TORONTO, March 12, 2015 /CNW/ – Today’s decisions from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) threaten the quality of local programming available to Canadian viewers, Unifor says.
“Canadians rely on quality locally produced programming to inform them about their communities and the issues that affect their lives,” Unifor Media Director Howard Law said.
The CRTC has dramatically eliminated minimum daytime Canadian programming hours in the name of quality over quantity, but done nothing to address what it has identified as a key concern – the quality of local Canadian programming, Law said. By cutting the number of hours, the opportunities for creative new shows will be limited.
“The Commission’s deregulatory direction into ‘quality over quantity’ has intuitive appeal, but there is no quality without quantity,” Law said.
“Eliminating daytime exhibition requirements for Canadian content may well sideswipe the creation of local news, information and entertainment programming. The Commission did nothing for local programming today.”
At the same time, the CRTC allows Netflix to operate regulation-free and outside Canadian content rules, but tells Canadian broadcasters such as Bell, Rogers and Shaw they can’t restrict sales of their own streaming services to conventional TV customers.
“The CRTC continues to give Netflix a free pass on creating and broadcasting Canadian content, while Canadian companies carry that responsibility on their own,” said Unifor Media Council Chair Randy Kitt. “Netflix isn’t shy about collecting subscription fees in Canadian dollars and repatriating them to the US, so why do they continue to get a free pass?”
And while Unifor applauds the CRTC for bringing in rules to ensure that news channels provide a minimum amount of original journalism, which should prevent the establishment of opinion-only channels like those in the U.S., Unifor believes more is needed in this area to ensure that Canadians receive quality journalism.
“A functioning democracy requires an informed citizenry,” Kitt said. “News outlets need to provide the staff resources necessary to bring independent and professional journalism to their audiences.”
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers, including 13,000 in the media sector. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
Sent on behalf of the Ottawa and District Labour Council President, Sean McKenny
As you are aware the Canadian Labour Congress and its affiliates have been leading the way in helping to ensure retirement security for all Canadians. Currently less than 40% of all employees are covered by a workplace pension and millions of Canadians simply can’t save enough on their own to retire. The best way to help today’s workers save enough money for tomorrow is by increasing what everybody gets from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) as a share of their total retirement income. Expanding the CPP is about preparing for the future, and leaving behind a better system for our kids.
A part of this process is a “Petition to the House of Commons to expand the CPP/QPP”. Activities are in place across the country to ensure that we are able to get as many signatures as possible signed to the petition. The time frame is very short especially with the holidays just around the corner.
The Ottawa and District Labour Council has committed to having 20,000 individuals sign the petition and has added resources to help achieve our goal.
In order for the petition(s) to be accepted by the House of Commons hard copies with original signatures are needed. We have a ready supply of petitions on a heavier bond paper already printed up and will be distributing those to our affiliates over the next few days. In addition, we will be going door to door in some areas of the city.
The important piece here will be that you try and ensure people sign the petition so when we return to pick up the petitions they are complete and full.
For further information contact the Ottawa and District Labour Council or check out: pensionfairness.ca
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