Outgoing CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais has revealed he did not reapply for the role, as his five-year term comes to a close on Saturday

Michael Geist

Outgoing CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais has revealed he did not reapply for the role, as his five-year term comes to a close on Saturday. Steering the regulator through the rise of video streaming and high-speed mobile networks, Blais’ legacy includes declaring broadband Internet access a basic service, implementation of so-called skinny TV packages, and instituting a wireless code of conduct. Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, writes Blais is “likely to be regarded as the most consequential CRTC chair in a generation.” You can read Blais’ address to the Banff World Media Festival this week, including some predictions and parting shots, here.

Quebecor Media Inc. has announced the sale of seven 2500 MHz and 700 MHz wireless spectrum licences, held by Videotron, to Shaw Communications Inc. for $430 million. The sale includes three 700 MHz licences covering southern Ontario and the entirety of the provinces of Alberta and BC, and four 2500 MHz licences covering Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Quebecor has also sold Videotron’s advanced wireless services spectrum licence in the Greater Toronto region to Rogers for approximately $184 million. The company says the sales will enable Videotron to continue investing in the development of its network in Quebec and Eastern Ontario.

Bell has announced an agreement with Hyundai AutoEver Telematics America (HATA), a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group, to deliver a range of connected telematics services including security, safety, diagnostics and infotainment to select Hyundai and Kia vehicles over Bell’s national mobile network. The capabilities, including local search, remote start and automatic collision notification, will be available starting this summer.

Mélanie Joly

ACTRA and ACTRA RACS (Recording Artists’ Collecting Society) have joined the Focus On Creators coalition, organized to bring attention to issues around unpaid reuse of the work of Canada’s creative artists in the digital age. Focus On Creators has drafted a call to action that supporters can sign asking Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly to put creators at the heart of cultural policy decisions.

Jean Pelletier

The Canadian Press is this year’s recipient of the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism (large-media category), presented at the annual Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards. CP’s Open Secret series explored sexual trauma involving children in Indigenous communities. The previously announced Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jean Pelletier, senior director of television current affairs and documentaries for Radio-Canada. You can view the full list of winners here.

The Western Association of Broadcasters2017 WAB Gold Medal Awards Gala took place June 8 at the Fairmont Banff Springs, celebrating the best and brightest in Prairie broadcasting.  

2017 WAB Gold Medal for Radio (Under 150,000 Market)
Rogers Media – Country 93.3 & 97.9 ROCK
Response to Fort McMurray Wildfire

2017 WAB Gold Medal for Radio (Market 150,000 and Over)
Rawlco Radio – 650 CKOM
Saskatchewan Day of Caring for Fort McMurray

2017 WAB Gold Medal for Television (Under 150,000 Market)
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group – CHAT TV
Heart of the City

2017 WAB Gold Medal for Television (Market 150,000 and Over)
Bell Media – CTV Calgary
Toy Mountain

2017 WAB Leader of Tomorrow
Joelle Tomlinson
Corus Entertainment – Global Saskatoon

2017 WAB Hall of Fame Inductees
Stanley Papulkas
Rogers Media

Patrick Grierson
Canadian Broadcast Sales

Broadcast Order of Achievement

Quarter Century Club – 25 Years:
Derek Allen (Harvard), Dave Baker (Fabmar), Angela Enns (Golden West), Kim Fjellner (Rogers Media), Wendy Friesen (Golden West), Cal Gratton (Fabmar), Kerry Greenly (Rogers Media), Sanford Hildebrand (Golden West), Ron Hogue (Golden West), Rick Lewis (Golden West), Dave Marcoux (Fabmar), Tony Marsh (Rogers Media), Alice McFarlane (Fabmar), Vernon Mooers (Golden West), Cynthia Parker (Rogers Media), Finlay Paterson (Golden West), Angela Reimer (Rogers Media), Linda Rheaume (Fabmar), Glenn Rogers (Golden West), Shelley Ruis (Rogers Media), Dave Schuck (Newcap Radio), Ken Siira (Golden West), Antonio Sorgiovanni (Rogers Media), Joy Tamke (Rogers Media), Leon Tansey (Rogers Media), Kevin Wallace (Golden West), Royal Watson (Fabmar), Alex White (Jim Pattison)

Half Century Club – 50 Years:
Ken Singer (Fabmar)

Mark Ritson

Mark Ritson has been announced as the keynote speaker at the 2018 Western Association of Broadcasters Conference in Banff, June 6-7, 2018. Ritson is the adjunct professor at Melbourne Business School and a world-leading expert in marketing and branding. Early registration for next year’s conference will open in September, along with the release of other speakers.  

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