TORONTO- In the past week, Unifor submitted three submissions to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Heritage department, responding to draft regulations and Bell Media’s attempts to water down its news requirements.

“When the CRTC is considering regulations, details matter. If local news is to be saved, then the CRTC must ensure that foreign digital streamers and Canadian media companies alike are subject to clear, enforceable regulations that raise the standards for Canadian news and content,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.

Unifor took a firm stance against Bell Media Inc.’s recent applications seeking to amend certain Conditions of Licence (COLs) to further slash news programming.

In two separate responses to Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 157, Number 23: Order Issuing Directions to the CRTC (Sustainable and Equitable Broadcasting Regulatory Framework) and BNOC 2023-138-1 – The Path Forward, the union advocates for the protection and promotion of Canadian culture and local news in the face of evolving media landscapes through specific comments and amendments.

“The Online News Act and the Online Streaming Act represent generational opportunities to update and improve Canadian media policy,” continued Payne. “This is our chance to get it right.”

In Unifor’s July 26 submission to the CRTC, Randy Kitt, Unifor’s Media Director says, “local news is essential to our democracy. In an age of disinformation, Canadians will depend on trusted news sources more than ever.”

“The decline of local television news is not simply a function of a change in television viewing habits, it is a result of the systematic failure to regulate and properly fund and support. The Commission has the opportunity to create a new regulatory regime to address these concerns.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy and more than 10,000 media workers. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.


See ‘Union fears CRTC filing may mean TV job losses, less local news’ from Newmarket Today