Catching Up on – Senate moving towards C-11 amendments – Conservatives begin filibuster of C-18 – “Viral News” doc on Toronto Star covid coverage

Toronto Star photographer Steve Russell fends off a resident preventing him from shooting the aftermath of an apartment fire. From Kevin McMahon’s documentary “Viral News.

November 19, 2022 posted a summary of Wednesday’s Senate Committee hearing on Bill C-11 in which Senators tried to pin down CRTC Chair Ian Scott on how a future CRTC might apply the Bill to video and music uploads on YouTube, Spotify and other platforms.  The post called on the Committee to move on to amendments. 

Yesterday the Senate announced a final day of hearing witnesses (Minister Rodriguez and his staff) next Tuesday, followed by debate over amendments beginning Wednesday.

Earlier in the week I posted about C-11 amendments proposed by Bell that have flown under the radar. The amendments are aimed at recapturing Canadian broadcasters’ opportunity to buy American programming for retail to Canadians, in line with the long-time strategy of subsidizing local news and Canadian content with profits earned from hit US shows. 

The first day of amendments to the “FaceGoogle” Bill C-18 began yesterday at the House of Commons Heritage Committee. The Conservatives are filibustering the Bill as they did C-11 last spring. Only two Conservative amendments and one NDP motion were voted on.

We might be headed for another C-11 debacle where a Conservative filibuster forces the other parties to set a deadline, resulting in inadequate debate over important amendments.

The Committee will continue clause by clause consideration of C-18 on Tuesday.

Toronto documentary maker Kevin McMahon (Borealis, Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii) started filming soon-to-be-commercially-divorced Torstar owners Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett just as they took over the Star a few months into the pandemic. 

The Viral News project turned into a compelling record of Star journalists covering the pandemic, replete with busting bad health data and enduring anti-vaxxer harassment. You won’t be bored. In Ontario you can watch it Sunday night on TVO or any time on YouTube.

Hoping for a spin off starring Queen’s Park reporter Rob Benzie (watch, you’ll get it).

The long awaited federal public consultation on potential amendments to the Competition Act has been opened by the Competition Bureau. That includes publication of the Bureau’s consultation paper.

If you are looking for a context piece, a post from last February should help.


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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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