TVO employees, unionized under the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), have voted 100% in support of a strike mandate. The collective agreement governing journalists, producers and education workers at the provincial broadcaster expired last October. CMG says its TVO members have received below-inflation wage increases for the past 10 years with salaries below the industry standard, including three years of wage freezes, at a time when the cost of living has skyrocketed, pushing several employees out of Toronto where the broadcaster is based. The salaries of members were subject to Bill 124, which was ruled unconstitutional in November and is now being appealed by the province. The union says workers are also disheartened by a move away from permanent employment toward hiring for contract positions with no benefits. Read more here.
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is accusing Google of using bullying tactics as the digital giant confirms it’s been testing limiting Canadian users from viewing news content ahead of the potential passage of Bill C-18, the Online News Act. Google recently revealed it has been blocking fewer than four per cent of Canadian users from viewing news content in a five-week test run, encompassing online stories from both Canadian broadcasters and newspapers. Bill C-18 proposes a regime, overseen by the CRTC, to regulate digital platforms like Google and Facebook, which would enact a new bargaining framework compelling digital intermediaries displaying content links to compensate Canadian news outlets. Bill C-18 passed in the House of Commons in mid-December and is now with the Senate for further study. Read more here.
The CRTC is directing wireless service providers to engage in “regular consultations” with disabled Canadians and file annual reports about the outcome of those discussions. The reports must be filed to the regulator starting June 1 and address, among other issues, which disability communities took part in the discussions, insights gleaned, changes the provider has put in place, the number of subscribers on accessible plans, and the make-up of plans available in the market in the course of the year, including those that were withdrawn. The order is a result of a years-old exploration into barriers to affordable and accessible telecommunications services for Canadians living with disabilities. The CRTC found that while there was a “significant increase in subscribers to accessible plans in recent years,” the 14,453 subscribers were “significantly lower than could have been expected.”
Quebecor has reported its consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and full year for 2022. For the full year, Quebecor recorded adjusted EBITDA of $1.93 billion, down $38.7 million (2.0%), and revenues of $4.53 billion, down $22.5 million (0.5%) compared with 2021. The Telecommunications segment’s adjusted EBITDA increased by $37.2 million (2.0%) in 2022, while Videotron increased its revenues from mobile services and equipment ($113.6 million or 11.5%) and Internet access ($36.7 million or 3.1%) in 2022. Net income attributable to shareholders of $599.7 million ($2.55 per basic share) was up $21.3 million ($0.17 per basic share). In Q4 2022, Quebecor recorded revenues of $1.19 billion, up $1.1 million (0.1%) and adjusted EBITDA of $483.0 million, down $15.8 million (3.2%) compared with the same period in 2021.
CBC’s Q3 financial highlights include a revenue decrease of 3.5% year-over-year or $5M due to reduced TV advertising spend, primarily on the conventional TV side. That decline was partially offset by higher digital advertising revenue. Expenses increased slightly over the same quarter last year (+0.8% or $4M) due to inflationary pressures and higher programming spend, partially offset by lower pension expenses.
CBC News has announced the 2023 Joan Donaldson CBC News Scholarship recipients, offered to aspiring journalists from across the country. Over the course of 16 weeks, students get hands-on experience in all areas of multi-platform news, working across digital, radio and television. Named for the founding head of CBC Newsworld, many past scholars have gone on to employment as CBC journalists. This year’s recipients are: Aloysius Wong, Bogdan Lytvynenko, Charles Brockman, Nishat Chowdhury, Prapti Bamaniya, Rachel DeGasperis, Racy Rafique, Rianna Lim, Rukhsar Ali, Shlok Talati, Talia Kliot, Taylor Holmes, and Trishla Parekh.
The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the finalists for its 2022 awards program. Winners will be announced at the awards gala scheduled for April 15 in Vancouver, as part of the CAJ’s National Conference.
AMI is accepting applications for the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship until May 31. AMI partners with the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) to administer the program and engage students with disabilities from across the country. Two $5,000 bursaries will be awarded to two deserving students with a permanent disability; one from the English community and one French.