Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Open letter to PMO appeals for stronger policy to combat journalist threats

CBC/Radio-Canada, CityNews, Global News, OMNI, Quebecor, and TVO are among the broadcasters that have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appealing for stronger policies to help combat an increase in targeted threats against racialized and female journalists. Among other things, the letter calls for a process to be established whereby media organizations can provide police with summaries of multiple incidents and patterns of abuse that might not be apparent when police rely solely on reports from individual complainants. It also asks that police forces review and improve their respective processes for making complaints of hate speech and harassment. An earlier appeal was sent to Ottawa Police interim chief Steve Bell, Toronto Police Chief James Ramer, and Justice Minister David Lametti, among others, in August calling for greater coordination and a formal complaint process.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) J-Talks series returns in person on Oct. 4 with an inside look at scandals in our national sport as investigative reporting on organized hockey in Canada reveals a toxic culture of sexual, possibly illegal, misconduct. The event, taking place at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, features TSN senior correspondent Rick Westhead, TSN Executive Producer Ken Volden and The Athletic’s Katie Strang. They’ll discuss their investigations in conversation with CTV National News journalist Judy Trinh. Part of the CJF’s J-Talks program exploring pressing journalistic issues, the fall J-Talks Live season launches Sept. 13 and 15 with online discussions about news startups. 

Innovation, Science & Industry Min. François-Philippe Champagne has announced that Canada’s telecom service providers have struck a formal agreement committing to provide support and assistance should another provider be faced with a major network outage. With some emergency services and small businesses impacted by Rogers massive July 8 network outage for more than 15 hours, Champagne had directed service providers to take immediate action to improve network reliability, setting a timeline of 60 days to enter into a formal agreement that would guarantee emergency roaming, mutual assistance, and a communications protocol for advising the public and government during major outages and other emergencies. Read more here.

Bell has announced its intention to acquire Distributel, saying that with its investment the ISP will benefit from expanded resources and access to tech required to support the next stage in its business growth. Upon the acquisition close, Distributel will continue to operate independently with existing operations to continue under the leadership of Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel. Subject to regulatory approvals, details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Astral has acquired Imagine Outdoor’s entire digital out-of-home advertising network in Alberta. The new digital screens bring Astral’s total digital inventory in Alberta to 39 faces, including 12 new screens in Calgary and Edmonton.