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Media Beat: May 19, 2022

By David Farrell

Ian Scott to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage

The following is part of an address given by outgoing CRTC Chair Ian Scott. The full text can be viewed on the Commission website.


The CRTC has access to two sources of funding: appropriation and revenues. On top of that, statutory funding is allocated to the CRTC to cover employee benefit plans.

The first, appropriation, is earmarked for expenses related to Canada’s anti-spam legislation and Voter Contact Registry activities. In addition, the CRTC was granted temporary appropriation funding for expenses related to Bill C-11’s implementation. Appropriations represent about 13% of the CRTC’s overall funding.

The bulk of the CRTC’s funding – 87% – comes from fees paid directly by the companies it regulates. The Commission collects fees under the authority of the Telecommunications Act, as set out in the Telecommunications Fee Regulations and the Unsolicited Telecommunications Fees Regulations, and the Broadcasting Act, as set out under the Broadcasting Fee Regulations. The Treasury Board of Canada authorizes the CRTC to use revenues from these fees to offset operating expenses incurred in the same fiscal year.

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I should clarify that Broadcasting Part I licence fees, Telecommunications fees and Unsolicited Telecommunications Fees are used to cover expenses related to our regulatory activities. However, Broadcasting Part II licence fees accrue to the government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund. Part II licence fees do not fund the CRTC’s regulatory costs for broadcasting-related activities or support the Commission’s activities in any other way.

Your Committee will have an opportunity to conduct a study of Bill C-11 in the near future, and I look forward to appearing before you again to speak at greater lengths about this legislation. For now, I will simply say that we welcomed the tabling of this Bill given the pressing need to modernize the Broadcasting Act and the CRTC’s powers, and to clarify the CRTC’s jurisdiction regarding online broadcasters.

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As you may also be aware, Budget 2022 proposed to provide the CRTC with $8.5 million over two years to establish a new regime to ensure that Canadian news outlets are fairly compensated by digital platforms.

Madam Chair, Bill C-18 proposes a mechanism to ensure that Canadian news outlets receive fair compensation from the digital platforms that share and distribute their work. The legislation would require platforms that generate revenues from the publication of news content on their sites to negotiate with news businesses and reach fair commercial deals.

Bill C-18 proposes to entrust the CRTC with five main functions in overseeing this activity. It would:

  • Play an administrative role, registering news businesses that meet the legislation’s eligibility criteria and assessing whether digital platforms meet the Act’s exemption criteria.

  • Oversee negotiation and mediation and maintain a public list of external arbitrators agreed upon by both the platforms and publishers.

  • Deal with complaints of undue preference or unjust discrimination filed by news businesses against platforms.

  • Contract an independent auditor to publish an annual report on the total value of commercial agreements and other key information.

  • Establish regulations to collect fees, similar to those paid by broadcasters and telecommunications service providers.

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The Commission requires additional funds to prepare for these new responsibilities, so that we are ready to implement the legislation in an expedient manner should Bills C-11 and C-18 receive Royal Assent.

Google warns Ottawa’s Online News Act would ‘break’ its search engine

One of the social-media giant’s biggest concerns is language in the bill that prohibits “digital news intermediary operators” – a category that would apply to Google and other search engines – from giving “undue or unreasonable preference” to specific news items.

The company argues this language is unclear and puts at risk the core function of Google’s search engine, which is to provide ranked responses to a search query. – Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press

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Matt Zimbel launches 2nd ‘Yes We Can-Ada podcast series

Filmmaker, musician, broadcast executive, artistic director, television and radio show host. There aren’t too many occupations in media that American-born, Montreal resident Matt Zimbel hasn’t put his mind to–and succeeded at. The Manteca bongoist has just launched the 2nd season of his satirical Yes We Can–Ada podcast series (10 episodes all in) that is spreading like wildfire on the TikTok channel. Oh, and let’s not forget Matt’s subtitle for his irreverent humour: The Progressive Guide to Getting the Fu*k Out. For your titillation and affected northern self-love, episode 1: Pandemic Nervosa.

SiriusXM and Live Nation team up to bring exclusive live experiences to Maple fans

Alexisonfire kicks off a new “multi-year” partnership between Live Nation and SiriusXM in Canada with a free concert at Live Nation's Toronto concert venue HISTORY on April 13. The concert precedes the band’s 4-day concert series, Born & Raised, in hometown St. Catharines with co-headliner City and Colour. Other collaborative concerts are to be broadcast by SiriusXM from RBC Echo Beach and Budweiser Stage and several festivals, including Born & Raised, FVDED in the Park and Osheaga. Both companies are under the umbrella of US mass media giant Liberty Media, which owns 34 percent of Live Nation and 72 percent of SiriusXM.

How media reports of ‘clashes’ mislead Americans about Israeli-Palestinian violence

The New York Times initially reported that Abu Akleh “was shot as clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian gunmen took place in the city.” Further down in the same story, we read that Palestinian journalist Ali Samudi, who was wounded in the same attack, said, “There were no armed Palestinians or resistance or even civilians in the area.” Yet this perspective is missing from the headline and opening paragraphs of the story.

A few days later, an analysis of available video footage by investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat concluded that the evidence “appears to support” eyewitnesses who said no militant activity was taking place and that the gunfire came from Israeli military snipers.

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The New York Times has not updated or corrected its original story to reflect this new evidence. – Maha Nassar, The Conversation

Social media platforms are still struggling to stop the spread of the Buffalo shooting video

The 18-year-old gunman broadcast the shooting in a grocery store in a predominately Black suburban area in Buffalo, New York, to the streaming platform Twitch on Saturday morning. Although Twitch took down the livestream within two minutes from the start of the attack, a recording of the video was swiftly posted on a video streaming site called Streamable. That video was viewed more than three million times before it was taken down, according to the New York Times. Links to the recording were shared across Facebook and Twitter, and another clip that purported to show the gunman firing at people in the supermarket was visible on Twitter more than four hours after being uploaded. Additionally, TikTok users uploaded video sharing accounts and search terms to take viewers to the full video on Twitter, according to Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz. – Rhiannon Williams, The Download

Uber’s Ad-Toting Drones Are Heckling Drivers Stuck in Traffic

Forget billboards—motorists now have ads buzzing a few feet above their windshields. – Michael Reilly, MIT Technology Review

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8 words you should never use to describe yourself in an interview

Stuffing your résumé and LinkedIn profile with generic buzzwords can be off-putting to potential employers, but it’s far worse when you recite them during an interview.

Below are some of the most commonly overused words candidates use to describe themselves during the interview process—and what you can say instead to communicate your value and win over your interviewers. – Amanda Augustine, Fast Company

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Soleil Launière
Jaime Antonio Luna Quezada

Soleil Launière

Music

Soleil Launière wins the Francouvertes: “It means a lot to me as an Indigenous artist”

Meet the Innu artist, big winner of the 2024 edition of the showcase-competition, who is the first Indigenous artist to win since the Quebec music competition started allowing submissions in Indigenous languages.

Soleil Launière has won the 28th edition of Francouvertes, becoming the first Indigenous artist to win the Quebec-based music competition.

The multidisciplinary Innu artist from Mashteuiatsh, Quebec won the grand final of the musical showcase on Monday, May 13. The Montreal-based artist edged out rapper Sensei H and maximalist rock singer-songwriter Loïc Lafrance.

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