March 27, 2015: News that the government will admit up to ten amendments to Bill C-51 has been given a cautious welcome by community-based organization OpenMedia, which is campaigning to scrap the bill. However the amendments will not go anywhere near far enough to address serious concerns about the impact the vaguely written bill will have on Canadians’ privacy and democratic rights.
Responding to the news, OpenMedia’s executive director Steve Anderson said: “I am happy to see the government finally admit that Bill C-51 is flawed, and that they are willing to make amendments. Canadians and experts have been clear that the language in this bill is so vague and poorly written that the government needs to restart the process not tinker around the edges. I’m hopeful that the government will now start to have a meaningful dialogue with Canadians on this reckless, dangerous, and ineffective piece of legislation.”
Bell president Kevin Crull should resign after being caught censoring CTV news coverage
March 25, 2015 – Responding to reports that Bell directly interfered with CTV News coverage of CRTC decisions promising Canadians more affordable and flexibility in telecom options, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had said this to say:
“Sadly, we’re concerned with repeated reports that Bell’s President Kevin Crull is bullying his company’s news outlets into burying stories crucial to Canadians. Ordering staff to ban CRTC Chair Jean Pierre Blais from the airwaves is embarrassment to the country. Kevin Crull should resign immediately in order to restore Canadians’ confidence in the integrity and impartiality of CTV and other Bell-owned news broadcasts.”
Court rules that Bell must stop discriminating against competing apps and services as per CRTC order, allowing other content providers to operate on a level playing field.
March 23, 2015 – The Federal Court of Appeal today dismissed Bell Mobility’s request to continue offering their controversial Mobile TV service while they appeal a recent CRTC decision that found the company to be unlawfully making competing mobile video apps and services more expensive. The Court said that "Bell has not established that it will suffer irreparable harm” if the Mobile TV service is banned until the appeal is resolved.
In January, the CRTC forced companies like Bell to stop exempting their own services from monthly data caps. Bell was caught marking up competing video services by up to 800%. While the company was given until April 29 to comply, Bell announced they would appeal the decision. The Court is currently deciding whether they’ll hear the case, and today’s announcement means that Bell cannot continue the practice in the interim.
The massive petition organized by Leadnow and OpenMedia will be delivered at a key parliamentary hearing into Bill C-51 later today. A recent poll revealed that support for the legislation has plummeted, with 50% of Canadians now opposing it.
March 23, 2015 – A petition with over 100,000 signatures speaking out against Bill C-51 will be delivered to Parliament today. The petition was organized by Leadnow and OpenMedia to give Canadians an opportunity to speak out about how Bill C-51 will undermine basic freedoms. It will be delivered by OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson, who is testifying before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security at 6:30pm today.
Public opinion is rapidly turning against Bill C-51, commonly known as the “secret police bill”. A recent Forum Research poll revealed that support for Bill C-51 has plummeted, with just 19% wanting Parliament to pass the legislation as written. Last weekend, thousands of Canadians took to the streets in over 70 communities across Canada, as part of a National Day of Action organized by the BCGEU, Leadnow, and OpenMedia.
Canadians will be able to pick and choose which TV channels they want to purchase, beyond a slimmed-down basic package. However, the new rules won’t come fully into force until December 2016.
March 19, 2015 - Relief is in sight for Canadians fed up of paying for dozens of TV channels they never watch. New rules announced by the CRTC today mean Canadians will soon be able to pick and choose which TV channels they want to pay for. OpenMedia, which crowdsourced ideas from 30,000 people in a report provided to the CRTC last fall, says the new rules are a welcome step forward, but that the CRTC should have gone further.
Participants in OpenMedia’s crowdsourcing process asked for the basic package to only include publicly-funded media, such as CBC, APTN, and accessibility channels. Instead, the CRTC’s plan will still force all TV subscribers to pay for a number of channels owned by vertically-integrated telecom giants, including CTV, Global, and City TV. Because of this, the new ‘basic’ package will cost $25 a month, more than what many Canadians were hoping for.
“These new rules are a big step in the right direction, although it’s a pity the CRTC is still giving preferential access to the telecom giants,” said OpenMedia campaign manager Josh Tabish. “Nobody should be forced to subsidize outdated Big Telecom TV services in order to access publicly-funded media. That’s why more and more people are cutting the cord and turning to the Internet to access content flexibly.”
Canadians oppose Bill C-51 by 50% to 38%; two-thirds of Liberals oppose the bill despite Trudeau’s support; opposition to the bill has tripled in the six weeks since it was first announced.
March 17, 2015 – A new opinion poll just published by Forum Research has revealed a massive swing against Bill C-51, commonly known as the “Secret Police” Bill. The poll shows that 50% of Canadians now oppose the bill, with just 38% approving.
The poll was published just days after thousands of Canadians took to the streets in over 70 communities across Canada, as part of a National Day of Action organized by the BCGEU, Leadnow.ca, and OpenMedia.