Tag Archives: Industry News

Minister Joly Announces New Leadership at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

From a media release:

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, is pleased to announce the appointments of Ian Scott as Chairperson and Caroline J. Simard as Vice-Chairperson (Broadcasting) of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). These appointments are the result of the Government of Canada’s open, transparent and merit-based selection process for Governor in Council appointments.

Mr. Ian Scott has over 25 years’ experience in the broadcasting and telecommunications industries and in the public sector. Most recently Executive Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Telesat Canada, Mr. Scott has held a variety of senior executive roles in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries. Past executive positions include Vice President of Federal Government Relations for Telus, and executive positions in both government and regulatory matters at Call-Net Enterprises and with the Canadian Cable Television Association. In addition to his work in the private sector, Mr. Scott has significant experience in the public sector at both the Federal Competition Bureau and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. He was educated at McGill University.

Dr. Caroline Simard, PhD in law (McGill) and member of the Barreau du Québec, has extensive expertise in telecommunications and broadcasting regulation. She is currently Legal Counsel within the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, a position she has held since 2007, where she has worked on the Telecommunications Act and the Radiocommunication Act. From 2004 to 2007, Ms. Simard was Senior Telecommunications Expert with the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva, Switzerland, which is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communications technologies. She had previously held positions with the Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CÉIM) at Université du Québec à Montréal, Verrier Pacquin Hébert Consultants Inc., Téléglobe Inc. and others. Ms. Simard was educated at McGill University, Université du Québec à Montréal, and Université de Montréal.

Mr. Scott will serve as Chairperson for a five-year term, beginning on September 5, 2017. Ms. Simard will also serve for a term of five years, effective as of September 11, 2017.

In addition to these two appointments, Christianne M. Laizner has been appointed to serve as Interim Vice-Chairperson (Telecommunications), for a term of up to one year. Ms. Laizner, whose appointment is effective as of July 17, 2017, joined the CRTC in 2010 as General Counsel, Telecommunications, and since 2013, has held the position of Senior General Counsel and Executive Director of the CRTC Legal Sector. She has held senior-level positions in other federal departments for many years. Before joining the public service, Ms. Laizner was a partner in the Chown Cairns law firm in St. Catharines, Ontario. Ms. Laizner was called to the Ontario Bar in 1982, and holds an LLB from Western University and a B.A. (Hons) from McGill University.

The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications on behalf of the Canadian public. The Commission is dedicated to ensuring that Canadians—as citizens, creators and consumers—have access to a world-class communication system that promotes innovation and enriches their lives.


“This is a dynamic team that will bring new vision and leadership to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Mr. Scott and Dr. Simard have extensive experience in the industry and a deep understanding of what Canadians expect in their telecommunications and broadcasting systems. These leaders will implement a strong vision for the CRTC, focusing on service to Canadians and supporting the production and dissemination of diverse creative content that will lead to the success of our telecommunications, creators and creative industries in the digital era.”
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“I congratulate these accomplished leaders, who will bring a diversity of perspectives to Canada’stelecommunications and broadcast regulator. Under their leadership, the CRTC will continue to champion the social and economic needs of Canadians by encouraging more competition and innovation among telecommunications providers. This way, all Canadians will benefit from a broader choice of high-quality services at affordable prices. The prosperity of Canadians depends on their ability to have access to these services, which allow them to thrive in a global and digital economy.”
—The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC’s senior roles are Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson (Broadcasting) and Vice-Chairperson (Telecommunications). These are full-time positions appointed by the Governor in Council.
  • A selection process for the position of Vice-Chairperson (Telecommunications) will be launched in the near future.
  • In 2016, the Government of Canada adopted a new approach to appointments by the Governor in Council. This approach respects gender parity and is supported by an open, transparent and merit-based selection process—one that will result in the recommendation of exceptionally competent candidates who reflect Canada’s diversity.
  • All appointment opportunities for the 18 organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio are being posted as they become available on the Governor in Council Appointments website. Interested parties can apply online.
  • The CRTC mandate focuses on achieving policy objectives established in the Broadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act and Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL).

CBC’s new original talk show The Filmmakers celebrates great Canadian films

From a media release:

CBC today announced a new 11-part original talk show launching as a companion to a special Saturday night line-up of celebrated Canadian films. Hosted by journalist Johanna Schneller and featuring candid studio conversations with some of the creative talent behind many of Canada’s greatest films, THE FILMMAKERS launches this Saturday, July 22 at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT). Each half-hour episode centres on one film that will air immediately after the talk show, debuting with Atom Egoyan’s THE SWEET HEREAFTER – the first of 11 Canadian features airing Saturday nights on CBC (full schedule and broadcast times below).

THE FILMMAKERS taps into how some of Canada’s most significant films were made and why we need to watch them, through lively and surprising conversations with a diverse mix of creators, directors and artists including: Xavier Dolan, Sarah Polley, Director X, Atom Egoyan, Mina Shum, Kim Nguyen, Don McKellar, Deepa Mehta, Zacharias Kunuk and Jennifer Baichwal, as well as guest panelists Connor Jessup, David Suzuki, Stephanie Morgenstern, Cameron Bailey, Sook-Yin Lee, Edward Burtynsky, Cazhhmere and Academy Award-winner Sylvain Bellemare.

THE FILMMAKERS will air Saturday evenings on CBC a half hour before each of the following Canadian feature films:

  • July 22 – The Filmmakers 8:30 / film 9 p.m. THE SWEET HEREAFTER – Directed by Atom Egoyan
  • July 29 – The Filmmakers 8:30 / film 9 p.m. STORIES WE TELL – Directed by Sarah Polley
  • August 5 –  The Filmmakers 9:00 / film 9:30 p.m. LAST NIGHT – Directed by Don McKellar
  • August 12 – The Filmmakers 9:00 / film 9:30 p.m. INCENDIES – Directed by Denis Villeneuve
  • August 19 -The Filmmakers 8:30 / film 9 p.m. DOUBLE HAPPINESS – Directed by Mina Shum
  • August 26 – The Filmmakers 8:30 / film 9 p.m. REBELLE (WAR WITCH) Directed by Kim Nguyen
  • September 2 – The Filmmakers 8:30 / film 9 p.m. J’AI TUÉ MA MÈRE (I KILLED MY MOTHER) Directed by Xavier Dolan
  • September 9 – The Filmmakers 10:00 / film 10:30 p.m WATER – Directed by Deepa Mehta
  • September 16 – The Filmmakers 8:30 / film 9 p.m ATANARJUAT (THE FAST RUNNER) – Directed by Zacharias Kunuk
  • September 23 – The Filmmakers 8:30 / film 9 p.m. MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES  Directed by Jennifer Baichwal
  • September 30 – The Filmmakers 8:30 /  film 9 p.m. ACROSS THE LINE (fka COLE HARBOUR) Directed by Director X

In addition to the weekly broadcast, THE FILMMAKERS and a complementary series of film tutorial videos will be available to stream at cbc.ca/arts. The series will also be made available on CBC’s educational platform Curio.ca.


Link: Leaderless CRTC Is Adrift And Without A Mission

From Michael Morin of the Huffington Post:

Link: Leaderless CRTC Is Adrift And Without A Mission
Is the CRTC adrift without a mission?

At a time of unprecedented change, cultural industries need to decide on their future investments, not civil servants that see the industry as “the enemy.” The regulator must take technological change into account, show long-term vision and be capable of working with the industry. Continue reading.


Canada’s independent producers, performers and directors petition Minister Joly to reject CRTC decision

From a media release:

Today the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) submitted a joint petition to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, asking her to set aside, or refer back, the CRTC’s Group Licence Renewal decisions for Canada’s large television broadcasters, released last month.

Across the production sector, Canada’s creator community shares deep concerns about the damaging impact of these decisions. An independent analysis commissioned by the CMPA found that the CRTC’s decision to decrease the required amount broadcasters must spend on Canadian Programs of National Interest (PNI) will likely result in a drop of more than $900 million in production volume, causing a cumulative economic reduction of $1.15 billion in GDP over the five-year period during which the broadcasters’ licences will be in place. A backgrounder summarizing these findings is available here.

If these decisions are allowed to stand, the required PNI spend for channels operated by Rogers, Corus and Bell, will fall to just five per cent, having a severe negative impact on the production of Canadian television dramas, comedies, children’s programming, long-form documentaries, variety and performing arts shows,  and on the health and productivity of our sector as a whole.

In addition to greatly reduced PNI spending, the joint petition objects to the CRTC’s decision to remove evening exhibition requirements for the broadcasters’ discretionary services and the negative consequences of the CRTC’s failure to address the erosion of independently-produced programming.


WGC asks government to reject CRTC decisions

From a media release:

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has filed an appeal to Cabinet about the recent, potentially disastrous CRTC broadcasting decisions 2017-149 and 150. The decisions have created deep concern in the Canadian screenwriting community for good reason: they slash private broadcaster funding to Canadian programs by 40% and could lead to over $200 million in reduced broadcaster spending on Canadian shows over a five-year licence term.

“We appeal to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly to reject these deeply flawed and harmful decisions which deal a massive blow to Canadian culture by drastically cutting Canadian-created production,” says WGC President Jill Golick. “Screen-entertainment is the most popular cultural medium of our time. Canadian screenwriters are committed to creating shows that connect our histories, share our values, enrich our social fabric and strengthen our country. But if these decisions stand, we will be forced to leave our country in search of employment elsewhere.”

This inevitable talent drain is because Canadian screenwriters occupy a unique position in the industry. They do not work on foreign or “service” productions —primarily U.S. shows shot in Canada, not created by Canadians — as do some industry professionals. Canadian screenwriters’ primary role is to create shows that are commissioned for Canada’s private broadcasters and CBC.

Consequently, the CRTC decisions endanger both Canadian storytelling and its storytellers. It’s a particularly short-sighted choice during Canada 150, a time when Canadians should be able to look to a future where Canada’s cultural output will expand, not shrink. Instead, the CRTC has facilitated the latter, by reducing Bell Media and Corus Entertainments’ minimum spending requirements on “programs of national interest,” (PNI) — drama, documentary, children’s programming etc. — to 5%. Status quo PNI spending levels are 8% and 9% of broadcasting revenues for Bell and Corus respectively, but in standardizing PNI at 5% former CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais chose to disregard the method used to calculate PNI contributions.“Blais ignored precedent and turned away from the existing methodology of calculating PNI,” says WGC Executive Director Maureen Parker. “Instead he

“Blais ignored precedent and turned away from the existing methodology of calculating PNI,” says WGC Executive Director Maureen Parker. “Instead he standardized PNI spending using the lowest common denominator. Where in Canada’s Broadcasting Act does it even imply that standardized contributions are a policy objective? Nowhere. What the Act does say is that the broadcasting system should contribute significantly to the creation of Canadian programming, and maximize Canadian creative resources. These CRTC decisions don’t fulfill either crucial cultural objective.”Heritage Minister Joly’s public, laudable intent has been to bring the best of Canada to the world. The WGC is in complete

Heritage Minister Joly’s public, laudable intent has been to bring the best of Canada to the world. The WGC is in complete agreement, and asks the Liberal government to ensure a place in the Canadian broadcasting system for our own culture: The world needs more, not less, Canada.