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CMG Meritorious Service Award

The CMG Meritorious Service Award is presented to outstanding Guild members who have served the union and membership on a long-term basis, sacrificing personal and professional time, and who have completed projects of extraordinary benefit to the membership as a whole. The award is presented at the CMG’s biennial convention.

Meritorious Award winners from 1999 to 2023

2023: Carmel Smyth (CBC/Radio-Canada Branch – Toronto

Carmel Smyth was awarded the Canadian Media Guild’s highest honour, the CMG Meritorious Service Award, at the union’s convention in June.

Carmel spent more than 20 years in various leadership roles at CMG, including five years as CMG-CBC Toronto president, and nine years as the union’s president.  

She has led the CMG through many tumultuous times, including being a Toronto organizer during the 2005 CBC lockout, and helping steer CMG to be a strong voice for media workers’ rights at a time of financial crisis in the news media industry. Carmel set up the national temp committee and ran the union’s first Long Service Awards campaign for CBC temporary workers, implemented CMG’s first Save CBC public campaign, worked with other unions to launch the Journalism Matters national initiative and advocated for a strong and independent press with decision makers at the federal and provincial level.

A tireless advocate for fellow union members and colleagues, Carmel not only talks the union talk, she walks the union walk, supporting and lifting up her fellow CMG members, and mentoring many young media workers into the union community. She has encouraged and supported diverse and regional members to take up leadership positions within the CMG, and is always there to lend a listening ear. She fought against harassment and racism towards our members and staff, and started CMG’s first mandatory anti-racism training for union volunteers.

During her years a CMG president, Carmel worked to make long-held CMG goals a reality, such as purchasing the CMG national office instead of renting, thus saving the union significant amounts of money. The policies and bylaw changes she helped implement have made the union stronger.

Carmel is an award-winning journalist with 25 years of experience in private and public broadcasting, in radio, television and online.

2021:  Terry Pedwell (The Canadian Press Branch – Ottawa)

Please join us in congratulating journalist and longtime union activist Terry Pedwell who has received our union’s highest honour – the Canadian Media Guild’s Meritorious Service Award.

Along with a high profile job as a reporter on Parliament Hill, and filing daily, Terry Pedwell has been an outspoken advocate for media workers for two decades.

He has held the highest union office at The Canadian Press (CP), President of the CMG executive committee, been a leader at the bargaining table, negotiated for members’ rights, and played an active role in a visionary team that revamped CP’s employee pension program.

In nominating Terry for this award, the biggest vote of gratitude the union can bestow, Terry’s colleagues shared a deep respect for his humanity and compassion, and for his willingness to help others.

In addition to being one of the longest serving union presidents, Terry was the first to travel across the country promoting five different collective agreements.

Quotes from his nomination include:

“There were times I knew he was dealing with personal stuff that would have driven lots of people crazy but Terry always kept it together and was a solid calming presence.”
-former CP member/ CMG National Vice-President, Scott Edmonds

“He has led us through some of the most turbulent times the company and Guild have seen.” 
-former CP/CMG president, Colin Perkel

And from CWA-Canada, our parent union:

“On top of working a full-time job, Terry put in countless volunteer hours at night and on weekends serving his colleagues, without the dedication and selflessness of people like him, we simply would not have a strong union.”
-CWA Canada President and CP colleague, Martin O’Hanlon

Join us in celebrating Terry’s legacy of volunteer work, to honour that he has made serving his colleagues and the union a career-long and lifetime achievement.

Terry, on behalf of all of us, thank you.

2016:  Michael D’Souza (CBC Branch – Toronto)

An experienced union activist, Michael has held several positions at the local, branch, and national levels of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), as well as at CWA Canada, the Canadian component of our wider union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Michael has a long record as an advocate for human rights and equity. He’s also worked to ensure media workers are treated and paid fairly, and have access to full time work. Michael has served on several union committees, including the CBC Branch’s Pay Equity Committee and collective bargaining committee.

Michael has said that union work has meant a lot in his life and that he’s felt compelled to work toward building solidarity and helping young media workers and temporary workers.

2014:  Barbara Saxberg (CBC Branch – Toronto)

Barbara is a multiple award-winning news and current affairs journalist and documentary maker, who worked as an editor, producer and host in CBC Network Radio.

Serving on the national executive of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), Barbara acted as a director, with responsibility for education. In that role, Barbara created a labour education program for CMG, pioneering union training programs in the areas of leadership development and conflict resolution.

Over her decade-long activism within our union, Barbara was elected Secretary of the CBC Branch, served on two CBC Branch bargaining committees and was a leader in the creation of contract language around employee rights, employment equity, pay equity, and bullying.

She was also a delegate at the national and international levels of our broader union for several years, and was a member of the Canadian Labour Congress’s Education Advisory Committee.

2012:  Scott Edmonds (The Canadian Press Branch – Winnipeg)

A long-time reporter and editor at the Canadian Press, and seasoned negotiator, Scott led the Canadian Press Branch at the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and served as national vice-president of CMG.

Over the years, Scott became an active and sought after addition to CMG committees. Fellow CMG members valued his intelligence, and keen grasp of the by-laws and history of the Guild. He demonstrated a knack for wading through resolutions, procedures, and legalistic language.

He has served as a vice-president (Canada West) of the NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA) a part of CMG’s wider union. Scott has also served as a director on CWA Canada’s national executive and as a trustee of The Canadian Press Pension Plan for CMG members.

2010:  Jon Soper (CBC Branch – St. John’s)

Jon Soper has served on a variety of national Canadian Media Guild (CMG) committees, including the National Elections committee and the Resolutions committee in support of CMG conventions. He was a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and a delegate to conventions of CMG’s wider union, Communications Workers of America (CWA).

A member of CBC’s Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits, Jon has also sat on the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Broadcasting corporation’s Pension Plan.

2008:  Arnold Amber (CBC Branch – Toronto)

Arnold served as president of the CBC Branch of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and later led CWA Canada, the Canadian component of CMG’s wider union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Arnold’s impact on the union movement at the CBC and at other media workplaces has been profound. He was an admired, outspoken, and oft-quoted proponent of better journalism and quality media. He also advocated for better protections and improved working conditions for journalists in Canada and around the world.

A mentor and leader, Arnold thoughtfully applied himself with equal discipline and passion to journalism, the labour movement, and defending freedom of the press.

2006:  Blayne Paige (CBC Branch – Ottawa)

Canadian Media Guild convention Calgary, April 29, 2006.(PHOTO/Jenelle Schneider)

Blayne was a union activist who played a key role during the 2005 lock-out of CMG-represented workers at the CBC. He also participated in the Save The CBC campaign.

Blayne became active in NABET in 1981 and remained active in CEP. In the 1999 CEP strike he helped develop picket protocols, building respect from all on picket lines.

2004:  Céline Pelletier (CBC Branch – Windsor)

Céline served as President of the Location Unit at CBC Windsor. A mentor to her colleagues on union-related issues, Céline was viewed as having an encyclopedic understanding of the CBC-CMG collective agreement. Moreover, she was recognized as a leader to her Windsor co-workers in English and French radio and television newsrooms.

2002: Len Carter (CBC Branch – Toronto)

Len worked at CBC’S film department as an assistant film editor, and then as a production assistant. He became involved in the union immediately after being hired at the CBC through CUPE, which was then his union at CBC.

Len then spent 33 years as a union activist, fighting for what he believed to be right. He was also pivotal in organizing Christmas parties for children, the CBC picnic, and the Labour Day parade.

Len worked as a replacement union staffer, as a staff representative. He also negotiated collective agreements, taught with CUPE, the Canadian Labour Congress, Ontario Federation of Labour, and the Toronto Labour Council.

He was instrumental in building the Guild, when several different union Locals merged to expand and form the Canadian Media Guild.

2000:  Percy Hatfield (CBC Branch – Windsor)

Percy was a reporter at CBC Windsor, where he held union leadership roles with the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) including as a union steward, and a CMG Vice-President for Central Canada.

He also served as an At-Large VP with the Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA) as well as two terms as TNG-CWA’s Vice President for Eastern Canada.

Percy served on the CBC bargaining team during the 2005 lockout at CBC.

1999:  David Kaufman (CBC Branch – Toronto)

David worked as producer at CBC’s prestigious current affairs program The Fifth Estate.

With the merger of the different unions at CBC, David was instrumental in the creation of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) and was one of the CMG’s founding executive members in the role of National Treasurer.

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