Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriquez has sent notice to the Senate, highlighting several changes the government would like made before Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, is granted royal assent. The changes requested include the Senate’s definition of “community element” with Rodriguez concerned that the Senate’s tweak “does not refer to broadcasting undertakings that comprise components of the broadcasting system which may cause interpretative issues in the application of the act.” He also disagreed with the Senate amendment that states “online undertakings shall implement methods such as age-verification methods to prevent children from accessing programs on the internet that are devoted to depicting, for a sexual purpose, explicit sexual activity.” The notice says that amendment seeks to legislate beyond the policy intent of the bill, among other requested changes.
The CRTC is launching a consultation on the internet services market to increase competition, create more choice and lower prices. The commission says it recognizes its current approach is not meeting its objective of encouraging more competition in the market. The consultation will re-examine the rates competitors pay large telephone and cable companies for access to their networks. While it carries out the review, the CRTC is imposing an immediate 10% reduction on some wholesale rates. The commission says it will also examine whether large telephone and cable companies should provide competitors with access to their fibre-to-the-home networks to enable faster internet speeds. The CRTC is encouraging comments until April 24 on the question of mandating access to fibre-to-the-home networks. Comments on all other issues are being accepted until June 22.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) will honour veteran journalist Lisa LaFlamme with its annual CJF Tribute. The annual award recognizes significant contributions to journalism. LaFlamme joins past recipients including André Picard, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Anna Maria Tremonti, Malcolm Gladwell and David Suzuki, among others. LaFlamme, who began her broadcasting career in 1989 at CKCO Kitchener, parted ways with CTV News last summer in a highly-publicized departure that sparked a national conversation about ageism, sexism and double standards. Since leaving CTV, she’s covered the death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth II as a special correspondent for CityNews and travelled to Kenya, Tunisia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Journalists for Human Rights to promote the work of reporters telling stories of gender-based violence. LaFlamme will be presented with the CJF Tribute at the CJF Awards on June 13 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Read more here.
Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) has announced the winners of their annual Leadership Excellence Awards, recognizing people and organizations committed to equity and diversity in Canada’s digital economy. This year’s recipients include Woman of the Year honouree, Sundeep Sandhu, Vice President of Cyber Security, Rogers Communications; Rising Star winner Alicia Jarvis, Senior Product Manager, Accessibility Portfolio, Bell; and Trailblazer Elizabeth Alves, Vice President, Enterprise Strategy and Sustainability, Cogeco. The awards will be presented at WCT’s Annual Awards Gala on May 1 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Connie Walker has received a First Amendment Award from RTDNA in the U.S., recognizing journalists who stand for the values of the First Amendment and responsible journalism. Walker is currently an investigative journalist and host of Gimlet Media podcast Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s, uncovering the systemic abuse that permeated the St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Duck Lake, SK. Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s was awarded Best Multi-Part Audio Documentary or Series at the IDA Documentary Awards and was a finalist for the Dupont-Columbia Awards. It was also named one of the best podcasts of the year by The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire and Vulture. Prior to joining Gimlet Media, Walker spent nearly two decades as a reporter and host with CBC.
The Trauma Assistance Fund for Canadian Freelancers was launched this week by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, aiming to fill a gap in resources for freelance media workers experiencing work-related mental health issues. The new fund will pay for confidential counselling for freelancers within Canada, in addition to those working abroad in conflict zones like Ukraine. Led by Dr. Anthony Feinstein, a psychiatrist specializing in the mental health of journalists and a founding director of the Forum, the fund will match successful applicants with appropriate counsellors, working in either French or English. Read more here.