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What’s Canadian? Minister to modernize definition of a Canadian film and TV program

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OTTAWA — Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez is set to review what qualifies as a Canadian film or TV program as part of a move to modernize the country’s broadcast laws.

The definition of Canadian content is at the heart of a bill before Parliament that would make streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ feature a certain amount of Canadian programs and invest in “Canadian stories,” as traditional broadcasters must do.

Once the bill passes through Parliament, the heritage minister plans to give a “policy direction” to the broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, indicating how to modernize the definition of Canadian content.

Critics say the current rules need updating and some programs about Canadian issues — including Amazon’s series on the Toronto Maple Leafs — have not ticked enough boxes to be counted as Canadian.

Disney’s “Turning Red,” which tells the story of growing up as a Chinese-Canadian teen in Toronto and stars Ottawa-born Sandra Oh, did not count as Canadian under the rules. Nor did the much-feted adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

In an interview at the National Arts and Culture summit in Ottawa, Rodriguez said “we have to modernize” the definition of Canadian content and he is “open to all kinds of suggestions and ideas.”

Some experts warn that if the definition of Canadian content is not broadened, it could create a disincentive for studios to invest in Canadian talent if their work doesn’t officially qualify as Canadian.

Michael Geist, the University of Ottawa’s Canada Research Chair in internet law, said “the current rules are woefully outdated, resulting in policies that do little to truly “advance Canadian stories.”

Geist said the current system was “little more than a tick-box exercise” which meant that “works by Canadian authors may not count as certified Cancon, whereas productions with little connection to Canada such as ‘Gotta Love Trump’ somehow count as Canadian.”

“Gotta Love Trump” is a film featuring supporters of former U.S. president Donald Trump, including an ex-photographer for the president and a former contestant on “The Apprentice.”

Marvel’s “Deadpool” starred Canadian A-lister Ryan Reynolds and was filmed in Vancouver. Canadian Paul Wernick co-wrote the screenplay based on a Canadian comic book character. Yet the film did not qualify as Canadian under the rules of the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office.

Those rules require a Canadian producer and a Canadian director or screenwriter. Points are awarded for the number of Canadians in leading roles or other key creative positions. Canadians must also feature prominently in production and post-production.

The heritage minister said he is speaking to arts and culture ministers in other countries “to look at what they do, and of course we have to adapt it to our country.”

“I will be meeting with the minister of culture of Germany Thursday and this is one of the things I will be discussing and I will do the same with other counterparts,” Rodriguez said.

The United Kingdom has a broader definition of British film, including works focusing on a British theme such as the life of William Shakespeare.

The Canadian Media Producers Association says the rules must ensure that Canadians continue to own the intellectual property rights to their work.

It also wants streaming platforms to be obliged to give Canadian film and TV makers a greater slice of profits if their work is a success.

“Our Broadcasting Act must ensure that Canada’s independent producers have a fair opportunity to negotiate with content buyers, including streamers, to own, control and monetize the intellectual property that they develop and produce,” said Reynolds Mastin, president and CEO.

Rodriguez said at the summit he plans to equip the CRTC with more tools to regulate online streaming platforms and digital platforms such as Twitter. He said a “priority” is to “make sure we have a modern regulator.”

The minister is shepherding two bills through Parliament in which the CRTC will play a key role as a regulator. The online streaming bill, known as C-11 in Parliament, would modernize the broadcast laws to regulate streaming platforms including Amazon Prime.

The online news bill, C-18, would make tech giants such as Facebook and Google pay for reusing news produced by professional Canadian news organizations.

“Some critics argue that the CRTC is not responsive to consumers and creators, that it lacks the expertise and resources to deal with the new legislation. Basically, they say that the CRTC doesn’t get the internet,” Rodriguez told the summit. “I hear these concerns.”

“Government and technology haven’t always worked together so well. But let’s not forget that the CRTC has a long history of supporting Canadian culture,” he added.

He said in an interview he did not think there was a better body than the CRTC to do the job.

“Do they have all the tools they need? Probably not,” he said. “And that’s our job to provide them with the tools and resources they need.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2022.

 

Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press

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Media Beat: May 19, 2022 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News

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Google warns Ottawa’s Online News Act would ‘break’ its search engine

One of the social-media giant’s biggest concerns is language in the bill that prohibits “digital news intermediary operators” – a category that would apply to Google and other search engines – from giving “undue or unreasonable preference” to specific news items.

The company argues this language is unclear and puts at risk the core function of Google’s search engine, which is to provide ranked responses to a search query. – Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press

Matt Zimbel launches 2nd ‘Yes We Can-Ada podcast series

Filmmaker, musician, broadcast executive, artistic director, television and radio show host. There aren’t too many occupations in media that American-born, Montreal resident Matt Zimbel hasn’t put his mind to–and succeeded at. The Manteca bongoist has just launched the 2nd season of his satirical Yes We Can–Ada podcast series (10 episodes all in) that is spreading like wildfire on the TikTok channel. Oh, and let’s not forget Matt’s subtitle for his irreverent humour: The Progressive Guide to Getting the Fu*k Out. For your titillation and affected northern self-love, episode 1: Pandemic Nervosa.

SiriusXM and Live Nation team up to bring exclusive live experiences to Maple fans

Alexisonfire kicks off a new “multi-year” partnership between Live Nation and SiriusXM in Canada with a free concert at Live Nation’s Toronto concert venue HISTORY on April 13. The concert precedes the band’s 4-day concert series, Born & Raised, in hometown St. Catharines with co-headliner City and Colour. Other collaborative concerts are to be broadcast by SiriusXM from RBC Echo Beach and Budweiser Stage and several festivals, including Born & Raised, FVDED in the Park and Osheaga. Both companies are under the umbrella of US mass media giant Liberty Media, which owns 34 percent of Live Nation and 72 percent of SiriusXM.

How media reports of ‘clashes’ mislead Americans about Israeli-Palestinian violence

The New York Times initially reported that Abu Akleh “was shot as clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian gunmen took place in the city.” Further down in the same story, we read that Palestinian journalist Ali Samudi, who was wounded in the same attack, said, “There were no armed Palestinians or resistance or even civilians in the area.” Yet this perspective is missing from the headline and opening paragraphs of the story.

A few days later, an analysis of available video footage by investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat concluded that the evidence “appears to support” eyewitnesses who said no militant activity was taking place and that the gunfire came from Israeli military snipers.

The New York Times has not updated or corrected its original story to reflect this new evidence. – Maha Nassar, The Conversation

Social media platforms are still struggling to stop the spread of the Buffalo shooting video

The 18-year-old gunman broadcast the shooting in a grocery store in a predominately Black suburban area in Buffalo, New York, to the streaming platform Twitch on Saturday morning. Although Twitch took down the livestream within two minutes from the start of the attack, a recording of the video was swiftly posted on a video streaming site called Streamable. That video was viewed more than three million times before it was taken down, according to the New York Times. Links to the recording were shared across Facebook and Twitter, and another clip that purported to show the gunman firing at people in the supermarket was visible on Twitter more than four hours after being uploaded. Additionally, TikTok users uploaded video sharing accounts and search terms to take viewers to the full video on Twitter, according to Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz. – Rhiannon Williams, The Download

Uber’s Ad-Toting Drones Are Heckling Drivers Stuck in Traffic

Forget billboards—motorists now have ads buzzing a few feet above their windshields. – Michael Reilly, MIT Technology Review

8 words you should never use to describe yourself in an interview

Stuffing your résumé and LinkedIn profile with generic buzzwords can be off-putting to potential employers, but it’s far worse when you recite them during an interview.

Below are some of the most commonly overused words candidates use to describe themselves during the interview process—and what you can say instead to communicate your value and win over your interviewers. – Amanda Augustine, Fast Company

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Boat Rocker Media to Present at the 2022 TD Telecom & Media Conference – Canada NewsWire

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TORONTO, May 19, 2022 /CNW/ – Boat Rocker Media Inc. (“Boat Rocker” or the “Company”) (TSX: BRMI), an independent, integrated global entertainment company, announced today that CEO, John Young, will present in person at the 2022 TD Telecom & Media Conference on Wednesday, May 25 in Toronto.

Boat Rocker’s presentation is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. EST on May 25. John Young and CFO, Michelle Abbott, will be available for one-on-one investor meetings throughout the day. A webcast of the presentation will be available on the Events page of the Boat Rocker IR website.

About Boat Rocker

Boat Rocker (TSX: BRMI) is the home for creative visionaries. An independent, integrated global entertainment company, Boat Rocker’s purpose is to tell stories and build iconic brands across all genres and mediums. With offices around the world, Boat Rocker’s creative and commercial capabilities include Scripted, Unscripted, and Kids & Family television production, distribution, brand & franchise management, a world-class animation studio, and talent management through Untitled Entertainment. A selection of Boat Rocker’s projects include: Invasion (Apple TV+), American Rust (Showtime), Orphan Black (BBC AMERICA, CTV Sci-Fi Channel), Dear…(Apple TV+), Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (Apple TV+), The Next Step (BBC, Family Channel, CBC), Daniel Spellbound (Netflix), and Dino Ranch (Disney+, Disney Junior, CBC). For more information, please visit www.boatrocker.com.

SOURCE Boat Rocker Media Inc.

For further information: Johanna Gonzalez or Craig Armitage, Boat Rocker Media, Investor Relations, [email protected]

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Media Release – May 19, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service

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Male arrested in large drugs, weapons investigation

A North York male has been arrested in connection with the largest fentanyl seizure in the history of the Guelph Police Service.

A seven-month investigation which began in early 2021 resulted in the seizure of more than 100,000 doses of fentanyl and four firearms. Several individuals were arrested last fall and others identified as persons of interest as the investigation continued.

On Tuesday, Guelph Police were notified by another police service that one of the males identified during that investigation had been arrested in the Greater Toronto Area and charged with drug offences. The male was transported to Guelph.

A 26-year-old North York male is charged in Guelph with three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. He will appear in a Guelph bail court Thursday.

Two vehicles stolen Wednesday

The Guelph Police Service is investigating after two motor vehicles were stolen on the same day.

Approximately 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, a male called police to report his 2013 Ford Fusion had been stolen overnight from his driveway in the area of Gordon Street and Hands Drive.  Another resident of the same street called police to report seeing a suspicious male checking car doors in the neighbourhood approximately 3 a.m. before getting into the passenger side of a vehicle which left at a high rate of speed.

Anyone with information is asked to call Constable Firas El-Ayoubi at 519-824-1212, ext. 7129, email him at felayoubi@guelphpolice.ca, leave an anonymous tip for Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.

Approximately 10 p.m. Wednesday, a female called to report her silver and grey 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup had been stolen from her workplace in the area of Paisley Road and Elmira Road South. It was stolen sometime since 12:30 p.m.

Anyone with information is asked to call Constable Adam Kernan at 519-824-1212, ext. 7379, email him at akernan@guelphpolice.ca, leave an anonymous tip for Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.

Female arrested, held for bail

A Kitchener female who twice missed court dates in Guelph was held in custody to ensure she makes it the next time.

The female was scheduled to appear in April for theft under $5,000 and two counts of failing to appear. A warrant was taken out for her arrest after she failed to show up.

Early Thursday she was arrested by another police service and returned to Guelph. A 37-year-old Kitchener female faces an additional charge of failing to appear and was held to appear in a Guelph bail court Thursday.

Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 237

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