NEPMCC committee meeting minutes, other special meeting minutes and minutes for the monthly meetings held at the Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario are posted here.
Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on August 14, 2017, at Committee Room #2 City Hall.
Thomas S. Saras
Leila Monteiro Lins
Sandie De Freitas
Kathy L.L. Lin
Hai Tien Lin
HON. JULIE DOBRUSIN
Martin Van Denzen
Mohammad Tajdolati, Dr.
Mila Astroga Garcia
Ahmed Shah Hotaki
Raffe Der Boghossian
• Welcome Remarks by the chair.
• Minutes of the previous meeting
• Report of the President/Discussions
• Presentation by NNC
• Presentation by Julie Dabrusin, MP Toronto-Danforth
• New Members/New Business
Welcome Remarks by the Chair:
Dr. Tajdolati chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. Mareck Goodyn moved a motion to approve the agenda. Ahmad Shah Hotaki seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair noticed that fifty six members were in attendance and therefore the business of the meeting can be proceed.
Minutes of the previous meeting:
Isa Melo moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting, Khalid Magram seconded it. The motion was carried.
• President Thomas Saras thanked everyone for the successful celebration of Canada Day. The Canada 150 years celebration was great success and the President acknowledged all the members who participated and contributed financially towards the success of the event. He also expressed disappointment towards members not able to attend despite earlier confirming their participation at the Canada 150 event organized by NEPMCC.
• President Thomas Saras informed the members that the first phase of the digital publishing platform has begun from January 2017 and the first phase will be completed by March 2018. He mentioned that the company responsible for the implementation of the Digital Publishing Platform would update 5 websites every month and as a result 60 websites can be migrated every year to the Digital Publishing Platform. He mentioned that the project has been tentatively approved by the Federal Government. With the proposed digital publishing platform, NEPMCC members will be able to publish their content digitally so that it can be consumed by the readers anywhere in the world using their computers and cell phones. This will save the members from maintaining expensive Information Technology (IT) infrastructures that they cannot afford. There were lot of discussions on this project and the President categorically answered all questions on this project posed by the members. He requested members to take advantage of this opportunity and be part of this historic project since there were limited spaces available for enrolment in the first year.
• President Thomas Saras suggested that a 2 day educational seminar on the digital publishing platform be held on September 23 and September 24, where NEPMCC members from all over Ontario and Quebec, would be invited for participation. A delegation from the Department of Canadian Heritage under the leadership of the Director of the Magazine Publishing funds, will be participating during the Sunday business from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in order to explain the members the policy and give instructions on how the applications should be filled, in order to qualify for Government support. Members interested in participating should inform the office of the President or Executive Director as there are limited spaces. This seminar is being organized for the benefit and training of the members of NEPMCC. There should be offered morning coffee and pastries and at noon time lite lunch to participants. On Sunday and after the presentation of the Ottawa delegation there should be available coffee and the meeting will be finish by 3:00 pm, after a plenary session of discussions, so that every participant be free to his family engagements. He also stated that all the expenses will be covered by the treasury of the organization and no charges will be to participating members. The same meeting will be organized later in the year to Western Canada.
• President Thomas Saras informed the members that NEPMCC as all the previous years will participate in the Ethnic Press Exhibition at the CNE and will have a booth at the International Markets Hall B; from August 18 to September 4. He urged all members to submit three copies among their best edition to the office of the President by August 17. The opening ceremony of the Annual Ethnic Press Exhibition at CNE in the International Pavilion will likely take place on Sunday August 20 followed by reception for the members. President encouraged all members to participate this year at the CNE as there are millions of visitors and it is good opportunity to showcase their publications to the visitors of the institution.
• President Thomas Saras informed the members that the new Director of Canada Magazines Fund Mr. Harold Boies, met at the office of the President of NEPMCC and they discussed issues facing the ethnic media sector.
• Thomas Saras informed the members that nominations for this year’s annual award has close on June 30. This year in celebration of Canada 150 recipients of awards along with members who have served NEPMCC would receive special “Honoris Causa” metals, that the administration prepared in order to celebrate Canada’s 150 anniversary from confederation.
• President Thomas Saras informed the members that Rogers Media is eliminating local ethnic community programming in their community broadcasting. The channels will close effective end of August 2017. The office of the President is in dialogue with CRTC for rehabilitation of those producers and broadcasters who are affected by this move. Many members participated in the discussion. Councillor Jim Karygiannis asked members to organize systematic protest with the support of all members of NEPMCC to talk with CRTC and pressurize the federal government to take corrective action.
• The office of the President was in negotiation with the “National News Media Council” in order to work together in areas of mutual interest in a united effort to promote the interests of the Industry.
National NewsMedia Council (NNC): Presentation by Brent Jolly, Community Manager and Director of Communications.
Brent Jolly, read a statement on behalf of NNC on the possible future cooperation and collaboration between both the organizations. The NNC was established in September 2015 as a voluntary self-regulatory body dealing with issues of journalistic standards and ethics. The NNC is the successor organization to the former Ontario Press Council, Manitoba Press Council, BC Press Council and Atlantic Press Council. It has over 800 members representing daily and community newspapers, magazines and digital news platforms in every province in the country.
Srimal Abeyawardene, Councillor Jim Kaygiannis, Rakhee Prabhakar, and other members participated in the discussions with Brent Jolly.
Motion: President Thomas Saras brought a motion to the floor that: “NEPMCC and NNC work together in solidarity to cooperate on issues of shared concern such as press freedom, multicultural representation in the media, news literacy, and journalism ethics”. Motion was seconded by Kathy Li and carried by all. No one was recorded with negative vote and no absenteeism was noted.
Presentation by Julie Dabrusin MP Toronto- Danforth.
The chair welcomed the speakers to make her presentation.
M.P. Julie Dabrusin expressed her pleasure in attending the meeting. She informed she is the standing committee on Canadian Heritage on local news media. The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage studies the policies and programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the organizations within the Portfolio. These organizations are active in the fields of culture, heritage and human rights. The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage spent more than a year listening to experts and members of the media about the state of the media industry in Canada and issued its recommendations in the report tabled in the House. Julie Dabrusin highlighted some of the recommendations during her presentation. The report talks about the need to protect Canadian journalism as a pillar of the country’s democracy and notes the decline of newspapers in the last decade. Among the recommendations are:
Giving a tax credit to print media for a five-year period to cover some costs of their transition to digital media. Ensuring foreign media outlets and aggregators publishing Canadian news aimed at a Canadian audience are subject to the same taxes as local outlets. Creating an initiative to train Indigenous journalists. Have the government provide start-up fund for new digital media. Addressing the issue of diversity in Canadian media, the Committee has recommended that there be a new section in the Competition Act that deals specifically with news media mergers, ensuring a panel of experts test for a “diversity of voices” to prevent single-player dominance in any one media market. Changes to the Canada Periodical Fund were also recommended to the Department of Canadian Heritage, including making daily newspapers and free community dailies eligible for the program. It also said the CPF should offer greater online magazine and newspaper distribution support, more support to Indigenous and minority print media and recommended a bigger CPF budget should its review lead to a need for an increase in recipients.
Srimal Abeyawardene, Angio Di Mauro, Councillor Jim Karygiannis Dr. Tajdolati, Rakhee Prabhakar, Logan L, and other members asked a wide variety of questions on the representation of the issues facing the ethnic media industry in the standing committee report with MP Julie Dabrusin.
MP Julie Dabrusin candidly answered all questions in the roundtable discussions and hoped it was an ongoing dialogue with the members of NEPMCC to better represent the issues facing the industry.
New Members/ New Business: As there were no new members and also any special discussions. The Chair called the members permission to bring a motion to adjourn the business for the next monthly meeting of September 11, 2017.
Adjournment: Ahmed Shah Hotaki moved the motion to adjourn the meeting and Khalid Magram seconded it. The motion was carried. The Chair, Dr Tajdolati adjourned the meeting at 9 pm. The next monthly meeting would take place on Monday, September 11, 2017 at committee room N# 2, Toronto City Hall.