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By  CMG  •  Posted on  September 1, 2008

Voting for our work
Our instincts as media workers are to keep our heads down during political campaigns. However, this time the government seeking re-election has made a campaign issue of media and culture by announcing big cuts to arts funding in the month leading up to the election call. We need to ask clear questions of our candidates and make sure they know we are listening to their answers

Here are some questions to ask candidates at your door or at all-candidates’ meetings, and in blogs and letters to the editor, etc:
– Do you support maintaining the rules that restrict foreign ownership of our media companies?
– Do you support a strong and independent CBC and, if elected, would your government increase CBC’s parliamentary allocation?
– Do you support new rules to ensure that broadcasters be required to produce and air local news?

If you come across information about where your local candidates stand on media and cultural issues, please let us know. Please also get in touch if you are working with a candidate so that we can get you the most up-to-date information to share with the campaign on media and cultural issues. Write to info@cmg.ca .

Click here for the full article on media workers and the federal election.

Enthusiastic CMG crowd marches in Toronto’s Labour Day Parade
Members from nearly all of CMG’s workplaces marched with thousands of other Toronto workers in the Labour Day Parade on September 1. CMG marchers gave out candy to spectators along the route, which ended at the CNE.

“It is great to have this opportunity to get together with other union members and our families and celebrate our place and our importance in this city,” says Lise Lareau, the CMG’s national president. “All together, we make quite an impression. One thing that’s surprises me is that it’s a huge parade, involving thousands of people, and yet it gets so little media coverage.”

New member impressed by union’s progress on human rights, equity issues
CWA Canada
CMG member Xavine Bryan Thompson has a new appreciation for how the Guild’s parent union, TNG, is addressing equity issues. Xavine attended TNG’s Human Rights and Equity Conference in June in Las Vegas and said that it not only stretched her understanding of the issues, but she was “pleasantly surprised” by the welcome she received from “experienced members of the union movement.”

Thompson reported that several guest speakers at the conference “challenged me to think about what the union means to me and my peers by raising a variety of issues which forced me to stretch my concept of diversity and accommodation.” She says that speaker Saron Ghebressellassie, a student and activist at Ryerson University in Toronto, “urged me to consider the disconnect between youth and the adult union movement and what can be done to bridge the gap.” Thompson, a former full-time elementary school teacher, says she agrees that reaching out to young people in schools is a great start.

The conference was organized by TNG’s human rights and equity committee, which is chaired by CMG member Michael D’Souza.

CMG’s Carol Off honoured with ACTRA’s John Drainie Award
Carol Off is receiving the John Drainie Award for distinguished contribution to Canadian Broadcasting. The award has been presented annually since 1968 in honour of the late actor John Drainie.

“Carol Off is one of our country’s finest and most prolific journalists,” says Richard Hardacre, ACTRA’s National President. “From her hard-hitting TV documentaries for CBC’s The National, which have won numerous awards, to the sharp wit and intellect she brings to interviews on CBC radio’s As It Happens, Ms. Off’s journalistic style reveals a deep humanity in the stories she tells about Canadians and people around the world. ACTRA is thrilled to honour Ms. Off with our John Drainie Award.”

“There’s no greater honour to receive as a broadcaster than the John Drainie Award,” Off says. “I am thrilled to win but deeply humbled by the company I will keep on its honour role.”

Previous recipients include Wendy Mesley, David Suzuki, Shelagh Rogers, Pierre Berton, Mavor Moore, W.O. Mitchell, Knowlton Nash, Peter Gzowski, Joe Schlesinger, Barbara Frum and Vicki Gabereau.

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