Catching up on – CBC Licence appealed to Cabinet – C-18 Amendments Proposed – Lana Payne Elected Unifor President

Unifor National President-Elect Lana Payne is a former journalist. Photo Credit: Jennifer Rowsom/Unifor

August 14, 2022

Last Monday eighteen broadcasting groups and policy advocates filed petitions to federal cabinet asking the government to rescind the CRTC’s controversial renewal of the CBC’s five-year TV licence. The appeals of the 271-page ruling (covering dozens of new and repealed conditions of licence) are itemized and lengthy.

The main argument is that the repeal of key licence conditions supporting Canadian programming is not only bad for public broadcasting of Canadian content but sets a precedent for similar deregulatory rulings for private TV networks and online undertakings in the next two years.

posted a summary in which I suggest that cabinet has an opportunity to not only reconsider the CRTC’s decision but to refocus the CBC on its public mission.


In Australia, there is a ruckus over the first annual review of the “Facegoogle” Bill that is the model for Canada’s Online News Act, Bill C-18. Both Google and Meta are publicly trashing the legislation that pushed them in 2021 to negotiate pay-for-news deals with Australian broadcasters and publishers.

Given that Canada’s C-18 will be in front of the Heritage Committee in September, it’s timely that McGill University’s Taylor Owen and Supriyu Dwivedi have published a review of the Australian situation that segues into a list of recommendations to improve C-18. 

Added to a similar list  from former CRTC Chair Konrad Von Finckenstein, Heritage MPs should get a running start on improving the Bill.


Judging from my Twitter feed, either the tide of vicious and perhaps criminal online abuseof female journalists is rising or the brave defiance of those women is mounting.

Demands are increasing that police forces respond better to the threats of harm directed all journalists, but especially women and Canadians of colour who are the most frequent targets.


Speaking of female journalists, Lana Payne was elected National President of Unifor, replacing Jerry Dias. Before joining the labour movement, Payne began her career as an investigative reporter at the legendary St.John’s Sunday Express and later as a columnist at the Telegram.  

Unifor represents 10,000 journalists and media workers in print journalism, film production and broadcasting and has been active on a long list of media policy files.

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Howard Law

I am retired staff of Unifor, the union representing 300,000 Canadians in twenty different sectors of the economy, including 10,000 journalists and media workers. As the former Director of the Media Sector and as an unapologetic cultural nationalist, I have an abiding passion for public policy in Canadian media.

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