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Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – CRTC to hold public consultations on non-Canadian TV services

The CRTC will hold public consultations on its regulatory approach governing non-Canadian TV services, following a review of over 7,000 submissions in response to Egale Canada’s application to remove Fox News from Canadian airwaves. In April, the 2SLGBTQI advocacy organization sent an open letter to commission chair Vicky Eatrides calling for removal of Fox News from the list of non-Canadian programming authorized for distribution in Canada, maintaining the channel’s programming is in clear violation of Canadian broadcasting standards. The commission has informed Egale Canada that after carefully considering the thousands of interventions submitted, “it has become clear that the current decades-old regulatory approach for overseeing non-Canadian television services requires a review.” Following the public consultation, the CRTC would then assess Egale’s specific application under an updated approach. Read more here.

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ACTRA ((Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) and ICA (Institute of Canadian Agencies) mediation talks have ended without a successful conclusion after two months as their 17-month long dispute over working conditions, benefits, and competitive pay for commercial production performers continues. ICA, which has been negotiating in partnership with the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), said ACTRA refused almost all proposals presented. While an eight per cent increase in fees is on the table, Marie Kelly, ACTRA’s National Executive Director & Lead Negotiator, says under terms of the ICA proposal performers would be taking a 50 to 60% pay decrease, compared to current National Commercial Agreement (NCA) rates. Read more here.

CBC/Radio-Canada President and CEO Catherine Tait called on public broadcasters around the world to fight disinformation and bolster trust in public media by getting Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) certification from Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Tait issued the call to action at the Public Broadcasters International conference, PBI Prague 2023. Launched in 2018, JTI is designed as an ISO standard to combat disinformation and promote trustworthy journalism, scrutinizing a news service’s transparency and editorial practices. Public media who have been awarded JTI certification include CBC, France Télévisions, LRT (Lithuania), RTÉ News (Ireland), and SWI (Switzerland). PBI Ottawa 2024 will be hosted by CBC/Radio-Canada in the Capital Region, Oct. 8–10, 2024.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has launched the fall 2023 edition of its mentorship program. Open to early- and mid-career CAJ members, the deadline for applications is Oct. 6. The roster of 30 mentors includes Elamin Abdelmahmoud – Cultural writer & podcaster, CBC; Falice Chin – Executive Producer, CBC Ottawa; Allya Davidson – Executive Producer, CBC Fifth Estate; Tina House – Videojournalist, APTN; Kamil Karamali – Reporter and Anchor, Global BC; Justin McElroy – Municipal Affairs Reporter, CBC Vancouver; Tara Nelson – Anchor and Executive Editor, CTV Calgary; Valérie Ouellet – Investigative Reporter, CBC News Investigative Unit; and Selena Ross – Reporter, CTV Montreal.

Bell Canada, Verizon, Vodafone and Matsuko successfully conducted the first live transatlantic collaborative meeting connecting multiple holographic people in Canada, the U.S. and the UK using 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) technology. The call was enabled by the speed of 5G combined with the quick response times of MEC, which moves the necessary computing closer to the edge of the network, ensuring a more reliable and consistent hologram by removing delays resulting from multiple hops between different locations and across the internet. Holograms of employees located in three different countries were connected from Toronto, using Bell’s 5G network; New York using Verizon’s 5G network; and from London, using Vodafone’s 5G network. They were created using MATSUKO’s real-time software and just a single camera and were then streamed using spatial computing, an immersive technology which combines virtual and augmented reality. Bell, Verizon and Vodafone came together under the auspices of industry body, the 5G Future Forum (5GFF) for the first-of-its-kind demonstration. 

Rogers Communications is investing in industry-leading wildfire detection and prevention technology. Rogers is using satellite-connected sensors, using SpaceX’s low-bandwidth Swarm service, to better predict wildfires in remote areas of British Columbia without wireless networks. Rogers is introducing Pano AI cameras on the Rogers 5G network that detect smoke up to a 20-kilometre range. The AI cameras will be located on wireless towers in Fort St. James, Smithers and Chetwynd. The company is also donating satellite phones to the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association to support first responders. The new tech builds on ongoing 5G research by Rogers, UBC and BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) to monitor key wildfire indicators with real-time data from the satellite-connected sensors and tower cameras to be shared with BCWS and UBC to enable better detection.

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