YouTube knocking down Canada’s protective cultural wall

Canada’s creative lobby may have turned its back on the world but that doesn’t mean Canadians are joining them in their quest to hide

YouTube knocking down Canada’s protective cultural wallCanada’s creative lobby may have turned its back on the world but that doesn’t mean Canadians are joining them in their quest to hide behind a big wall of regulations aimed at protecting them from foreigners. A recent study by Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design, entitled  Watchtime Canada: How YouTube Connects Creators and…

What can – and should – be done about CBC

Get CBC out of the advertising business on all of its platforms. And make its content available to other media for free within Canada

What can – and should – be done about CBCSeveral years ago, I by chance encountered a backbench member of Parliament who asked in a very straightforward fashion why we at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) didn’t “do something” about CBC. Mildly startled, I replied that if something was to be “done” about CBC, Parliament should just go ahead and do it.…

A chance to give Canada’s North real communication service

But will the CRTC take advantage of the appointment of Claire Anderson to pursue significant change?

A chance to give Canada’s North real communication serviceIt sounds a little bit like a Jack London novel but it’s true: I was sitting in the bar of the Gold Rush Inn in Whitehorse one day with a buddy when the barmaid asked what two old birds like us were doing in town. Looking around and being careful not to be overheard, we…

Does federal panel pose a threat to net neutrality in Canada?

By early 2020, we’ll know what the members think the government should do to modernize decrepit legislation

Does federal panel pose a threat to net neutrality in Canada?If you want to know how much in extra fees you might be paying or how much Canada intends to meddle with online content to make sure you watch what the government wants you to watch, you should start paying attention now. This week, the government panel reviewing the nation’s broadcasting and telecommunications legislation (known…

Poor customer service suggests Telus is doomed

After wasting hours of my life, I realized I was not the valued customer Telus continued to claim I was

Poor customer service suggests Telus is doomedOne of the first signs of a business headed for decline is poor customer service. When we fail to meet our customers’ expectations for our product or service, they generally start to leave us for other options. Business owners should always keep a close finger on the pulse of our customer service. For the three…

Lack of competition pushes up your cost to use the Internet

Canada is among the world’s leaders when it comes to restrictive foreign ownership rules, and the digital realm is no exception

Lack of competition pushes up your cost to use the InternetMany of the close to 90 per cent of Canadians who subscribe to home Internet plans will begin to see their monthly bills go up next month by, it appears, $2 to $9 a month. It could be more and if you’re on a locked-in plan you might not feel the impact right away. But…

Baby, it’s too cold outside to simply ban Christmas songs you don’t like

Social and cultural change is most effective when it employs persuasion as opposed to heavy-handed tools such as censorship

Baby, it’s too cold outside to simply ban Christmas songs you don’t likeThe removal from air play of the newly controversial 1940s hit Baby, It’s Cold Outside represents a noteworthy shift in the way media companies defend artistic freedom in the eight years since the Dire Straits song Money for Nothing was banned in Canada. The Dire Straits tune, a monster 1985 hit, was forbidden from broadcast…

CRTC wants to tax Internet users to subsidize content creators

What does and doesn’t stream over the Internet is none of the CRTC’s business

CRTC wants to tax Internet users to subsidize content creatorsSometime in the not too distant future, everyone who subscribes to the Internet should have to pay more to ensure more secure jobs and incomes for Canadian content creators whose lives have been disrupted by the Internet. That’s the pitch being made by Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator to the federal government as it looks…

The Super Bowl ads get punted in Canada – again

Donald Trump may take the credit, but you can blame CTV/Bell Media and the CRTC

The Super Bowl ads get punted in Canada – againNow that the nation is deep into the seasonal gridiron grind, it’s time to talk money, TV and some serious Canadian angst. No, this isn’t about why the Canadian Football League can’t draw flies in Toronto. This is about the ads, the rights and all the money that makes football a fantasy land for fans…

CRTC scales back its Internet ambitions for remote areas

The commission has released the eligibility criteria for accessing $750 million to expand Internet service to remote areas

CRTC scales back its Internet ambitions for remote areasWhen it comes to Internet service, whether its cellular, Wi-Fi, wireless, fixed or both, the one thing that matters most is speed – or so most Kitsilano condo dwellers would tell you. Because if you live in, say, Lunenberg County or Stony Rapids or Cambridge Bay, the thing that matters most about Internet service is…

Restricting Toronto mayoral debaters is wrong

Fair and equitable election coverage is necessary to maintain broadcast licences, not to mention Canadian democracy

Restricting Toronto mayoral debaters is wrongYou’ve heard of stage diving and photo bombing, but Faith Goldy has pulled a new one: stage storming. “Good morning, sorry to interrupt, I must have missed my invitation in the mail,” she said, having taken the stage to a Toronto mayoral election debate to which she was not invited. The candidate was armed with…

The subsidy table is set, and actors and writers will dine

The CRTC has backed away from a 21st-century funding model for the creation of Canadian content. We'll all be poorer as a result

The subsidy table is set, and actors and writers will dineThe leaders of Canada’s creative rebellion have emerged victorious after two years of struggle. That means consumers will almost certainly pay more for years to come for their much-loved Canadian television content. The news came just prior to the Labour Day weekend. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a decision confirming that it…

Tax the Internet in the name of Canadian culture?

Canadian production is booming. It hardly needs more official intervention – and funding – to continue to grow

Tax the Internet in the name of Canadian culture?Those of you who have fled the walled garden that constitutes Canada’s regulated Can-con broadcasting system for the freedom of the Internet, beware: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is ready to round you up. After years of news, information, education and entertainment being available unregulated from whatever source you want on a platform…

Rolling the gender boulder up the broadcast hill ignores bigger issues

The CRTC should be far more concerned about the role of women within the telecommunications industry than in TV

Rolling the gender boulder up the broadcast hill ignores bigger issuesIf you like Canadian television and you’re a woman – better yet, you’re a woman in the industry – there’s a chance that in the years ahead you’re going to like it a lot more. That’s because, in alignment with the federal government’s commitment to a strong feminist agenda, its communications regulator is once again…

The CRTC remains shrouded in mystery

Open up about decisions made on the communications tools people use, the content they consume and the price they pay for it

The CRTC remains shrouded in mysteryMany years ago, after a particularly chaotic day in a newsroom, a couple of colleagues and I shared a deep breath, a relieved laugh and shook our heads in dismay. “If only they knew,” one of us said of the readers we sought to serve, “… if only they knew.” I decided then that If…