ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1994-69

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

Public Notice

Ottawa, 10 June 1994
Public Notice CRTC 1994-69
Consultations Regarding On-air Job Categories to be Included in the Employment Equity Plans of Broadcasters
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-58 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled "1992 Policy on Gender Portrayal", the Commission identified a number of areas in which greater progress could be achieved in the representation of women in the broadcast media. Specifically, the Commission concluded that it would be appropriate to address concerns related to the "portrayal", or roles, of women through such means as strengthened gender portrayal guidelines, education and awareness. The Commission indicated, however, that aspects pertaining to the "presence" of women (through their employment in on-air staff positions and voice-overs) would be most appropriately addressed through employment equity initiatives. In this regard, the Commission noted that "the greatest potential for change lies in licensee-produced programming and commercials, where broadcasters have the most direct daily control".
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 entitled "Implementation of an Employment Equity Policy", also dated 1 September 1992, the Commission set out its employment equity policy. The Commission also announced its intention to consult with representatives of the four designated groups (women, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities) and representatives of the broadcasting industry to determine which "on-air" job categories should receive particular attention among the goals established in each licensee's employment equity plans.
To initiate this consultation process, the Commission sent two cross-referenced letters, one addressed to members of the industry, and the other to representatives of the four designated groups. The letters enclosed a proposed list of on-air positions that could be used by broadcast licensees in setting their employment equity goals.
The proposed list of on-air positions consisted of five main categories: announcers; journalists; actors (including those employed in the production of voice-overs in radio and television); dancers; and musicians and singers. This list had initially been developed by the Department of Human Resource Development Canada (HRDC, formerly the Department of Employment and Immigration) as part of its revised classification system of occupations in the Canadian labour market. This new National Occupational Classification (NOC) should replace the Department's existing Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system in 1995 or shortly thereafter.
A comparison of the occupational lists contained in the existing SOC system and in the new NOC system reveals that the two lists are quite similar, although the new list is more specific and detailed. Most of the on-air positions found in the NOC list are also contained in section 4 of the SOC list under the heading "Semi-Professional and Technicians". Copies of both lists are attached to this notice as Appendix A.
The following is a summary of the comments made by representatives of the industry and the designated groups in response to the Commission's letters.
A. Comments from the industry
The Commission contacted 23 representatives from all sectors of the Canadian broadcasting industry. These included private broadcasters, as represented by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB); the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); licensees of pay and specialty services; native and community broadcasters; as well as the Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA) and the Canadian Advertising Foundation (CAF). Twenty-two responses were received by the Commission. A list of the specific industry organizations consulted is attached as Appendix B.
The Commission's letter asked respondents to comment on the following:
i) the relevance of each of the five occupational categories to their own or to their members' particular role and organizational structures; and
ii) the requirements (reasonable employment criteria) and acceptable standards (educational and training prerequisites) that they or their members have determined are appropriate for the given occupational categories.
Regarding the first of these two matters, the relevance of the occupational categories listed, the CAB stated that using the new NOC list of categories at this time would place a heavy administrative burden on broadcasters. Currently, the Employment Equity Act (EEA) requires employers that fall under federal jurisdiction, including broadcasters and cable distributors that have 100 or more employees, to collect and report their employment data based on the SOC system. For this reason, the CAB proposed that broadcasters report on-air positions by using the "Semi-Professional and Technicians" occupational group of this system, since this would include most of the on-air positions and is a group for which data is already collected on a regular basis. The CBC and YTV Canada Inc. (YTV) also expressed concerns about changing the reporting system.
Another area of concern noted by the CAB is with respect to the tracking and reporting of voice-overs, since this is information that is not currently required by the EEA. In addition, the CAB noted that its members might not always be able to rely upon receiving cooperation from advertisers and advertising agencies for the purposes of reporting or ensuring that the designated groups are portrayed equitably.
As for the CBC, aside from its preference for continued use of the SOC system for reporting Employment Equity data, the Corporation noted that, under the EEA, it is currently reporting only the categories of announcers and journalists. Actors, dancers and musicians are hired, for the most part, on a free-lance basis and, thus, are not considered to be employees under the legislation.
In the case of YTV, all positions found on the list are staffed on a full-time basis, with the exception of actors.
None of the specialty and pay television services commented on the use of either the NOC or SOC employment classification systems. This may be due, in part, to the fact that most of these services have fewer than 100 employees and, thus, are not required to report under the current legislation.
All of the pay television services who responded [First Choice Canadian Communications Corp. (First Choice), Viewer's Choice Canada (Viewers Choice), The Family Channel Inc. (Family Channel), and Premier Choix: TVEC Inc. (Super Écran)], and some of the reporting specialty services who offered comments [Canal Famille and Consortium de télévision Québec Canada Inc. (TV5)] indicated that, since they do not produce any of their own programming, the only on-air staff that they employ are actors who do voice-overs. The following summarizes the comments made by some of the other specialty services:
* Telelatino Network Inc. stated that all the listed positions are relevant to its organization.
* CHUM Limited (MuchMusic) noted that all of its on-air staff are described as Video Jockey/On-Air Hosts performing any or all of the functions of announcer, news reader, talk show host/hostesses, television host/hostesses, journalist and actor.
* The Partners of The Sports Network and of Le Réseau des Sports (TSN/RDS) reported that only two of the categories listed (announcers and journalists) are applicable to them.
* The Canadian Interfaith Network (Vision TV) stated that none of the occupational categories is relevant to its particular role or structure. However, it acknowledged that producers, managers and other executives who are on Vision's staff also perform functions that can be described as announcers, talk show hosts/hostesses, television hosts/hostess and journalists.
L'Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada and the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) described their situations as being similar to that described by Vision, in which some employees may perform the duties of on-air staff, but also have other roles within the organization. For example, an employee may be both producer and actor.
For its part, Northern Native Broadcasting (NNB) stated that the majority of the positions listed are relevant to its organization and are represented by persons of native ancestry. It also noted that employment equity has not been of major concern because NNB is a unique organization, most of whose employees are native people who serve a predominately native audience.
The CCTA pointed out that most of the programming that is produced by the cable operator is on the community channel, and that this programming is produced almost solely by unpaid volunteers from the community. As such, their activities and positions are not reported to the Department of HRDC. Further, since community groups often produce their own programs, it is they who determine which people are chosen to perform on-air duties rather than cable operators.
For its part, the CAF indicated that, "with the exception of journalists, all other categories referenced may be engaged in the production of commercial messages broadcast by licensees, but not, however, as may be specified in the context of radio or television employees." The CAF noted that "while CAF can encourage, it cannot oblige. In the final analysis, individual advertisers, in association with their agencies, will make their own decisions."
In addition to commenting on the list of occupational categories sent to them by the Commission, certain broadcasters made the following suggestions and recommendations for improving the list:
* YTV Canada Inc. (YTV) suggested that the position of "Video Jockey" be included in category (i) Announcers.
* The CAF considered that category (v) "Musicians and singers in television" should also include musicians in radio.
* TV5 recommended that the position of reporter be added to the list.
On the second of the two matters upon which respondents were asked to comment (see page 3), the responses were varied with respect to what requirements (reasonable employment criteria) and what standards (educational and training prerequisites) would be appropriate for the given occupational categories. On the one hand, the CAB, CBC, TSN/RDS and YTV stated that a university degree or college diploma should be a prerequisite for on-air positions. On the other hand, MuchMusic, TV5, Telelatino, NNB, IBC and the CCTA did not mention formal education as a specific requirement for these positions. Instead, they look for talent and experience in their prospective employers as employment prerequisites, or provide their own in-house training programs.
In addition, some broadcasters (MuchMusic, NNB) mentioned that many of their on-air positions are filled by persons who have worked their way up from within the organization.
B. Comments from the designated and other related groups
In its letters to representatives of the designated groups, the Commission asked each to address:
i) how well the occupational categories that have been identified coincide with its own organization's particular interests in the areas of recruitment, training and infrastructure (including any access requirements); and
ii) its membership's particular areas of expertise in terms of broadcasting (relevant skills and experience in relation to their specific characteristics).
Out of 18 requests for comments sent to representatives of the four designated groups, the Commission received responses from two women's groups, two visible minority groups and four organizations representing persons with disabilities. A list of the representatives of the four designated groups contacted by the Commission is attached as Appendix C.
There was general consensus among those who replied that the list of occupational categories met the fair representation requirements of their particular groups or membership, with some categories being more relevant to the membership of certain of the designated groups. The Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped and The Canadian Association for Community Living expressed discomfort with having to comment on the needs of their members using position categories as their terms of reference. These organizations noted that every individual has different strengths, skills and capacities and that it is therefore difficult to generalize on what employment opportunities would be best suited to persons with disabilities.
Moreover, most of the responses sent in by representatives of the designated groups expressed concern that equal importance be placed upon increasing the employment of those within the four groups in other than the "on-air" positions, and upon the need to ensure that all jobs be measured and staffed with employment equity in mind.
While none of the respondents identified specific areas of broadcasting expertise among their membership, they did indicate that each and every occupational category on the list contains positions that those within their membership would be interested in filling. These groups also considered that their members would be just as capable of performing in these on-air positions as anyone not falling within any of the designated groups, with the exception, noted by the Canadian Association of the Deaf, of people who are deaf or hard of hearing and positions that rely totally on verbal performance.
Among the other comments submitted by the designated groups contacted by the Commission were the following:
* The Foundation on Independent Living mentioned that the main goal of its co-organization, The Disability Network Project, is to help train people with disabilities to work in the broadcasting industry.
* The Canadian Ethnocultural Council stated that it is currently developing a data bank containing the names of potential candidates for various on-air positions, and added that it would be pleased to make this information available to all interested broadcasters.
* The Centre de Recherche-action sur les relations raciales stated that all programming broadcast, not only station-produced programming, should be monitored for employment equity, and expressed the opinion that aboriginal peoples and visible minorities seem to be particularly under-represented in French-language broadcasting.
* Mediawatch stressed that "it is imperative that all on-air positions such as those in [the Commission's] letter are completely gender balanced."
The views noted above clearly point to the lack of communication and agreement among the various parties concerned. In the past, broadcasters have expressed a difficulty in finding qualified staff from within some of the designated groups. However, The Foundation on Independent Living and The Canadian Ethnocultural Council indicated that they have data banks or lists of people who have experience, or have been trained for work in the broadcasting sector.
The Commission also understands that the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists and Canadian Women in Radio and Television have or are in the course of preparing similar lists.
The Commission considers that improved communication and co-operation between the designated groups and the broadcasting industry would be of benefit to all concerned.
Accordingly, the Commission invites all industry associations, as well as the licensees of individual pay and specialty services to contact the above-named organizations directly in order to obtain information regarding persons from the designated groups who may have training or experience in the broadcast field. It would encourage the industry associations to then make this information available to their members. Individual licensees should also contact representatives of the designated groups in the communities they serve for information regarding possible candidates for employment.
Pursuant to its consultations with the broadcasting industry and the designated groups, the Commission has identified relevant on-air positions that should be targeted for staffing from within the designated groups included in as part of their employment equity plans. Currently, all broadcasting undertakings are required to provide information pertaining to their employment equity initiatives when applying for a new licence, at licence renewal, or when seeking authority to transfer control or ownership. While maintaining this regime, the Commission will henceforth, on these three particular occasions, ask additional questions that focus on the representation of the designated groups in on-air positions.
The Commission sets out below, specific on-air guidelines for large, medium and small programming undertakings.
Large Programming Undertakings
Large broadcasters (100 employees and over) are currently required to report on the number of those in each of the four designated groups that are employed by their organizations, and the percentages of all staff that these numbers represent. Each of these large broadcasters will now be required to file with the Commission similar information regarding such employees involved in on-air activity (including voice-overs) associated with programs and commercials produced by the broadcaster.
It was evident from the comments received that broadcasters currently reporting their employment data to the Department of HRDC are reluctant to use the proposed list of occupational categories. Mindful of this, the Commission has decided that broadcasters may continue to use the "Semi-Professional and Technicians" group contained in the SOC to report their on-air positions. For the time being, the Commission will ask broadcasters to provide information regarding staff members employed in the following "on-air" SOC categories:
- 3332: Musicians and Singers
- 3334: Dancers
- 3335: Actors/Actresses
- 3337: Radio and Television
Further, in keeping with its Employment Equity Policy, the Commission will expect the licensees of large programming undertakings to extend category 3335 (Actors/Actresses) to include those staff performing in voice-overs. As recommended by MuchMusic, category 3337 (announcers) will also include the positions of Video Jockey and/or On-Air Host. Notwithstanding the foregoing, should the Department of HRDC put the new NOC system into effect, broadcasters will then be expected to adopt that system.
Concerning the suggestions of other groups for improving the NOC list of on-air categories, the Commission will forward these proposals to the Department of HRDC so that they may be considered for insertion in the new classification system.
With respect to free-lance employees in the four SOC categories noted above, large broadcasters will be required to report on the number of hours of programming produced and broadcast on their undertakings that involve the on-air participation of such employees who are members of the designated groups, and the percentage of the total that this number of hours represents. In cases where such employees perform both on-air and off-air duties, the reporting requirements apply only to the time allocated to on-air duties.
The Commission will review with licensees the on-air data they have reported in each of the above areas, in the context of applications for a new licence, for licence renewal or for authority to transfer ownership or control. At the time the Commission considers applications proposing new services, the prospective licensees will be expected to have formulated their plans and to be prepared to discuss their commitments for ensuring the equitable portrayal of members of the designated groups.
In addition, both existing and prospective licensees should be prepared to discuss with the Commission the plans and policies they will be guided by to ensure the equitable portrayal of designated groups in the programs they acquire from other parties.
Programming Undertakings with 25 to 100 Employees:
The Commission will require broadcasters with 25 to 100 employees to report on the mechanisms that they have in place to ensure equitable representation of the four designated groups in the on-air positions identified above. These broadcasters will also be asked to answer questions on this subject in application forms for a new licence or for licence renewal, or when seeking authority to transfer control or ownership.
Programming Undertakings with fewer than 25 Employees:
The Commission has indicated in the past that it may be difficult for programming undertakings with fewer than 25 employees to implement extensive employment equity programs. In addition, because of the small amount of local programming produced by these undertakings, opportunities to portray designated groups may be limited. However, the Commission considers that licensees of small undertakings, including native and community broadcasters, have a responsibility to promote employment equity within the workplace. For example, although native broadcasters staff most of their positions with aboriginal peoples (one of the designated groups), they are encouraged to ensure that persons from the other designated groups, such as women, are also equitably represented in on-air positions.
As noted by the CCTA, the cable industry's involvement in program production is generally limited to that distributed on the community channel. The CCTA emphasized that this channel serves as "an important apprenticeship program and training ground [and] provides a basis for further employment and careers in the cable industry and broadcaster/programming services."
The Commission considers that it makes practical sense, therefore, to use this training vehicle as a means to assist people from the designated groups to obtain on-air experience and training in the broadcast field.
Although cable operators will not be required to report on employment equity in the on-air positions of their community channel operations, they should, however, continue to ensure that the designated groups in the communities they serve are given ample access to the community channel. Cable operators may also wish to contact representatives of the designated groups in their communities in order to encourage their involvement in community channel productions.
Further, cable operators should offer seminars and courses to their community channel volunteers on the topic of equitable representation in programming and its production.
The Commission wishes to thank all those broadcasters and representatives of the designated groups who submitted their comments for the purpose of this consultation. These submissions proved valuable in the identification of relevant on-air positions.
The data reported by broadcasters on employment by those within the categories of Musicians and Singers, Actors/Actresses (including voice-overs), Dancers, and Announcers will be carefully examined by the Commission to assess the progress of broadcasters towards achieving equity in the portrayal of the four designated groups in the broadcasting and advertising media. This assessment will provide an appropriate context in which to review the on-going practices of broadcasters with respect to employment equity in on-air positions.
The Commission intends to conduct this review concerning the on-air representation of the four designated groups (women, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and visible minorities) in commercials and programs produced by all stations and networks over the next five years.
As a result of its consultations, the Commission is optimistic that interested parties will become more sensitive to the advantages and realities of employment equity, and will help develop realistic and concrete goals for improving their performance in providing equitable representation, particularly with regard to on-air staff positions and voice-overs in station-produced programming.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
List of on-air positions
Based on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) recently developed by Employment and Immigration Canada, the list of on-air positions could include the following categories:
(i) Announcers and other broadcasters (category 5231)
Disk Jockey
News Reader
Radio Host/Hostess
Sports Announcer
Talk Show Host/Hostess
Television Host/Hostess
Traffic Reporter
Weather Reporter.
(ii) Journalists (category 5123) who prepare and present their own work in radio and television.
(iii) Actors (category 5135) who perform roles (including voice-overs) in television and radio programs and commercials produced by stations or networks.
(iv) Dancers (category 5134) who perform in productions such as video clips.
(v) Musicians and singers (category 5133) in television.
However, excluded from this list would be all positions behind the scenes, which are already covered by the employment equity policy. These include:
. managers and other executives
. producers
. directors
. broadcasting support staff and assistants
. broadcasting technicians
. other broadcasting technical staff.
List of Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Unit Group Codes by Employment Equity Occupational Groups
Semi-Professionals and Technicians
2117 Physical Sciences Technologists and Technicians
2119 Occupations in Physical Sciences, n.e.c.
2135 Life Sciences Technologists and Technicians
2160 Supervisors: Other Occupations in Architecture and Engineering
2161 Surveyors
2163 Draughting Occupations
2164 Architectural Technologists and Technicians
2165 Engineering Technologists and Technicians
2169 Other Occupations in Architecture and Engineering, n.e.c.
2189 Occupations in Mathematics, Statistics, Systems Analysis and Related Fields, n.e.c.
2333 Occupations in Welfare and Community Services
2353 Technicians in Library, Museum and Archival Sciences
2797 Instructors and Training Officers, n.e.c.
3134 Registered Nursing Assistants
3139 Nursing, Therapy and Related Assisting Occupations, n.e.c.
3154 Dispensing Opticians
3155 Radiological Technologists and Technicians
Semi-Professionals and Technicians (Cont'd)
3156 Medical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
3157 Denturists
3158 Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants
3161 Dental Laboratory Technicians
3162 Respiratory Technicians
3169 Other Occupations in Medicine and Health, n.e.c.
3311 Painters, Sculptors and Related Artists
3313 Product and Interior Designers
3314 Advertising and Illustrating Artists
3315 Photographers and Camera Operators
3319 Occupations in Fine and Commercial Art, Photography and Related Fields, n.e.c.
3330 Producers and Directors, Performing and Audio-visual Arts
3331 Conductors, Composers and Arrangers
3332 Musicians and Singers
3333 Occupations Related to Music and Musical Entertainment, n.e.c.
3334 Dancers and Choreographers
3335 Actors/Actresses
3337 Radio and Television Announcers
3339 Occupations in Performing and Audio-visual Arts, n.e.c.
3351 Writers and Editors
3359 Occupations in Writing n.e.c.
3360 Supervisors: Occupations in Sports and Recreation
3370 Coaches, Trainers and Instructors, Sports and Recreation
3371 Referees and Related Officials
3373 Athletes
Semi-Professionals and Technicians (Cont'd)
6141 Funeral Directors, Embalmers and Related Occupations
9111 Air Pilots, Navigators and Flight Engineers
9551 Radio and Television Broadcasting Equipment Operators
Industry Organizations Contacted by the Commission
1. Inuit Broadcasting Corporation
2. Cathay International Television Inc.
3. Aboriginal Multi-Media Society
4. Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon
5. YTV Canada Inc.
6. Vision TV
7. Viewer's Choice
8. The Sports Network
9. Le Réseau des Sports
10. Meteomedia Inc.
11. First Choice Canadian Communications Coporation
12. CHUM Limited
13. MusiquePlus Inc.
14. Canadian Cable Television Association
15. Premier Choix: TVEC Inc.
16. The Family Channel Inc.
17. Canadian Association of Broadcasters
18. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
19. Canadian Advertising Foundation
20. Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada
21. Association des radios communautaires du Québec
22. Telelatino Network Inc.
23. Consortium de télévision Québec Canada Inc. (TV5)
Representatives of the four designated Groups Contacted by the Commission
1. Conseil du Statut de la femme
2. National Action Committee on the Status of Women
3. Mediawatch
4. Fédération des femmes canadiennes françaises
5. Assembly of First Nations
6. Native Women's Association
7. Native Council of Canada
8. National Association of Friendship Centres
9. Inuit Tapirisat of Canada
10. Canadian Association for Community Living
11. Foundation on Independent Living
12. Canadian Association of the Deaf
13. Canadian Deaf and Hard of Hearing Forum
14. Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped
15. Canadian Disability Rights Council
16. Canadian Ethnocultural Council
17. Centre de recherche action sur les relations raciales
18. Congress of Black Women of Canada
1. Association for Tele-Education in Canada
2. Union des artistes
3. Canadian Women in Radio & Television
4. Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists
Date modified: