Open Letter to my MP on Fee for Carriage

Open Letter to my MP on Fee for Carriage

Today I checked my e-mail hand found this letter from my cable television provider Rogers Cable.

Dear Rogers Cable Customer:

{snip}

I am now writing to inform you of yet another broadcasting policy proposal that is under consideration by the CRTC

After rejecting it twice, the CRTC has reintroduced the idea of having a fee-for-carriage: a payment to Canadian over the air broadcasters that could ultimately end up costing cable and satellite TV subscribers between $5 and $10 per month!
The proposal is being championed by over the air television networks such as CTV and Global (Canwest Media). These companies also own highly profitable specialty channels, such as TSN and History, and therefore overall are financially healthy.
Furthermore, the CRTC has suggested that if the cable and satellite distributors don’t go along with the fee-for-carriage scheme, the television signals of American network stations, (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS) which we have distributed since cable TV began, will be taken away.

The “fee for carriage” proposal is strongly opposed by Rogers and most other cable and satellite distributors.
You as a cable TV customer can take a definitive position to oppose this new tax, called “fee-for-carriage”.
To do so you should contact the CRTC before September 14.

Simply tell the CRTC what you think of the idea of “fee-for-carriage” by clicking on this link: http://support.crtc.gc.ca/rapidscin/default.aspx?lang=En
• Then Click on the 2009-411-3 under the heading “Notice # / Deadline Date”
• Select the “Comment” option in the drop box
• Fill out your comment.
• Follow the remaining instructions until you are done.
You may also contact your Member of Parliament by e-mail, regular mail or telephone. MPs always appreciate hearing from their constituents.

Philip B. Lind
Vice Chairman, Rogers Communications Inc.

So, I’m going to put the following letter in the mail on Monday:

Mr. Rodney Weston
Member of Parliament – Saint John
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

September 4, 2009

RE: Fee for Carriage

Greetings Mr. Weston

The proposal before the CRTC concerns me greatly. Many of your constituents rely greatly on power of television as one of the only sources of knowledge and entertainment. With the coming decommissioning of analogue TV signals across Canada and that fact that digital signals do not have the range of an Analog signal many are or will be forced to bring in signals via the use of an intermediary such as a Cable, Satellite, or future IPTV provider would be not only a benefit but a necessity.

It is also not level in fairness either since many of these stations provide their programming or parts of as streams or downloads via IPTV (over the internet). If a fee for carriage is introduced it should also come with an opt-out to receiving those selected channels or be charged to users the receive OTA (Over the air Signals) as it is not fair to charge some of the potential viewers of the signal and not others.

In addition, this is a tax on the poor in out community, demographic research proves that largest demographic of viewers in Canada is the low to fixed income bracket. It is proven that this area of the population of subscribers subscribe to Cable and Satellite services, as it is one of the more affordable means of entertainment for larger families. This is truly a significant proportion of your constituents in Saint John.

In conclusion, the local television content providers not only should but also must find a different model of producing content. This must not be allowed to be it.

Yours truly,

Charles E. Frees-Melvin

Change

Change

Me and my hat.

As you can see CEFM.ca has a fresh clean new look. It is a metaphor for things happening in my life now. I am preparing for the bittersweet life of Academia. I am returning to UNBSJ in a little over a week only this time I have a plan. I am intending to complete my BA with an Economics Major and History minor.

I am also going to take a stab at the LSAT next month. I haven’t started studying yet for it. C’est la vie of the eternal procrastinator.

I am also happy to announce that the goals I have set to lose weight are moving in the right direction. I have not been able to get to the gym this week, my old back injury from High School just came back. However, it did a big snap that really hurt Wednesday while running for the bus and is tender but it feels like it repositioned in the right way for the first time in a long time. I should be able to head back next week.

I’m considering moving my Gallery section to Gallery3 however it is not ready yet and there are no themes at the current moment that meet my PHP knowledge level to modify to the new WordPress theme that I am using now.

King’s Landing and Fredericton Market

King’s Landing and Fredericton Market

Dripping Water at King's Landing.
Dripping Water at King's Landing.

Over the weekend I rented a car and took my aunt Rena out to King’s Landing. While I was there I took this picture of the water pouring from a horse water feeder. This has got to be one of the best depth of field close-up pictures I have ever taken.

I really like King’s Landing there is gust something about history, especcial social history that just totally fascinates me.

Again on the way we stopped at the Boyce Market in Fredericton. The absolute best feature of the market is the German bakers. There is absolutely not a better makers of really good foods then the Germans.

WordCamp Montreal and Other Things Montréal

WordCamp Montreal and Other Things Montréal

Subway Graffiti
Subway Graffiti

Getting here to Montreal, I had decided to get the bus. (Orleans Express/Acadian Lines) Thus it presents this opportunity to write this long detailed encounter as I have the remainder of the 13 hour bus trip to finish.

After arriving here in Montreal I took a nice stroll down Ste-Catherine to the train station. It was on this trip through the eerily quite streets of the jazz festival site that I ran across the first image. Although to is common to think of those in the financial services industry as “wanks” someone thought it would be a great idea to draw one on the two sided of the corner of the building.

After the fist day of sessions at word camp there was this crazy man that started yelling at me in french, I think he though I took a picture or something. The funny part that is so not like me is the fact that I started yelling back at him in English and he did not seem to understand me at all. That make id kind of funny then he ran off and I went off to catch the subway to the hotel.

The subway in Montreal seemed to be quite different than Toronto. Especially the automated stalls after paying the guy handed me a little card, and I did not get originally how the doors opened, then he started yelling the what I think are the instruction in French. After looking further at the stalls I give the yelling guy the “I have no clue what you are saying look. Then he explains the put the card in the slot in English. I then proceeded to the hotel.

On the way in one of the Subway stations there was a sign in French only that part of the platform was closed for constriction bit it was graffitied with “Montreal is supposed to be Bilingual” to which some one wrote; “We wish!”

Me at the after party. Eva Blue Photo.
Me at the after party. Eva Blue Photo.

I thought it was amusing. One can tell mush about a society by the appearance of the graffiti. Especially, considering the prior instance of “art.”

One great thing about my iPhone is the fact that it really saved me from the being lost. Well kind of. The Google walking and transit directions are really good for Montreal. It was still a difficult city to find things in. I missed the first subway stop without realizing, thankfully my GPS on the iPhone found me the next one just in time.

The last tale before I finish is the tale of the pigeon. After the final sessions of WordCamp we went to an outdoor patio bar that had some of the most amazing natural and architectural design of any patio bar. While standing outside talking to some some interesting people like KimValee.com this word pigeon was doing a very weird dance on the windowsill across the street and everyone mentioned the crazy pidgin was about to top itself as the guy pass is the bird flies into bar right behind them and everyone starts chasing after the bird. Classic comedy movie scene.

Saint John Transit Changing Routes

Saint John Transit Changing Routes

Over the past few weeks I have heard discussions on the bus about these upcoming changes. Some of the things I hears sounded stupid but look to be true. Now that I have seen the changes as a whole it makes a lot more sense.

Basically the routes I use are only changing by about 5-10 minutes and better evening runs. I really would not call this a major change, with the exception of the East-West and University runs and addition of a few routes. But the numbers are. They are now grouping lines by area where the old system had numbers all over the place.

These changes are taking effect August 9th, 2009. Please leave comments below on what you think of the changes. www.saintjohntransit.com has more information.

Time to pull Mayor Court

Time to pull Mayor Court

One of the major articles from the Telegraph-Journal this week that had caught my attention (Petition would oust Mayor) was the petition by Gerry Webster to recall the mayor. All I can say is where do I sign. No don’t say that I don’t agree with democracy, in fact I believe that petitioning to recall the Mayor is very democratic. I gives everyone the chance to vote on whether to keep the Mayor or pick someone better. Ivan Court in my opinion has not kept up the standard in the first year of his reign that this city needs, and is in fact going to be severely detrimental; as his and councils policies do nothing more than chase businesses out of the city.

On the other hand I see that Fredericton would be probably the most likely and willing to nail the tomb on Saint John. In a historical perspective the city of Fredericton was created because of all the morons and poor decisions of Saint Johners.

It would be very interesting to see who would come out of the woodwork that could beat Mayor Court. The fact that it only takes 15% of the electorate is a good number that that people will not pull the Mayor as that number mean the “do not rock the ship” people will need to convert to pull the mayor. Which I think people believe the Mayor needs to go if not because of what he done but because the Telegraph-Journal told them so. (Follow-up on the Mayor won’t quit) (Follow up article if it was legal)

There ain’t no flies on us!

There ain’t no flies on us!

Once again it is summer. Last week something happened at work that got me remembering the amazing days of summers past spent at Camp Glenburn. Glenburn has to be one of the best places in New Brunswick to promote active living. It is on the south shore of the Bellisle Bay on a big hill that about every 2 hours you would go up and down. When you were up you were up, when you were down you were down and when you were only half way up…

I had spent 4 summers there, the first was the year before the boathouse, the second was the year they built the boathouse, and the third was the year after the boathouse was built, and the final was when I was 16 in 1998. One of my most favorite activities was canoeing, Especially when one year we went to the island in the bay east of the camp, and the other year when we went to a beach across the bay and to the west. And then there was the treks way up the hill to Mt. Baldy however it was in hindsight just a huge rockface and not really a mountain.

Read More Read More

Okay, or maybe Save Local that gives a $#!+

Okay, or maybe Save Local that gives a $#!+

While in my last post I may have took the position that Saving Local is not important. That is not true. I am against CTV and Global who have for the last few years, mainly CTV, treated New Brunswick as a second class maritime province in terms of share of news coverage and local programming.

Now on to the main topic of this post, CBC Radio 1 in Saint John. In reality Saint John has about 4 main contacts for news CHSJ, CBC, CHNI, and Telegraph-Journal. However, only the Telegraph-Journal and CBC provide the depth of information and understanding of our community as a whole. Despite radio being close to a hundred year old technology. The style of the CBC just draws you in and is never shallow on good storytelling.

Technically speaking the CBC does have a trend on over staffing on productions on the TV end but with the radio it takes less people to technically produce the shows so that leaves cutting the staff as ripping out pages from the unpublished book, still there but more shallow. I definitely plan on attending the rally in King’s Square this weekend.

We Want Our CBC

Why not to “Save Local”

Why not to “Save Local”

Today I seem ads on CTVGlobeMedia stations that are urging the government to require cable/satellite distributors to pay for distributing the signal. I think this is just plain wrong. Here in Saint John there are 4 broadcast stations CBAT (CBC Fredericton but licensed and has its main transmitter in Saint John), CKLT (Has no programming differences from CJCH (CTV Atlantic) in Halifax, NS), CIHF-TV-2 (a semi satellite of CIHF-TV known as Global Maritimes from Halifax.), and CBAFT-1 which is a re-transmitter of CBAFT the Radio-Canada Moncton feed.
When it comes to local programming CTV is the absolute worst, as I have noted before at most has 2 stories from the Saint John area and 4-5 total from the entire Province of New Brunswick on a good day. Global TV despite their severe cut backs have managed to keep their news stories basically equal per province.
The basics is that all 4 of these broadcasters offer their signals for free over-the-air (a.k.a. poverty-vision). The cable company simply re-transmits the feed via an antenna to cables to the subscribers. Why should we pay to have something that we get for free anyway? In fact this even benefits the TV stations by making it more convenient to watch the stations resulting in more viewers rather than switching over to better content from away. Thus removing ad dollars.

In less dense markets like the Maritimes TV must come up with a different model in order to survive. Depending on a single news program is clearly not the way to go, but neither is alienating the viewers by making some pay, while others do not. Do we consider a TV tax like the United Kingdom? I don’t thinks so either but fees must not be duel standard. The CRTC recently made a decision that requires distributors to no longer require a bundle of channels. In this schema you can choose to not purchase stations, adding fees will just doom local programming to certain failures.

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