A compendium of articles about bills, laws and regulations that have an impact on workers, organized labour, unions and journalism.
Media union applauds feds’ tough talk on protecting Canadian media, cultural industries - OTTAWA – CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, welcomes the federal government’s promise to stand firm on protecting Canada’s cultural industries, including media, in the current NAFTA negotiations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday that he would not sign a deal that undermines Canada’s cultural exemption, such as allowing American media conglomerates to buy Canadian news companies. The NAFTA cultural exemption recognizes Canada’s right to protect its culture. “We’re glad to hear the prime minister taking a firm stance on this,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “Protecting our media and cultural industries from big profit-driven American companies is critical to our society and our democracy.” “We only need look at what has happened to Postmedia to see how destructive control by foreign investors can be. Even with current laws, an American hedge fund was able to take effective control of our country’s biggest newspaper chain, resulting in the loss of more than 3,000 jobs, the closure of local papers, and leaving our major daily newspapers a shell of their former selves. It’s bad for journalism, bad for communities, and bad for democracy.” While the cultural exemption is reportedly not a major issue in the NAFTA negotiations, it remains [...] Democracy is cracking and platforms are no help. What can we do about it? Some policy suggestions - CHRISTINE SCHMIDT | Nieman Lab [~] Platforms aren’t efficiently self-regulating. Government officials don’t know how Facebook’s advertising works (or some know it too well). The internet can be a cesspool of spiteful users and malicious bots and yeah, in some places, digital-based communities and positive connections. But what can be done? How about requiring internet companies to be legally liable for the content appearing in their domains? Auditing algorithms regularly and making the results publicly available? Launching a large-scale civic literacy and critical thinking campaign? Giving individuals greater rights over the use, mobility, and monetization of their data? These are some of the suggestions floated in Democracy Divided, a new Canadian report by Public Policy Forum CEO/former Globe and Mail journalist Edward Greenspon and University of British Columbia assistant professor/Columbia Journalism School senior fellow Taylor Owen. The ideas are bold, sure, and maybe a little far-fetched — especially when viewed from the very different regulatory context of the United States — but hey, bold thinking is at least somewhere to start. Read the whole article at NiemanLab.org >>> 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
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