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Happy Holidays 
As we wind down the year, its always a good time to reflect on our past successes and gear up for our challenges ahead.  Also, its important as you all work so hard, to take some time to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends. Our Media Council executive wishes you a safe and happy holiday season and is looking forward to an exciting New Year!

Ontario Regional Council Tackles Journalists Facing Harassment
“Our work environment is the world.”
With the advent of social media and electronic messaging, it is almost impossible for journalists and media workers to avoid the vitriol hurled – often anonymously – at them simply for doing their job.

Ontario Regional Council delegates heard chilling accounts of the abuse journalists face on the job, during a panel discussion on harassment of media workers held on the first day of the two-day conference held Dec. 2 and 3 in Toronto.

Keynote speaker Shree Paradkar, a columnist at the Toronto Star, moderated the panel, which included multi-media journalist Saba Eitizaz, Toronto Star reporter and video producer Angelyn Francis and CBC reporter Omayra Issa.
They spoke of violence-laden death threats, racist comments and sexist language sent to them mainly via Twitter messages and emails.

Following the panel, delegates unanimously supported a recommendation titled Combatting Harassment Against Journalists and Media Workers that endorses and supports the Unifor Media Council’s Action Plan to confront and address the harassment of journalists and media workers.

Year in Review and a Look Ahead
2022 has been a busy year! Combatting harassment against journalists, C11, C18, Saving Local News, Afghanistan and Pay Equity are just some of the big issues we have tackled and will continue into the New Year.

Our plan on combatting harassment against journalists is ambitious and will continue strong into 2023.  We need to find ways to better support journalists and then get to the root cause and stop the harassment. We will all need to work together to make this happen.

C11 is close to getting final approval from the senate with many amendments that the House of Commons will have to vote on, before being sent for Royal Assent. C18 has been adopted at third reading in the House of Commons after a slew of amendments. Unifor submitted amendments on both bills, with limited success. That only means that when these bills pass into law, our work at the CRTC will be that much greater. We have always contended that these two bills are just part of the big puzzle to #savelocalnews!

We are so happy to report that we successfully managed to help relocate about fifty Afghan journalists, including their families. Siar Mateen and his family, who arrived in Canada in September, told our Media Council, “The happiest day of my life that I was able to flee,” Mateen said. “There’s always light at the end of the tunnel and I’m very thankful to the Canadian people.”

The Canadian Freelance Union (Unifor’s Freelance Community Chapter) and the United Photojournalists of Canada are bringing together freelancer advocates for a day-long summit to find ways to increase our collective power on February 3, 2023. Click here for more information.

Our work on Pay Equity in the Federal Sector continues. Committees are forming and the process is slowly progressing. We are working hard to coordinate our efforts across the country to ensure we get pay equity plans completed by the 2024 deadline.

It was great to have our first in person Media Council since 2019. We will be in touch early in the New Year with details on next year’s (2023) conference.  As per your direction, our conference in 2024 is set again in Port Elgin, October 2-6.

Website
Don’t forget to regularly check out our Media Council website. 

SIgn up for Howard Law’s Blog – Mediapolicy.ca:
Please visit and sign up Howard Law’s blog on MediaPolicy.ca, written by our former Media Director Howard Law, which is also distributed on Twitter, Facebook and by e-mail.

Friends
Unifor and Friends have long been allies on many issues.  Visit their website to learn more.

In Solidarity,

Randy Kitt                        Julie Kotsis
Unifor Media Director        Media Council Chair