is appealing a Federal Court order requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to IPTV provider GoldTV, which offers unauthorized access to 4,000 channels, including Citytv and CTV. TekSaavy argues that the unprecedented nationwide site blocking order violates the principle of net neutrality and could lead to thousands more such rulings, which would put significant strain on ISPs. The order was successfully sought by Bell Media, Rogers Media and Groupe TVA.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) says CTV Toronto violated several codes when it aired cell phone footage of a stabbing without warning to viewers. The CBSC decision comes following viewer complaints about a report broadcast Sept. 12, 2019 on CTV News at 6.  The story in question involved a Kingston, ON man, who had stabbed several victims earlier in the day, one fatally. The perpetrator also died after stabbing himself in the neck. Filmed from a distance across the street, the footage aired did not clearly show the faces of two individuals involved in a struggle, however two people were seen falling to the ground and one clearly making two stabbing motions into the side of the other. The CBSC received five complaints about the broadcast, with a single viewer upset the footage was aired without a warning. The CBSC’s English-Language Panel concluded that the footage, as presented, was disturbing and jarring, and that CTV failed to provide proper context and set-up to the video, including a warning to viewers prior to airing the clip. Read more here.

Women’s Executive Network (WXN) has announced its annual list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women. The Top 100 Award Winners include filmmaker and actress Fabienne Colas, CEO of Fondation Fabienne Colas, Zaza Production & 7 Festivals WorldwideAnne Fitzgerald, Chief Legal Officer, Corp. Secretary and EVP Real Estate, Cineplex; Melissa Grelo, co-host of CTV’s The Social; and Jennifer Twiner McCarron, CEO of Thunderbird Entertainment Group and Atomic Cartoons. Ten women were also inducted into the WXN Hall of Fame, including designer and HGTV host Sarah Richardson.

Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) has posthumously awarded its 2019 JHR Award in Extraordinary Achievement in Human Rights Reporting to Hodan Nalayeh. Nalayeh, a Somali-Canadian journalist, was among 26 people killed in a July 12 terrorist attack in Kismayo, Somalia. The 43-year-old was the founder of YouTube channel Integration TV, aimed at “building a community of inspiring & uplifting stories for Somalis worldwide.” JHR also handed out its inaugural Outstanding Work by an Indigenous Youth Reporter award to the Mushkego Lowland Advocates. The group of eight high school students and recent graduates from Fort Severn First Nation in Ontario, came together this past summer to learn how to write and produce multimedia for their community, under the mentorship of JHR community journalism trainer Karli Zschogner. The winners were recognized Monday night at the annual JHR Night for Rights gala in Toronto. Read more here.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has announced the recipients of its 2019 AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to students with a disability, one in English and one in French. This year’s recipients are Victoria Lacey of Toronto, ON, who is in year five of a Masters program in Creative Industries at Ryerson University, and Léonie Côté from Quebec City, who is completing graduate studies in Clinical Kinesiology at Laval University. AMI partners with the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) to administer the program. Info on 2020 AMI Scholarships will be posted in February.

Danielle Graham

ETALK anchor Danielle Graham had been awarded a National Leadership Award from Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Guelph, ON. Graham, an Our Lady of Lourdes alum, was selected for her contributions to the Canadian media landscape and her championing of young people in media. Graham joins past recipients Gord Downie, Penny Oleksiak, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among others.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is proud to announce the inaugural Climate Change and Environmental Reporting Award. The award recognizes the work of professional journalists in Canada who have contributed to improving the public understanding and awareness of the evolving climate crisis and impact. It’s open to submissions covering the spectrum of environmental reporting, including ecology, habitat, endangered species, conservation, climate change, extreme weather events, and biodiversity. Nominations for the Climate award will open the week of Dec. 2 with the 2019 CAJ Awards program.

espnW: Women + Sports Summit will be held in Vancouver for the first time, June 8-10, 2020. Hosted at The Westin Bayshore, the event will feature leading ESPN and TSN voices, and an international roster of speakers, with sports and wellness activities woven into the experience. It will also feature a proprietary consumer-based study from global marketing consultancy IMI International on the state of women’s participation in sport and the business landscape of women’s sport in North America and key international markets.


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