ROW Update

Park and pay by cell phone comes to Toronto
Paying for parking in Toronto got a lot easier following an agreement between Mint Inc. and Toronto Imperial Parking (Impark) that allows drivers to pay for parking a number of lots in the country’s largest city using their cell phone. Mint launched a similar service in Vancouver earlier this year (RoW, April 7/04). The service is available at 29 Impark parking lots in the downtown core and along the Yonge St. corridor.

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NL Update

Versatel granted patent on carrier-class call processing platform
Quebec-based Versatel Networks announced on December 2 that it has been granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for using commercially available network equipment to create a highly redundant and fault tolerant call processing platform at an affordable price. The company notes in a news release that the patent “challenges the dominant proprietary hardware platforms, and makes highly reliable telephony platforms affordable to a growing number of VoIP service providers.”

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CCR Newsmakers

Canadian Heritage minister Liza Frulla committed to maintaining government funding to the Canadian Television Fund "as it is or more," and stated that the CRTC’s policy restricting the entry into Canada of foreign-owned third-language channels must changed. In a speech on November 29 at the Canadian Association of Broadcasters convention, she also noted that the current government would give a more detailed response to the report issued by the Clifford Lincoln-chaired Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in June 2003 (CCR, June 20/03). Below are excerpts from her speech.

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CCR People

Wayne Clarkson has been hired as executive director of Telefilm Canada. He takes up his duties in January 2005. He has been executive director of the Canadian Film Centre since 1991, and has previously served as founding chair and CEO of the Ontario Film Development Corp. and as the first executive director of the Toronto International Film Festival. He was also a member of the Banff Television Foundation board of governors and the feature film advisory group. The position was filled on an interim basis by Carolle Brabant after former executive director Richard Stursberg jumped ship to the join the CBC this summer (CCR, July 30/04).

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CCR Short Takes

Quebec court decision on grey, black TV market appealed
The federal government has launched an appeal of the October 28 decision on signal theft in which a Quebec court declared that certain provisions of the Radiocommunication Act are contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCR, Nov. 8/04). "The federal government appeal will clarify this issue for the benefit of all stakeholders, including producers, actors, authors, broadcast service providers, as well as Canadian consumers," said Luc Perreault, co-chair of the Coalition Against Satellite Signal Theft (CASST).

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