Heritage and Industry could announce joint review of CRTC within a month

Senior political forces could scuttle attempts to launch a mandate review of the CRTC, if such a review threatens to re-open the Broadcasting and Telecommunications acts, industry experts warn. The review, which could be announced as early as March, appears to have support from the deputy ministers at Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage, although it’s still uncertain if Industry minister Brian Tobin and Heritage minister Sheila Copps have bought into the idea.

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NL People

The newly formed collaboration between Bell Canada and Amdocs has chosen its management team. Jim Hubly has been named CEO of Certen Inc, while Marinella Ermacora is COO. Hubly is currently EVP of the telephone services group at Czech Telecom and has experience at AT&T. Ermacora is VP systems delivery at CGI and has spent 18 years working for Bell.

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NL Short Takes

Nortel suffers from the gripes of Roth as lawsuits pile up
The Quebec Association for the Protection of Shareholders, along with some Ontario investors, are suing Nortel Networks Corp over comments CEO John Roth made during a webcast that apparently revealed dire forecasts before they were publicly released. Company stock tumbled shortly afterward. Meanwhile, JDS Uniphase Corp has announced it will not pursue legal action against the company over the sale of a laser plant in Switzerland. Much of the transaction involved Nortel shares.

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Contingency planning begins now for the possible migration to 12-digit dialing

As the CRTC struggles with finding enough phone numbers to service Canadians’ needs, it must also determine how soon those numbers will exhaust entirely. Contingency plans are already being considered for the day when even 10-digit dialing will reach a saturation point in Canada’s largest cities. The expanded dialing code is already being introduced in Toronto, with Vancouver to follow (NL, Mar. 27/00; May 23/00).

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CEP launches high-tech campaign to recruit middle managers at Bell Canada

Just as one union is attempting to organize low level managers at Bell Canada, workers at another telco are being asked to forfeit their guild membership. The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) is seeking to represent tier D and C managers at the country’s largest telco. The move came about last fall when the Association of Telephone Management Employees (ATME) found a majority of its 8,500 workers wanted to join a union. ATME contacted CEP, which began its campaign on Oct. 1. It has six months to complete the drive.

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O.N. Telcom privatization meeting resistance from mayors in northern Ontario

Local politicians say the Ontario government is moving too quickly to privatize a provincial-owned telco, saying the communities most affected have not been consulted. Premier Mike Harris announced plans last year to sell off all operations of O.N. Telcom, the telecom arm of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. ONTC serves 60,000 customers throughout northeastern Ontario, including the premier’s riding of North Bay.

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