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  • CREATE - The CRTC’s activities under this pillar contribute to a broadcasting system that provides Canadians with a wealth of compelling and diverse content. The creation of diverse programming that reflects the attitudes, opinions, ideas, values and artistic creativity of Canadians enables their participation in their country’s democratic and cultural life. Ongoing activities include the following:

    • analyzing various applications for the issuance, renewal and amendment of licences for broadcasting undertakings;
    • issuing Canadian Program Certification to independent Canadian program producers for TV productions;
    • monitoring the programming and financial performance of undertakings to ensure compliance with regulations and conditions of licences; and,
    • approving mergers, acquisitions and changes of ownership of broadcasting undertakings.
  • CONNECT - The CRTC’s activities under this pillar contribute to a communications system that provides Canadians, including those with disabilities, quality and affordable communication service options. The communications system strengthens the social and economic fabric of Canada, and enables Canadians to have access to compelling and diverse Canadian content. Ongoing activities include the following:

    • ensuring adherence to rules and policies including those related to competition, quality of service and Internet traffic management;
    • addressing applications related to the rates, terms, or conditions of services, including applications to refrain from rate regulation;
    • managing the use of telephone numbers in Canada;
    • managing the contribution and subsidy regime that supports basic residential local services in rural and remote areas;
    • resolving industry disputes and complaints through both formal Commission processes and staff-assisted dispute resolution; and,
    • coordinating the activities of the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee, which assists the CRTC in developing information, procedures and guidelines concerning various regulatory activities.
  • PROTECT - The CRTC’s activities under this pillar contribute to the protection and safety of Canadians within the communication system. By promoting and enforcing compliance with legislation and regulatory measures, the CRTC strengthens the participation of communications service providers in offering safety-enhancing services to Canadians, and seeks to reduce unsolicited commercial communication messages. Ongoing activities include the following:

    • monitoring industry compliance with rules regarding the loudness of TV commercials, in response to public complaints;
    • monitoring industry compliance with respect to stolen wireless handsets, by assessing and publishing annual progress reports from the wireless industry;
    • promoting compliance with and the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, including the National Do Not Call List (), and investigating alleged instances of non-compliance;
    • working with domestic and international enforcement and regulatory agencies to enhance information sharing, and coordinating operational responses;
    • monitoring compliance with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Fees Regulations, payable to the operator; and,
    • undertaking outreach and awareness initiatives, so that consumers can make informed choices and take measures to protect themselves, and to improve industry awareness of requirements.
  • In addition, a commitment to MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE underlies the work of the CRTC for each of the pillars. Ongoing activities include the following:

    • consulting and informing Canadians, and responding to their inquiries and complaints through a variety of traditional as well as innovative communications channels;
    • organizing Commission meetings, public hearings and processes;
    • issuing notices, orders, and decisions;
    • managing financial resources, including broadcasting licence fees, telecommunications fees, and telemarketing fees;
    • managing human resources, accommodation services, and security;
    • managing information technology and information management, including administering requests submitted pursuant to the Access to Information Act;
    • monitoring and reporting on Canada’s communication system;
    • corporate planning and reporting, including reports to Parliament and the Annual Report on Official Languages to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages;
    • facilitating industry co-regulation and self-regulation through consultations, committees, and, working groups;
    • collaborating with domestic and international partners on communications issues; and,
    • providing legal services.

 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

OTTAWA ― The President of the Canadian Labour Congress has criticized the staffing cuts announced at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

“This is just the latest round of job cuts at our national broadcaster and once again the CBC is being asked to fulfill its mandate but to do so with fewer resources,” Georgetti says. 

Georgetti was commenting on an announcement by CBC management that its workforce will be cut by 657 over the next two years as the public broadcaster deals with a $130 million revenue shortfall from the loss of NHL hockey and government budget cuts. Unions at the CBC have been advised that the majority of this year’s staffing cuts will be implemented in August with layoff letters slated to be issued as early as June and redundancy notices to be given by end of April.

Georgetti says that the loss of advertising revenues from NHL hockey explains only part of the CBC’s budget shortfall. “Between 2011 and 2015, the federal government’s financial support of the CBC will be reduced from $1.03 billion to $913 million. This is death by a thousand cuts and we really do have to ask whether this government supports public broadcasting.”

Georgetti adds that many of the positions being lost at the CBC are good, family-supporting jobs. “This fits a wider pattern of Canadians losing good jobs at a time when most of the jobs being created in this country are part-time, precarious and poorly paid. This is no way for workers, particularly younger workers, to build a future.”

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 111 district labour councils.

Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca

Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour

Contact: Dennis Gruending, CLC Communications: Tel. 613-526-7431.

Cell-text: 613-878-6040. Email: dgruending@clc-ctc.ca

 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

 
 
 
Be a hero! On Sunday, May 4, 2014,
 join communities across Canada walking together for Kids Help Phone
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Greetings,

Unifor encourages everyone to participate in the online debate on “the future of conventional television” hosted by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Our broadcasting sector employs over 40,000 Canadians, most of them good jobs held by members of Unifor and a host of other unions. The national, regional and local programming that our members produce is fundamental to a distinct Canadian voice and our democratic life.

Like many Canadian industries threatened by American domination, Canadian broadcasting is a regulated endeavor. Canadian media companies like Bell, Rogers, Shaw Global, and Québecor are sheltered from overwhelming competition or hostile take-overs from American media goliaths like Comcast. In exchange, these Canadian companies profit from Canadian rights to American shows and then are expected to sponsor Canadian content and local programming with a lower-profit margin. It’s a deal that works. The companies make money, consumers still get access to American and international programming they really can’t do without, and Canadian content gets created and broadcast.

Living in the shadow of the American broadcasting giant, the federal Broadcasting Act gives Canadian culture and politics a communication platform that would be wiped out without the regulatory framework of the Broadcasting Act. This is no exaggeration.

Of great concern is that CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais has opened up a debate on the “future of conventional television” which may or may not deregulate broadcasting and open the floodgates to American programming. Appointed by the federal conservatives, and avowedly “consumerist” in the Harper mode, M.Blais certainly has an agenda in his own head. We just don’t know exactly how far it goes.

M.Blais has posted an online questionnaire for open participation. We encourage you to go online at http://letstalktv.hkstrategies.ca/  to participate and speak out for Canadian broadcasting.

The questionnaire asks a variety of questions about what you as a viewer are willing to pay for.

Unifor has the following recommendations for responding to the questionnaire. Feel free to print out this message as a guideline to your responses. 

Question 1 – Supporting aboriginal, francophone and accessible programming on basic cable. Unifor agrees with Doreen, Jeaninne and Sierra / Comment – Broadcasters are not likely to spend money on accessible television unless it’s profitable or mandated.  Without regulation these services would likely disappear.

Question 2 - Local news on basic cable. This is a crucial question affecting thousands of broadcasting jobs. Unifor agrees with Andrew & Mary / Comment – Local news & local programming is important to all of Canada’s unique communities.  There are many options to access global programming, but there are few local programming options.  It is important that the major broadcasters provide local news and local programming that reflect our communities and our culture.

Question 3 – Do you want “pick and play” only your favourite channels?  Unifor recommends either “status quo” or “other packages w/ options” / Comments – “Pick and play” is a marketing illusion. Currently, broadcasters bundle packages so they can offer more programming and spread out their overhead costs. Take that away, and you may see a number of important Canadian specialty stations like TSN2 go off the air and lose the unique Canadian shows that come with it.

Question 4 – Major sporting events, free or pay? Unifor agrees with Ethan / Comments – Major Canadian sporting events should be made available on over the air television.  Ratings for these events go up when more viewers have access to these programs. It’s a broadcasting strategy that works for everyone.

Question 5 – Next is a series of five questions about gaining access to a lot more American channels. Mario understands the economics of Canadian broadcasting. American programming is far more profitable because of the size of their market: they can undercut Canadian content at a loss just to grab market share north of the border.

So in response to the next five questions, Unifor recommends:

Do you want more direct access to American channels? – NO

Question 6 – Do you want more direct access to international channels (non-US)? – YES or NO

Question 7 – Would you want more American & international channels if it meant paying more? – Yes or No

Question 8 – Would you want more American & international channels if it meant some Canadian made shows and channels (and the associated jobs) may no longer be available? – NO . Comment – there is plenty of American television available already.  The example of ESPN & TSN is right on; TSN may not exist if ESPN was allowed unfettered access to our country’s airwaves.  When TSN lost the rights to hockey many years ago they focused their attention on the CFL.  TSN made the CFL cool and viable in this country again.  Allowing American networks in this country would lessen or eliminate Canadian programming, reduce or shared cultural experiences and radically alter our broadcasting job market, where many good broadcasting jobs would simply be lost.

Question 9 – If you could get direct access to International Channels, but only in a package with certain Canadian channels, would you be willing to pay for that? YES or NO

Question 10- Blocking American ads (“signal substitution”). Which of these approaches would provide a better balance between protecting programming rights and giving viewer’s choice?  Unifor recommends Signal substitution (what we have now).

The next questions deal with the threat of Netflix and other unregulated American online broadcasters to Canadian programming.

Question 11 – Unifor agrees with Jenny.

Question 12 – Unifor recommends Yes we would be willing to pay an extra 50 cents per month

Question 13 – Unifor also recommends Yes - Online services should provide closed captioning. Comment - closed captioning is an important service for the hearing impaired.  Without regulation to protect these services, they would be eliminated.  Big business will not provide a service that is not financially supporting.  Many bars or other television shows shown in public spaces show the closed captioning when audio cannot be played. This also benefits the general public.  Closed captioning is a service that should be preserved.

Question 14 – Would you be willing to pay a few cents per month for online closed captioning?  Unifor recommends Yes

Question 15 – Paying an extra $5 for streaming content on-line with no cap. Unifor recommends NO / Comment – It’s a qualified “no.” The $5 “unlimited streaming” plan is darn appealing and deserves discussion. Will the American media companies Netflix and Youtube foot the bill? If the Commission is thinking about making Canadian media companies pay a big part of your data plan (even for more Canadian content), this requires extremely careful consideration. 

Additional Comments? – Without a strong broadcasting policy and strict regulations we will likely see the end of Canadian content, quality local programming and local news.  With that loss most broadcast jobs will disappear and all that will be left will be American programming.  With a thoughtful and cautious regulatory approach we can encourage, foster and develop a strong and vibrant Canadian television landscape that is accessible and relevant to all Canadians.  This will definitely have a cost associated with it, but that cost should be invested back into Canadian broadcasting for the benefit of all Canadians.

Enter your email address and you are done.  Thanks for helping save Canadian content and Canadian broadcast jobs.

In solidarity,

Randy Kitt

Media Industry Chair

Howard Law

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