Accueil / CWA Canada Presidential Election – Candidate’s profile: Carmel Smyth

CWA Canada Presidential Election – Candidate’s profile: Carmel Smyth

Carmel Smyth

Media workers face exceptional challenges. Now, more than ever, our union needs an experienced leader to fight for members.

I am an award-winning journalist who has worked across the country for private and public broadcasting, in radio, television & online for 25 years. Most of that time I have also been a union leader, activist, and advocate for my colleagues.

I was National President of the Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada’s largest local) for nine years, and served on the CWA Canada Executive Committee. During that time, I led many reforms that improved member service, communication, and transparency, while making financial decisions that are still saving the union money. All these efforts ensured better service without increasing member’s dues.

As we fight to save our industry, we need a leader with passion, energy – and experience. I have spent years lobbing regulators and politicians, and I know how to build allies and help our fellow Canadians understand the importance of what we do. I am grateful to many who worked with us to successfully lobby for the federal government’s media fund, to force discussions about temporary workers and racism, and to make the Internet giants pay into Canada’s media system.

I’m proud to continue the fight for better pay and working conditions and against the rise of temporary work – a short-sighted policy by employers preventing a generation of motivated workers from building careers.

I am also proud to have worked on many innovative national campaigns, including “Journalism Matters”, which featured newspaper ads with prominent journalists explaining why media work matters. I was privileged to lead a team holding the CMG’s first and only public concert at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa as part of our Save the CBC campaign. Joining dozens of entertainers on stage to speak up for the media and public broadcasting was the country’s favourite astronaut, Chris Hadfield. The concert was a huge success, proving that hard work, and thinking outside the box can work with the right team and leadership.

I look forward to continuing my two-decades long work fighting discrimination and promoting diversity, include starting the CMG’s first mandatory anti-racism training, curating a lunch-hour series of programs showcasing the work of LGBTQIA+ and Indigenous journalists, and initiating CBC Toronto’s first diversity events. These were so successful, the employer became involved and for years we ran joint events.

Some of my ideas have come from the Harvard University Union Leadership course I was accepted into in 2010, and I’d like to thank my colleagues at the CMG CBC Branch for recognizing my exceptional efforts with an Award of Excellence in 2019.

I remain a working journalist and am inspired daily by the dedication of my colleagues. I will continue to work to deserve your support.

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