The CMG Meritorious Service Award is presented to outstanding Guild members who have served the union and membership on a long-term basis, sacrificing personal and professional time, and who have completed projects of extraordinary benefit to the membership as a whole. The award is presented at the CMG’s biennial convention.
Meritorious Award winners from 1999 to 2016
2016: Michael D’Souza (CBC Branch – Toronto)
An experienced union activist, Michael has held several positions at the local, branch, and national levels of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), as well as at CWA Canada, the Canadian component of our wider union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
Michael has a long record as an advocate for human rights and equity. He’s also worked to ensure media workers are treated and paid fairly, and have access to full time work. Michael has served on several union committees, including the CBC Branch’s Pay Equity Committee and collective bargaining committee.
Michael has said that union work has meant a lot in his life and that he’s felt compelled to work toward building solidarity and helping young media workers and temporary workers.
2014: Barbara Saxberg (CBC Branch – Toronto)
Barbara is a multiple award-winning news and current affairs journalist and documentary maker, who worked as an editor, producer and host in CBC Network Radio.
Serving on the national executive of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), Barbara acted as a director, with responsibility for education. In that role, Barbara created a labour education program for CMG, pioneering union training programs in the areas of leadership development and conflict resolution.
Over her decade-long activism within our union, Barbara was elected Secretary of the CBC Branch, served on two CBC Branch bargaining committees and was a leader in the creation of contract language around employee rights, employment equity, pay equity, and bullying.
She was also a delegate at the national and international levels of our broader union for several years, and was a member of the Canadian Labour Congress’s Education Advisory Committee.
2012: Scott Edmonds (CP Branch – Winnipeg)
A long-time reporter and editor at the Canadian Press, and seasoned negotiator, Scott led the Canadian Press Branch at the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and served as national vice-president of CMG.
Over the years, Scott became an active and sought after addition to CMG committees. Fellow CMG members valued his intelligence, and keen grasp of the by-laws and history of the Guild. He demonstrated a knack for wading through resolutions, procedures, and legalistic language.
He has served as a vice-president (Canada West) of the NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA) a part of CMG’s wider union. Scott has also served as a director on CWA Canada’s national executive and as a trustee of The Canadian Press Pension Plan for CMG members.
2010: Jon Soper (CBC Branch – St. John’s)
Jon Soper has served on a variety of national Canadian Media Guild (CMG) committees, including the National Elections committee and the Resolutions committee in support of CMG conventions. He was a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and a delegate to conventions of CMG’s wider union, Communications Workers of America (CWA).
A member of CBC’s Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits, Jon has also sat on the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Broadcasting corporation’s Pension Plan.
2008: Arnold Amber (CBC Branch – Toronto)
Arnold served as president of the CBC Branch of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and later led CWA Canada, the Canadian component of CMG’s wider union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA).
Arnold’s impact on the union movement at the CBC and at other media workplaces has been profound. He was an admired, outspoken, and oft-quoted proponent of better journalism and quality media. He also advocated for better protections and improved working conditions for journalists in Canada and around the world.
A mentor and leader, Arnold thoughtfully applied himself with equal discipline and passion to journalism, the labour movement, and defending freedom of the press.
2006: Blayne Paige (CBC Branch – Ottawa)
Blayne was a union activist who played a key role during the 2005 lock-out of CMG-represented workers at the CBC. He also participated in the Save The CBC campaign.
Blayne became active in NABET in 1981 and remained active in CEP. In the 1999 CEP strike he helped develop picket protocols, building respect from all on picket lines.
2004: Céline Pelletier (CBC Branch – Windsor)
Céline served as President of the Location Unit at CBC Windsor. A mentor to her colleagues on union-related issues, Céline was viewed as having an encyclopedic understanding of the CBC-CMG collective agreement. Moreover, she was recognized as a leader to her Windsor co-workers in English and French radio and television newsrooms.
Len Carter (CBC Branch – Toronto) – 2002
Len worked at CBC’S film department as an assistant film editor, and then as a production assistant. He became involved in the union immediately after being hired at the CBC through CUPE, which was then his union at CBC.
Len then spent 33 years as a union activist, fighting for what he believed to be right. He was also pivotal in organizing Christmas parties for children, the CBC picnic, and the Labour Day parade.
Len worked as a replacement union staffer, as a staff representative. He also negotiated collective agreements, taught with CUPE, the Canadian Labour Congress, Ontario Federation of Labour, and the Toronto Labour Council.
He was instrumental in building the Guild, when several different union Locals merged to expand and form the Canadian Media Guild.
2000: Percy Hatfield (CBC Branch – Windsor)
Percy was a reporter at CBC Windsor, where he held union leadership roles with the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) including as a union steward, and a CMG Vice-President for Central Canada.
He also served as an At-Large VP with the Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA) as well as two terms as TNG-CWA’s Vice President for Eastern Canada.
Percy served on the CBC bargaining team during the 2005 lockout at CBC.
1999: David Kaufman (CBC Branch – Toronto)
David worked as producer at CBC’s prestigious current affairs program The Fifth Estate.
With the merger of the different unions at CBC, David was instrumental in the creation of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and was one of the CMG’s founding executive members in the role of National Treasurer.