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Social media helping First Nations push moderate livelihood – SaltWire Network

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When Alexander MacDonald headed up to Burnt Church in 1999, he didn’t bring a smartphone.

They didn’t exist yet.

As lobster traps were being cut and boats and trucks were getting rammed around the northern New Brunswick First Nation, then 15-year-old Mark Zuckerberg was still learning Atari BASIC programming from his dentist father in their Dobbs Ferry, NY, home.

“We didn’t have Facebook at Burnt Church,” said MacDonald, a member of the Sipekne’katik First Nation who now fishes commercially out of Digby.

“What social media does today is gives us more support. It shows our side. It shows what the non-natives are doing to us.”

A citizenry who didn’t have the time or interest to read the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions or the 250 year old treaties on which they’re based, looked at their phones last week and for a few minutes at a time were transported to St. Mary’s Bay where the large Cape Islanders of commercial fishermen came right at them.

Unlike in 1999 on Miramichi Bay, everyone on St. Mary’s Bay over the past two weeks was a potential publisher.

The Mi’kmaw got that.

“’Ninety-Six, ’97, ’98, ’99, we had all these fights – it didn’t start at Burnt Church, this was an every year thing,” said MacDonald.

“I can remember when I was a kid fishing in a brook, DNR coming at me telling me I’m not allowed to practice my right. So we knew that with them having H-Division, SWAT, Coast Guard, DFO, they had an army down there ready to put the Indian down if he tried to push back.”

Law and order was represented by two helicopters (one RCMP, one Coast Guard), Fisheries and Oceans enforcement boats, RCMP boats staged in Meteghan, an armoured vehicle and a Coast Guard Cutter.

But institutions and individuals all found themselves taking new roles this time around.

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan didn’t return to Nova Scotia, and, unlike her predecessor during the Burnt Church crisis, didn’t direct federal authorities to intervene.

In the vacuum left by the federal government and a battle playing out on the water, the Nova Scotia Assembly of Mi’kmaw Chiefs took on the role of governing body.

They declared a state of emergency, set up a command centre, and along with the Sipekne’katik First Nation seized control of the Lower Saulnierville Wharf, provided regular public updates and media access.

Meanwhile, traditional media outlets coming out of Halifax were supplanted as the prime explainers of the local reality by a bearded Hants County weir fishermen who got 50,000 plus views on each of the unedited videos of him looking down at his cellphone and explaining both the Mi’kmaw and commercial fishermen’s perspectives.

Darren Porter assessed that the parties had been pitted against one another by Fisheries and Oceans – first by the federal government’s refusal to negotiate the implementation of a moderate livelihood fishery and then by its declaration that traps set by the Sipekne’katik First Nation were “unauthorized.”

“Fishing without a license is a violation under the Fisheries Act and anyone fishing outside the activities authorized under a license may be subject to enforcement action,” read a statement put out by the minister’s office on Sept 17.

“When (Bernadette Jordan) came out and said it was ‘unauthorized,’ she incited those (commercial) fishermen to believe they were doing the right thing in hauling the First Nations traps and that they had the moral high ground and the backing of Fisheries and Oceans,” said Porter.

“Which was incorrect. (First Nations) had a right to set those traps. Then she quickly changed her position to the opposite side. It was very craftily done.”

Asked if it was unfair to label the impact of the minister’s shifting positions as intentional, Porter responded, “Does it matter? The result is the same.”

On Tuesday, Porter, who is also spokesman for the Fundy United Fishermen’s Association, was in his open aluminum boat researching marine life in the Minas Passage with two Mi’kmaw representatives and a scientist.

He warned the real damage done by the recent conflict was to relations between two communities who will be sharing St. Mary’s Bay.

“All the parties need to get to a point of respectful dialogue. Once (they) get to that point – they can say ‘let’s do something together,’” said Porter.

“The answer is joint science – send out representatives working together to answer the core questions about the resource and the fishery that both sides believe they are right on. While they are doing that and coming to conclusions they can both agree on because they worked together, they will also be building relationships.”

The Sipekne’katik First Nation issued a press release Tuesday saying a “respectful” dialogue had begun in the negotiations with Fisheries and Oceans Canada over the implementation of its moderate livelihood fishery.

But for his part, MacDonald remains skeptical.

He expects to the federal government to try and buy the First Nations off from pursuing a moderate livelihood fishery by offering up more commercial licenses. Sipekne’katik currently has 15 licenses in lobster fishing areas 33, 34 and 35. Provided by Fisheries and Oceans, the band leases the majority out to non-aboriginal fishermen. So while they provide revenue, they don’t provide the access to the fishery for individual members acknowledged as a right by the Supreme Court.

After Burnt Church, MacDonald went to work on commercial fishing boats on the South Shore.

He got his captain’s papers, built an enterprise and his own lobster pound.

Even fishing commercial licenses, he says he’s had his traps cut and no help from Fisheries and Oceans.

“The difference between 1999 and today is that because of social media, because of cell phones, we share our story with the world and we can reach one another quickly and shut this country down,”said MacDonald, referring to blockades of railways and roadways across Canada earlier this year.

“We’re connected right across Canada. You can’t ignore us anymore.”

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Trump calls India, China air ‘filthy’; social media weighs in – Al Jazeera English

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US President Donald Trump describing the air in India and China as “filthy” has triggered mixed reactions on social media, with many amused or embarrassed by the statement.

Trump made the remarks on Thursday night as he denounced Democratic rival Joe Biden’s plans to tackle climate change during their second and final presidential debate ahead of the November 3 election.

At the debate in Nashville, Trump renewed his criticism that global action on climate change was unfair to the United States.

“Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia, look at India – it’s filthy. The air is filthy,” Trump said at the debate in Nashville.

Trump charged that Biden’s climate plan was an “economic disaster” for US states such as Texas and Oklahoma which produce oil.

Biden said climate change is “an existential threat to humanity”.

“We have a moral obligation to deal with it,” he said. “We’re going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years.”

Trump ‘stating the obvious’

Reacting to Trump’s comments, Vishnu Som, a journalist working for India’s NDTV network, said the US president was “stating the obvious” and the country’s air is “sadly filthy”.

Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of The Print news website, said there was “no point in being outraged”.

“Every year about 15 of the 20 cities with the filthiest air in the world are in India. We’ve also done little to address this,” Gupta posted on Twitter.

Trump’s remarks came as air pollution levels in parts of the the Indian capital, New Delhi, soared to “severe” levels on Friday.

The city was blanketed in noxious haze as smoke from agricultural burning, vehicle fumes and industrial emissions – combined with cooler temperatures and slow-moving winds that trap pollutants over the city – turns air in the city into a toxic soup every winter.

New Delhi was the world’s most polluted capital city for the second straight year in 2019, according to Swiss-based group, IQ AirVisual, that gathers air-quality data globally.

India was also home to 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities, said the study released earlier this year.

More than 116,000 Indian infants died from air pollution in the first month of life, and the corresponding figure was 236,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a State of Global Air 2020 study released on Wednesday.

Still, some on social media condemned Trump’s comments, calling it “a humiliation”.

“Wow. Wonderful. Great way to win over Indian Americans, Trump,” wrote US-based journalist, Wajahat Ali.

The planet has already warmed by approximately 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels, enough to boost the intensity of deadly heatwaves, droughts and tropical storms.

But Trump has been repeatedly accused of downplaying the threats posed by climate change.

In 2018, he pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, which aims to cap global warming below 2C (3.6F).

The US president’s remarks came on the heels of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to New Delhi next week to hold talks aimed at covering bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, according to the Indian government.

During the first presidential debate too, Trump had spoken critically of India, questioning its coronavirus data amid criticism of his handling of the pandemic.

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National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook – Campbell River Mirror

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Black Press Media has joined Canada’s news media publishers in calling for all political parties in Parliament to support the adoption of Australia’s approach to combat the monopolistic practices of Google and Facebook.

The two American web giants control the lion’s share of online advertising dollars and distribute newspaper content without compensation in Canada, as in democracies around the world. The model being implemented in Australia counters these monopolistic practices and levels the digital playing field – at no cost to taxpayers and without user fees or other charges.

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues. They use their monopoly control not just to divert advertising from news media publishers, but also to divert millions in advertising revenue that they place on news media sites. Even when advertisers pay specifically to advertise on news media sites, Google and Facebook keep most of that revenue, while gathering and using data on news media site readers and advertisers for their own purposes.

Black Press Media CEO Rick O’Connor stated, “It is vital that we establish the principle that the content we produce and that is subsequently picked up and carried on the platforms such as Google and Facebook should be compensated by the platforms so that we can continue to provide the journalism that our local communities want.

“This is a principle that is only recently being accepted by the platforms, thus the need to work in concert with the rest of the industry to fight for local journalism.”

The recommendation that Canada adopt the Australian model is contained in Levelling the Digital Playing Field, a report commissioned by News Media Canada and prepared by global advisory firm FTI Consulting, which conducted an in-depth analysis of actions taken in democracies around the world to address the same challenge.

News Media Canada represents more than 90 per cent of news media readership in Canada including daily, regional, community, and ethnocultural news publications.

“A strong, diverse and independent news media is valued by Canadians and crucial to our democracy,” said Jamie Irving, vice-president of New Brunswick news publishing company BNI and Chair of News Media Canada’s working group.

“Publishing real news costs money, and Google and Facebook – two of the biggest companies in the world – cannot continue to be allowed to free-ride on the backs of Canadian news media publishers who produce news content, without fair compensation. The time to tackle the global web giants, as the federal government indicated in September, is now.”

Key elements of the Australian model include:

  • An effective approach that requires no new government funding, consumer taxes, or user fees.
  • Publishers, with the approval of government, form a collective bargaining unit to negotiate compensation for the use of their content and intellectual property. It is only through this government approved collective approach that the immense monopoly power of the web giants can be countered, and the digital playing field levelled.
  • A code of conduct to ensure that the web monopolies do not use new algorithms and other proprietary technology to expand their market domination and entrench unfair competitive practices.
  • Enforcement. Under the Australia model, the web giants are subject to fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars for a single infraction. Penalties of this scale are the only effective ways to rein in companies of this unprecedented size and power.
  • Comparable context. Both Canada and Australia publishers are facing significant challenges from the web giants. Canada and Australia share strong regional identities, and similar parliamentary and legal systems.

The government of Canada announced in its speech from the throne on Sept. 23, “The government will act to ensure their revenue is shared more fairly with our creators and media, and will also require them to contribute to the creation, production and distribution of our stories, on screen, in lyrics, in music and in writing.”

News Media Canada is calling on the government to tackle the web giants and adopt the Australian model in Canada.

The CEO members of the following companies are leading the discussions with the government of Canada including Glacier Media, Black Press, Torstar, Postmedia, Globe and Mail, La Presse, Quebecor and Brunswick News.

Canadian-owned Black Press operates more than 80 print and website publications in B.C., Alberta and the Yukon.

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The Canadian Ethnic Media Association Celebrates its 42nd Annual Awards for Journalistic Excellence in a Vibrant Virtual Production – Canada NewsWire

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TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2020 /CNW/ – The Canadian Ethnic Media Association is proud to present its 42nd Annual Awards for Journalistic Excellence on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.  Undaunted by the limitations imposed by the devastating Coronovirus, Covid-19, which have made traditional celebratory gatherings at ballroom dinners and receptions impossible, a vibrant Awards presentation will be conducted within the framework of CEMA’s first-ever virtual production. 

CEMA Chair, Madeline Ziniak, is pleased the organization was able to surmount the unprecedented challenges of this year to continue this much sought-after annual recognition of Canada’s multicultural community media. “The 42nd Awards of Journalistic Excellence continue to platform Canada’s best in the ethnic media landscape and to emphasize its importance to Canadian audiences”.

The historic awards presentation will emanate from CEMA’s Website: www.canadianethnicmedia.com, by way of links to the viewer’s choice of either its Facebook Page or YouTube, at 8 p.m. EST, in Ontario.  Viewers across the country will be able to watch the winners’ at-home acceptance speeches, remote artistic performances, and special guest messages at the following local times:

Newfoundland  (Newfoundland Standard Time)

9:30 p.m. NST

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (Atlantic Time)

9:00 p.m. AST

Quebec and Ontario (Eastern Standard Time)

8:00 p.m. EST

Manitoba and Saskatchewan (Central Standard Time)

7:00 p.m. CST

Alberta (Mountain Standard Time)

6:00 p.m.MST

British Columbia (Pacific Standard Time)

5:00 p.m. PST

In addition to recognizing the outstanding work of ethnic journalists across Canada, the virtual production will also feature the unveiling of CEMA’s new logo – a contemporized re-imagining of the legacy emblem that has been symbolic of reportage since the organization’s inception in 1978.  The new logo pays homage to the fundamentals that inspired CEMA founder Sierhey Khmara Ziniak to rally the country’s first collective of ethnic writers and journalists, while it also salutes today’s technical and philosophic advancements in newsgathering and dissemination.

The Awards presentation is the pinnacle of a very busy year for the Canadian Ethnic Media Association. CEMA has worked tirelessly to advocate for ethnic media operations suffering large advertising revenue losses, while trying to keep their communities abreast of the virus, in their primary languages of comfort.  CEMA proactively took their plight to the country’s three levels of government, making the case for the importance of ethnic media in Canada. 

Also during this year, notably the 5th Anniversary of the CEMA Media Directory, the association responded to the consistent demand for access to the Directory from all sectors, public and private, by undertaking the massive job of refreshing its listings to ensure complete and confirmed accuracy.

The year 2020 will be remembered by many for what they could not attempt and achieve; for the sickness, loss of life and livelihoods that plagued their families and friends; and the economic instability that forced some to abandon their dreams and ultimately close their businesses. Despite the challenges presiding over this year, CEMA, always a determined, forward-thinking force, chose to rise to the occasion.  CEMA found a way to be true to its mandate, pay respect to its momentum and continuity, and to celebrate the best work of its contemporaries.  It is calling its national membership and those interested in journalistic excellence to participate in a fresh and ambitious initiative – an historic virtual presentation of the 42nd Annual CEMA Awards for Journalistic Excellence.  This special online production opens viewing access to interested parties right across the country.  

The Canadian Ethnic Media Association is happy to welcome the return of Ontario Creates as the Sponsor of the 42nd Annual Awards for Journalistic Excellence.  Ontario Creates is an agency of the Government of Ontario that facilitates economic development, investment and collaboration in Ontario’s creative industries including the music, book, magazine, film, television and interactive digital media sectors. ontariocreates.ca

The first virtual presentation of CEMA’s Awards for Journalistic Excellence is produced by Stan Papulkas of Edmonton, Alberta. Stan is a veteran independent television producer who has many years experience working with Canada’s multicultural and multilingual television programmers.

SOURCE Canadian Ethnic Media Association

For further information: Averill Maroun, Canadian Ethnic Media Association, Marketing and Media Relations, Phone: 905 881-3955, E-mail: [email protected]

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