Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Throne speech pledges to ‘address corporate tax avoidance by digital giants’

Governor General Julie Payette arrives outside the Senate Chamber.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) says it remains optimistic revisions to the Broadcasting Act will be introduced during the upcoming session of parliament, following Wednesday’s Speech from the Throne. Included in the Liberal government’s outline of its upcoming priorities was a commitment to “address corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.” “Web giants are taking Canadian’s money while imposing their own priorities,” read Governor General Julie Payette. “Things must change and will change. The Government will act to ensure their revenue is shared more fairly with our creators and media, and will also require them to contribute to the creation, production, and distribution of our stories, on screen, in lyrics, in music, and in writing.” Earlier in the week, the CMPA was among a collective of film and television organizations that issued a joint statement imploring the government to keep a promise to overhaul the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright Acts. The association says it sees the federal reaffirmation to require foreign online companies to contribute to the creation of Canadian content “as an encouraging indication that revisions to the Broadcasting Act will be introduced in the upcoming legislative session.” Read more here.

The CRTC has issued a call for comments on the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) application requesting regulatory relief for Canadian broadcasters amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in July, the CAB filed an application with the commission requesting immediate regulatory relief to address significant financial difficulties being experienced by most, if not all, Canadian broadcasters and the likelihood private broadcasters would fall short of certain conditions of licence. The deadline for interventions is Oct. 19. Read more here.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) says it is now in a position to start administering $22.5 million in emergency funding from Canadian Heritage directed to private independent radio, local television and discretionary services. Guidelines suggest an allocation of a maximum $3M for eligible independent television services; $7.25M for discretionary television services; and $11M for eligible private radio services. Payments will be based on a company’s relative proportion of news and information expenditures within each of the three independent broadcaster categories. The minimum payment for eligible independent broadcasters is $5,000.

Rogers Communications has announced the expansion of its 5G network to Ajax, Burlington, Grimsby, Oakville and Whitby, ON. The network now reaches 25 cities and towns in Ontario and more than 60 across Canada, building on its January rollout in downtown Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

TELUS has announced its 5G network expansion into more than a dozen additional communities, including Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, St. Albert, Sherwood Park and neighbouring areas in Strathcona County in Alberta; Port Moody, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, and Victoria in B.C.; and Windsor, Tecumseh and La Salle in Ontario. The telco’s goal is to offer 5G connectivity to nearly 50 communities by the end of 2020.

Cogeco Connexion has announced a $3.2 million commitment to offer more Quebecers its high-speed internet services. As part of Cogeco’s four-year plan to invest more than $1 billion in the expansion of its Canadian broadband network, the additional investment will offer high-speed internet to more than 3,700 homes and businesses in several Quebec municipalities, across the Laurentides, Haut-St-François, Appalaches, Etchemins and Drummond.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced the successful applicants of its inaugural Mentorship Program for Early-Career Journalists. Over the coming weeks, 36 early-career journalists will learn from mentors in radio, television, digital, and print. Read more about this years mentorship matches, here. In total, the CAJ received 122 applications to the program. CAJ will be hosting an online event in October for those who weren’t successful in being matched this round. It’s strongly encouraging applicants who did not match to apply for the next session, set to begin in January. Journalists interested in mentoring for the second edition of the program are encouraged to get in touch with the association.

The Jack Webster Awards are open for submissions until Oct. 18. Online, print, radio and television journalists in British Columbia are invited to submit entries in 14 categories, including new category, Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Reporting. Learn more here.

 

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