A compendium of articles about bills, laws and regulations that have an impact on workers, organized labour, unions and journalism.
CWA Canada stands with VICE as source protection case goes to Supreme Court - VICE Media’s legal fight with the RCMP over a journalist’s right to protect sources goes before the Supreme Court of Canada today. Standing alongside VICE will be CWA Canada, the only union in a coalition of news outlets and journalist organizations that has been granted intervener status in the case. A production order issued by the Mounties against VICE journalist Ben Makuch to hand over all communications between him and an alleged ISIS fighter was upheld by the Ontario Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon called the rulings “bad news for journalism and for democracy” and committed the union to continuing the fight to the highest court in the land. “As a media union, we will speak out loudly to protect freedom of expression and the role of a free press as a pillar of democracy,” O’Hanlon said. “Police have an important job to do in protecting us from crime, but they cannot expect journalists to do that job for them. The media is not, nor should it ever be, an arm of the state.” The media union represents workers at VICE’s Canadian news operations through its biggest Local, the Canadian Media Guild. [...] CWA Canada hails Competition Bureau raid of Postmedia-Torstar, says feds should block newspaper swap deals - CWA Canada welcomes a federal investigation into November’s newspaper swap-and-close deal between Postmedia and Torstar, but worries it comes far too late to fix the damage done. “It’s nice to see the Competition Bureau finally barking, but it’s hard to imagine there will be much bite,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “The damage has been done, the papers are dead, and they’re not likely to be resurrected.” “But hopefully the bureau will surprise us and do something, including action to end these swap-and-close deals that have been disastrous for so many communities.” Agents of the bureau, accompanied by police, raided the Toronto headquarters of both companies Monday and executed search warrants. Commissioner John Pecman confirmed that the bureau “is investigating alleged anti-competitive conduct contrary to the conspiracy provisions of the Competition Act” as well as those governing mergers. The two publishers traded 41 newspapers — the majority of them in Ontario — and then shut most of them down, with a loss of almost 300 jobs. Many of the closures reduced or eliminated competition between the two companies in certain markets. Pecman said that, if the bureau determines there has been a violation of the Competition Act, “we will [...] Understanding Canada’s new shield law for confidential sources - LISA TAYLOR, BRIAN MACLEOD ROGERS, RYDER GILLILAND | J-Source [~] Canada has a new law that offers significantly enhanced protections to reporters’ confidential sources and recognizes the societal value in protecting the journalist-source relationship. It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Journalistic Source Protection Act, which became law on Thursday, Oct. 19, after being approved unanimously by both the House of Commons and the Senate. This Act amends both the Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act in favour of giving considerably more weight to a journalist’s promise of confidentiality to a source. “I think this bill goes a very long way in protecting confidential sources,” media lawyer Iris Fischer said of the bill in an episode of the Ryerson Review of Journalism’s “Pull Quotes” podcast. “This issue of sources has been a big one (for journalism) and it’s great to see that being addressed.” Read the whole article at J-Source Ontario could end labour law limbo for factual TV workers - LISE LAREAU | Canadian Media Guild The signals are good. Early reports indicate that the Ontario government’s Changing Workplaces Review will not be a waste of time and is poised to make change for thousands of precarious workers, including those who work in factual/reality TV and video production. The CBC is reporting that the review is now in the hands of the Wynne cabinet. Among the changes it will recommend are: Paid sick days for all employees; Ending some of the exemptions (loopholes) under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (no word yet if this will include the exemption given the entire film and television industry); Changing the classification of “independent contractors” to ensure that they get some protection by labour laws. The independent contractor classification has kept many workers in our industry, and others, unjustly excluded from legal protections, including paid overtime, holidays, robust safety rules and the right to unionize. It’s the no-obligation, no-rules approach to employment. Last month, we saw just how alluring it is for producers to use the independent-contractor loophole against their own people. Blue Ant Media (producers of Cottage Life TV and several nature and wildlife programs) suddenly announced on April 27 that it was [...] Members get rare chance to oppose bill that threatens pensions - The retirement security of a majority of CWA Canada members — past and present — is threatened by proposed amendments to federal pension legislation. However, they have a rare opportunity to get the government’s ear on the matter. Bill C-27, which aims to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, would immediately affect pensions at Crown corporations such as the CBC and at federally regulated private-sector companies. It would touch upon virtually all members of this union’s largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), as well as on working or retired members who have a defined benefit (DB) pension plan, which could be altered retroactively. The CMG rallied its members who engaged their MPs, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and turned out for a Day of Action on Parliament Hill in early February. “We were effective,” reported Jonathan Spence, president of the Guild’s CBC Branch. Morneau recognized the CMG’s efforts and “has asked us to consult on the bill by sending a written submission outlining our concerns and possible solutions.” With the submission due on May 15, Spence has asked members to send him their concerns or suggestions for possible inclusion in the brief. (These can be emailed [...]
Link to full Legislation news archive on CWA Canada
18.02.04 John Longhurst – Turning Newspapers Into Charities: A New Model for the Future?
18.03.02 iPolitics.ca – Saving Canadian news media: Senate considers solutions for journalism, local news
18.02.27 iPolitics.ca – Federal budget opens door to non-profit media models
18.02.21 The Canadian Press – Laws must change, politician says after NL man acquitted of FHITP slur
18.01.16 The Conversation – Supreme Court ruling makes need for Competition Act reform urgent