Actor William Shatner, Montreal filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, and Coast Salish poet and screenwriter Lee Maracle are among the latest Canadians appointed Officers of the Order of Canada

William Shatner, Denis Villeneuve, Lee Maracle, and Jann Arden

Actor William Shatner, Montreal filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, and Coast Salish poet and screenwriter Lee Maracle are among the latest Canadians appointed Officers of the Order of Canada. New Members to the Order include entertainer and author Jann ArdenYuk Yuk’s co-founder and radio host Mark Breslin; Quebec actress and former Tory MP Andrée Champagne; former sports journalist Red Fisher; Mi’kmaq filmmaker Catherine Ann Martin; former CBC Montreal and W5 host Sylvia Sweeney; and Hollywood Suiteco-founder and former CHUM CEO Jay Switzer. View the complete list of recipients here.

Deloitte is out with its Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions for 2018. Among them, that this will be a big year for AR (augmented reality), including the development of thousands of AR apps; that the role of the smartphone will become ever more central with the number of daily glances continuing to rise; and that TV viewing will continue to decline among 18-24 year-olds. Download the full report here.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) says it’s filed a complaint with the CRTC, asking the regulator to clarify its unlocking rules after complaints Bell will only unlock phones free of charge for current and former customers, excluding those who may have a second-hand phone locked to its network. New CRTC rules took effect Dec. 1 that were supposed to free Canadians from unlocking fees. Rogers, Telusand Freedom Mobile say they’ll unlock phones locked to their networks free of charge, as long as the phone hasn’t been flagged as lost or stolen.

Freedom Mobile’s 10 GB wireless plan for $50 triggered similarly priced plans in Freedom’s service areas in December. The price wars saw Bell, Telus, and Rogers and flanker brands Koodo and Fido offer 10 GB for $60 in B.C, Alberta and Ontario.

The CRTC has called for comment on what types of non-carrier telecom providers should be exempt from registering with the commission. Right now, those providing interexchange; local exchange services (also known as local telephone services); wireless voice; local voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); Internet access or payphone services are required to register. Comments close Jan. 30.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s government has announced that $40 million in federal, provincial and private funding will go toward expanding broadband internet service in the province. When the work is complete, 1,500 homes will be brought online in rural areas or service will be upgraded. Bell Aliant will contribute $9.2 million to the expansion.

The 2018 Canadian Telecom Summit is set for June 4-6 in Toronto. In its 17th year, the theme is Innovation and Disruption in ICT: reinventing and securing our business and personal lives. Find out more here.

Arlene Dickinson, David Allison, Terry O’Reilly, and Paul Kaye

The Western Association of Broadcasters 84th Annual Conference will take place June 6-7 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Arlene Dickinson from CBC Dragons’ Den, one of Canada’s most successful communications entrepreneurs, will headline this year’s conference. The speakers lineup also includes researcher David Allison; Terry O’Reilly, the familiar voice behind CBC Radio program Under the Influence; and a panel of programming experts including Paul Kaye (Rogers Media)Ronnie Stanton (Alpha Media)Rob Farina (Bell Media)Steve Jones (Newcap Radio) and Barrie Vice(Golden West Broadcasting). CRTC Chair Ian Scott will also be a special conference guest. Registration and hotel information is available at

Cision has acquired CEDROM-SNi Inc., a Montréal-based firm specializing in digital media monitoring solutions. CEDROM, with approximately 110 employees in Montréal, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto and Paris, offers media monitoring and analytical services through its digital solution, in Canada, and its European counterpart, in France. Cision is also acquiring PRIME Research, subject to regulatory approval. PRIME provides real-time monitoring and analysis across digital, print, television, radio, and online channels.

Chad Booth and Jessie Weisner

Chad Booth, a first-year student at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, and Jessie Weisner, a second-year majoring in Broadcast News at SAIT in Calgary, are the 2017 recipients of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Prairie Equity Scholarships. The Equity Scholarship was instituted in 2009 to address the shortage of broadcasters from under-represented groups.

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