Review of the Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act 2015-2016
Prepared by: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Name: The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian
Name: Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, CRTC
Official Languages Champion:
Name: Scott Hutton, Executive Director, Broadcasting
Name of national coordinator or contact person responsible for the implementation of section 41 (Part VII) of the Official Languages Act:
Name: Frédéric Janelle
- Exact title: Acting Senior Manager, French Language Television, TV Policy and Applications
- Telephone number: (819) 819-997-4608
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name(s) of the regional contact person(s) for section 41 of the OLA (if applicable)
In accordance with section 44 of the Official Languages Act (OLA), the Minister of Canadian Heritage must submit an annual report to Parliament on matters relating to official languages for which the Minister is responsible. The Minister must therefore report on the implementation of section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA by federal institutions.
The information provided by your institution through this questionnaire will be used to write the Minister of Canadian Heritage’s 2012-213 Report on Official Languages.
Open-ended questions are used to document your institution’s results on section 41 implementation, which could be highlighted in this annual report.
Please return this duly completed questionnaire in both official languages to Canadian Heritage no later than May 30, 2016, to:
For more information, please contact the Interdepartmental Relations and Accountability Directorate at Canadian Heritage (819-994-3577 or
A hard copy of this document should be sent to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and to both Parliamentary Standing Committees on Official Languages. You will find their addresses below:
Mr. Graham Fraser
Commissaire aux official languages
Commissariat aux official languages
30, Victoria street, 6th floor
Gatineau, (Québec) K1A 0M6
Mr. Georges Etoka
Clerk of the Committee
House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages
House of Commons of Canada
131 Queen Street, 6th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Mr. Maxwell Hollins
Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages
Senate of Canada
Chambers Building, Roon 1051
40 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
Federal institutions are responsible for communicating their results regarding the implementation of Part VII of the OLA to interested community stakeholders (for example, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada (FCFA), the Quebec Community Group Network (QCGN), etc.).
Development of official-language minority communities and promotion of English and French in Canadian society (Section 41, Part VII of the Official Languages Act)
Particular Context of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
As an administrative tribunal, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC or Commission) is subject to various legal requirements, including certain requirements imposed by administrative law with respect to the conduct of its hearings. In line with these obligations, and as is the case with all Commission proceedingsFootnote 1 affecting the rights, interests and/or privileges of natural or legal persons, the Commission provides interested persons, including official language minority communities(OLMCs), with an opportunity to make submissions on issues relevant to them. Following this, the Commission reaches its decisions on the basis of the Law, Regulations, and the record properly before it.
For several years, the CRTC has instituted a practice whereby an analysis of the record associated with a given proceeding must be prepared by Commission staff with a view to integrating, in a systemic fashion, the objectives of subsection 41(1) of the Official Languages Act (OLA). This analysis forms part of the Commission’s deliberations. The CRTC has developed a tool, known internally as “Lens 41”,Footnote 2 which has been systematically integrated into the decision process for proceedings that affect OLMCs.Footnote 3 The Lens 41 analysis serves to assess the probable effects that a given decision or policy will have on OLMCs and to better ensure that the vitality and development of these communities are fostered. This practice is consistent with the specific mandate entrusted to the CRTC under the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, and the limits imposed by this legislation.
All information documents regarding public hearings and all memoranda for Commission meetings also include a cover page entitled "Document at a Glance", which contains a section where Commission staff must indicate whether the record presents issues for official languages and/or minority language communities. Where such considerations exist, staff must check the appropriate box and specify exactly where in the document the relevant Lens 41 analysis can be found. This mechanism is used to draw the attention of Commission members (decision makers) to the fact that Commission staff is of the view that a given record has official languages implications for one or more OLMCs and that those implications are addressed in the related documentation.
The staff analysis included in “Lens 41” serves to raise issues for discussion by the Commission as well as ensuring that all Commissioners, including the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, are informed of OLMC issues that will be the subject of deliberations and decision processes.
At the CRTC, the implementation of section 41 of the OLA translates concretely as regulatory policies, changes to regulations and the imposition by the Commission of conditions of service for broadcasting and telecommunications undertakings. The Commission places great importance on respecting regulatory obligations. To verify compliance, the Commission may impose monitoring and reporting requirements.
Moreover, it is in the spirit of transparency towards OLMCs that the Commission imposed a series of detailed reportsFootnote 4 on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBS/SRC) in the CRTC 2013-263 Decision.
The CBC/SRC reports are available at the following link: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/bcasting/ann_rep/annualrp.htm.
If the Commission is concerned about a licensee’s apparent non-compliance with regulatory obligations, it may investigate, hear evidence and rule on the non-compliance issue. The Commission can impose a variety of measures, such as renewing the licence for a short period, imposing an order, denying licence renewal, or suspending or revoking a licence, or imposing new regulations.
In conclusion, we would like to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that promoting the use of English and French across Canada is part of the Commission’s DNA, given that the Broadcasting Act (Act), sets out this objective numerous times. For example, the Act states at:
- paragraph 3(1)(c), that English and French language broadcasting, while sharing common aspects, operate under different conditions and may have different requirements. In this regard, in its decision-making process, the Commission must take into consideration the conditions and needs of both linguistic markets, including those of each minority language;
- subparagraph 3(1)(d)(iii), that the Commission must ensure that the Canadian broadcasting system serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations of Canadians;
- paragraph 3(1)(k), that a range of broadcasting services in English and in French shall be extended to all Canadians as resources become available.
Furthermore, section 7 of the Telecommunications Act sets out that Canada’s telecommunications policy includes objectives that are also important to OLMCs, such as:
- paragraph 7(a), to facilitate the orderly development throughout Canada of a telecommunications system that serves to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the social and economic fabric of Canada and its regions;
- paragraph 7(b), to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada;
- paragraph 7(h), to respond to the economic and social requirements of users of telecommunications services.
In addition, as a federal designated institution, the Commission has, under section 41 of the Official Languages Act, a duty to take positive measures to enhance the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada, support and assist their development, and to foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.
Question 1: If your institution had to highlight three key initiatives or more in relation to the development of official language minority communities, which ones would those be?
Question 1-I.a: Describe these initiatives.
The CRTC has decided to highlight the following three initiatives, which have had a positive impact on OLMCs:
- Access to television services in Canada’s two official languages
- Sufficient number of independent television channels offered by the BDUs
- Small basic package that includes television stations of interest to OLMCs
Context: These three initiatives stem from a public conversation, “Let’s Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians”
In April 2014, the CRTC launched a review of its television policies. The review dealt with issues and priorities identified by Canadians in the first stages of the conversation.
It was a major undertaking that generated a great deal of interest among Canadians; over 13,000 interventions were submitted from people all over the country, including OLMCs. After the proceeding, the CRTC put in place a series of regulatory measures, so as to ensure adequate access to television for both Anglophone and Francophone OLMCs.
Response 1-I.a: i. Access to television services in both official languages
In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-86 (Let’s Talk TV), the CRTC indicated that, in accordance with paragraph 9(1)(h) of the Act, for all providers with more than 2,000 subscribers, it would maintain mandatory broadcasting of services deemed to be exceptional, including those that have a positive impact on OLMCs. These services are subject to a mandatory distribution order because of the importance of the programming they provide in the furtherance of the objectives of the Act. The following 9(1)(h) services have an especially strong impact on OLMCs:
In French-language markets:
- CBC News Network: discretionary English-language television service broadcasting news 24/7
In English-language markets
- TVA: conventional French-language television service.
- ICI RDI: discretionary French-language television service broadcasting news 24/7.
- ICI ARTV: discretionary French-language television service broadcasting cultural programming.
In all markets:
- TV5/UNIS: two discretionary French-language television services: TV5, whose programming reflects international Francophonie, and UNIS, whose programming reflects the diversity of Canadian Francophonie, in particular that of the OLMCs.
- Météomédia and The Weather Network: two weather news services in French and English
- CPAC: discretionary bilingual public affairs service showcasing parliamentary, political and public business in Canada and abroad. CPAC also broadcasts parliamentary debates and certain public hearings of the CRTC.
- APTN: discretionary television service that broadcasts and produces shows produced by, for and about Aboriginal people in Canada. Part of APTN’s programming is broadcast in French and in Aboriginal language.
- AMI-tv, AMI-télé and AMI-audio: AMI-télé is a discretionary French-language service; AMI-tv is a discretionary English-language service; and AMI-audio is a discretionary English-language audio service that is available on television. These services are provided for Canadians who are blind, vision impaired, deaf, hearing impaired or unable to read printed text.
Question 1-I.b: What are the tangible impacts of these initiatives/in the official-language minority communities?
By implementing the regulatory measures mentioned in Question 1a), the CRTC ensures that OLMCs across Canada, both English and French, have access to quality programming in their preferred language.
Response 1-I.b: i TANGIBLE IMPACTS
Greater access to broadcasting services for OLMCs
The CRTC will amend existing rules governing BDUs with direct-to-home (DTH) satellite services so as to ensure that a French-language service is provided for each group of ten English-language services (1:10 rule).
The BDUs may also submit an application to add to their basic entry-level package an educational service designed outside the province in each official language in provinces and territories that do not have these types of services.
Question 1-I.c: What do you think is the determining success factor of these initiatives?
Response 1-I.c: The response for initiatives i, ii and iii is in the last section of Question 1, on page 12.
Question 1-II.a: Describe these initiatives.
Response 1-II.a: INITIATIVE for ii
ii. Sufficient number of independent television channels offered by the BDUs
To ensure there is a sufficient number of independent television channels offered to Canadians, as of September 1, 2018, vertically-integrated BDUs, such as Shaw, Rogers, Videotron and Bell, will be required to offer an independent English and French-language service for each English and French-language service they distribute and own (1:1 ratio). This deadline is at around the same period when the licences of independent services come up for renewal.
Question 1-II.b: What are the tangible impacts of this initiative on/in the official language minority communities?
Response 1-II.b: TANGIBLE IMPACTS for ii
Regulatory measures stemming from the Let’s Talk TV proceeding will ensure that Canadian consumers, including those who live in OLMCs, have access to affordable quality Canadian programming in the official language of their choice. Also, the reflection of OLMCs on screen is maintained and even enhanced with respect to the delivery of French-language services by terrestrial and DTH (satellite) BDUs. Indeed, as soon as the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations are amended, these BDUs will have to provide access to a French-language television service for each set of ten English-language services. This provision ensures that almost all French-language discretionary services will be offered by the DTH BDUs.
Furthermore, as early as this year some OLMCs could benefit from more educational services in their official language. For example, TFO and/or Télé-Québec could be distributed in Saskatchewan or British Columbia and/or TVO could be distributed in Quebec in the basic service package.
Question 1-II.c: What do you think is the determining success factor for these initiatives?
Response 1-II.c: SUCCESS FACTORS for ii
The response for initiatives i, ii and iii is in the last section of Question 1, on page 13.
Question 1-III.a: Describe these initiatives.
Response 1-III.a: INITIATIVE for iii
iii. Small basic package that includes television stations of interest to OLMCs
The CRTC ensures that BDUs take into account Canadians’ concerns regarding affordability. Since March 1, 2016, Canadians may subscribe for a basic entry-level television service package that costs no more than $25 a month. As indicated in Response 1a), services deemed to be exceptional by the CRTC are to be part of the basic entry-level package, which gives priority to local and regional news broadcasts and bulletins. Local and regional news broadcasts and bulletins enable Canadians to participate more actively in the democratic, economic, cultural and social spheres of life in Canada. In addition, by December 2016, Canadians will be able to subscribe for pick-and-pay channels when they choose a small basic package.
Entry-level television service includes:
- Local and regional television stations in the BDU service area
- A community channel
- In some cases, an additional educational channel
- Channels of exceptional interest such as TVA, TV5/UNIS, AMI-TV, APTN, CPAC, RDI (outside Quebec), CBC News Network (in Quebec), Météomédia and The Weather Network
Broader offering of educational television
The CRTC now allows terrestrial and DTH BDUs to apply for a condition of licence that authorizes them to distribute, as part of the entry-level service package, an out-of-province educational channel in each official language in provinces and territories where there is no designated educational channel. Currently, the BDUs are required to distribute, as part of the basic package, educational channels designated by the province where the BDUs operate.
This measure would ensure broader distribution of educational television services in Canada without limiting the programming flexibility of BDUs. This new regulatory flexibility will have a positive impact on OLMCs of both language markets, since this new initiative will give Canadians access to more quality programming in the language of their choice, including programming for children and teenagers.
Question 1-III.b: What are the tangible impacts of these initiatives on/in the official language minority communities?
Response 1-III.b: TANGIBLE IMPACTS for iii
Thanks to these new measures:
- The OLMCs will receive an adequate number of television services in their official language.
- In some provinces and territories where there is no designated educational service, the basic entry-level package could include an educational service from outside the province in each official language.
- Consumers, including those living in OLMCs, will now be able to choose small packages that are tailored to their needs.
- Terrestrial BDUs will be able to continue to offer optional services that respond better to the needs of Canadians who subscribe to their services, provided they comply with the 1:10 rule.
Question 1.III.c: In your opinion, what is the main success factor in these initiatives?
Answer 1.III.c: SUCCESS FACTORS for the three initiatives (i, ii and iii) that have contributed to the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs).
The Commission has taken the appropriate regulatory measures so that Canadians have access to a world-class broadcasting system offering services in the two official languages that enables the needs of OLMCs to be met across the country both in terms of access and to reflect their needs.
The success of these measures could be assessed by increased access by OLMCs to educational television services for people living in provinces where there is currently no access to designated educational television services.
Question 2: If your institution were to highlight three or more key initiatives that have contributed to the promotion of French and English in Canadian society (not to be confused with obligations under parts IV and V), what would they be?
Question 2-I.a: Describe these initiatives
The Commission decided to present the following three initiatives that had a positive impact on OLMCs:
- CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group;
- Renewal by television licence group of services belonging to large French and English language ownership groups;
- English language community channel for Montréal (MaTV).
Answer 2-I.a: INITIATIVE i
CRTC-OLMC DISCUSSION GROUP
The CRTC-OLMC Discussion GroupFootnote 5 (the Group) was created by the CRTC in 2007 to help implement section 41 of the OLA.
Over 30 organizations representing French and English-language OLMCs from all provinces of Canada are members of the Group. Also on the list of members are the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Commission’s Official Languages Champion, Scott Hutton; the Commission’s acting national coordinator for the implementation of section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA, Frédéric Janelle; and several sectoral coordinators.Footnote 6
The Group is intended to be forum for information sharing, communication and collaboration to maximize OLMC participation in the Commission’s public proceedings. The Discussion Group met twice at the Commission’s headquarters during the last fiscal year, namely in November 2015 and March 2016.
The CRTC makes all information arising from the Group’s activities available to the public on its website, including minutes, all meeting agendas and any other relevant documents. These documents are available at the following link: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/5000/lo_ol/ol-lo.htm.
In November 2015, a subcommittee stemming from the Discussion Group, representing independent producers working mainly in the television production field throughout the country, was set up. The purpose of this subcommittee is to help OLMC representatives adequately prepare for Commission proceedings that could have an impact on them.
A meeting of the subcommittee with Commission staff was held in February 2016 to discuss the subcommittee’s request for access to certain financial data from broadcasting undertakings that is not currently compiled by the Commission.
The Commission’s staff and the subcommittee are having discussions to assess the possibility of changing the way in which certain financial information is collected by the Commission from broadcasters that it regulates. These changes, if implemented, will enable more accurate and relevant information regarding the funding of programming produced by or on behalf of OLMCs to be obtained.
In addition, Nicole Matiation, Executive Director of the association, On Screen Manitoba, and a member of the subcommittee, was pleased to note that the CRTC now includes issues on OLMCs in its policy reviews. For example, she mentioned the “Let’s Talk TV” process, the review of the “policy framework for local and community television programming,” and the review of the rules applicable to “Certified Independent Production Funds.”
Addition of a new member to the Group
New Brunswick Producers’ Association Inc. joined the CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group in 2015. This association will be able to take part in discussions with various member organizations while benefiting from annual committee meetings and networking opportunities.
Training offered to Group members
One of the problems that some parties, including those representing OLMCs, have is the ability to properly document their claims when participating in Commission proceedings. This often involves individuals or smaller organizations that do not necessarily have the regulatory resources that larger industry players have to adequately prepare their briefs of evidence. Many OLMC organizations are in this situation. Commission staff gave an information session on this topic that was presented by Me Peter McCallum, General Counsel, Communications Law, at the CRTC, during a meeting of the Group in November 2015.
Me McCallum explained that participating in the Commission’s proceedings is the vehicle through which stakeholders can express their views and concerns so that they will be taken into consideration at Commission proceedings.
The participation of interest groups in Commission proceedings has been made easier since the establishment of the Broadcasting Participation Fund (BPF)Footnote 7 in 2012. This Fund enables certain groups representing OLMCs to receive financial support to participate in Commission proceedings. Furthermore, section 56 of the Telecommunications Act states that the Commission may partially award costs incurred by organizations or individuals with respect to their participation in a proceeding before the Commission.
This information session raised the Group’s awareness of the importance of taking part in the Commission’s public proceedings. The members of the Group demonstrated great interest during this presentation, so much so that after the meeting they set up a data subcommittee, which we previously mentioned. The highlights of Me McCallum’s presentation are available in the minutes of the Group’s meeting: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/5000/lo_ol/rp151113.htm.
Presentation on CBC/SRC programming strategy
At the meeting of the CRTC-OLMC committee in November 2015, the Group invited representatives from SRC’s French services and CBC’s English services in Quebec to discuss changes that the broadcaster intends to make to its services and its programming.
CBC/SRC representativesFootnote 8 presented Strategy 2020, A Space for Us All, launched by CBC/SRC in 2014. This is a plan that will help CBC/SRC to be more digital, more locally focused and more ambitious in the programming it offers Canadians.
There was a positive discussion at this meeting between CBC/SRC representatives and the members of the CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group.
Question 2-I.b: What are the specific effects or impacts of these initiatives on Canadian society?
Answer 2-I.b: SPECIFIC EFFECTS i - Better informed OLMC representatives
Since the setting up of the CRTC-OLMC committee, it has been noted that presentations made by OLMC representatives have been of better quality and contain quantitative and qualitative information that allows the Commission to make more informed decisions.
In addition, OLMC representatives had the opportunity to relay their concerns to the CBC/SRC’s representatives pertaining to programming issues and about the specific impacts of CBC/SRC’s Strategy 2020 on their communities. Having many OLMC representatives at the same table created an environment that is conducive to valuable information sharing, which has enabled CBC/SRC to receive frank and direct feedback on its current and future programming from OLMC representatives.
Question 2-I.c: In your opinion, what is the main success factor in these initiatives?
Answer 2-I.c: SUCCESS FACTORS i
Encourage OLMC participation in public proceedings
The television and radio industries are agents for the social cohesion and vitality of OLMCs. By undertaking and maintaining a dialogue with representatives from these communities, mainly through their participation in the Commission’s public proceedings, the CRTC is able to determine their needs more accurately.
By encouraging OLMC participation in the Commission’s public proceedings and by giving them the tools to properly prepare for their presentations, OLMCs are better equipped to express their viewpoints before the Commission.
Question 2-II.a: Describe these initiatives
Answer 2-II.a: INITIATIVE ii
i. Renewal by television licence group of services belonging to large French and English language ownership groups
As was mentioned in its 2016-2019 three year plan, the CRTC will renew the television licences of television services of large French and English language ownership groups in 2016. During this process, the Commission will study licence renewals for the following groups: Groupe TVA, Groupe V, Bell Media, Shaw Media, Corus Entertainment and Rogers Media (Large Groups).
Invitation letters to Large Groups
As part of this renewal process, the Commission sent a letter asking the Large Groups to file an application for the licence renewal of their television services. This letter included the following questions:
For Large Groups in the French-language market
At the time of the last licence renewal for French-language television services, the Commission noted that the program schedule for conventional French-language television services was mostly created and produced for Montrealers. Consequently, feeling that non-Montrealers, including official language minority communities (OLMCs) should be better reflected within the broadcasting system, the Commission expressed the expectation that the groups should ensure that the programs broadcast by their services adequately reflect all of Quebec’s regions, including those outside of Montréal, as well as all of Canada’s regions. The Commission expressed the expectation that the groups provide producers working in these regions with opportunities to produce programs for their services.
Please describe the measures taken by (the applicant) to reflect the regions of Quebec and Canada and the OLMCs during the latest licence term. Please confirm that (the applicant) will continue to comply with these expectations with respect to independent regional productions and in the OLMCs, and indicate the measures that (the applicant) intends to take to further support this type of production.
For Large Groups in the English-language market
Please confirm that (the applicant) will continue to file its Regional Independent Production Reports, as required in Broadcasting Decision 2011-441, and whether the applicant proposes to take any additional measures to further support these types of productions.
In its Report to the Governor in Council on English- and French-language broadcasting services in English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada, the Commission stated that “the Commission considers that the representation of official language minority communities (OLMCs) on screen is essential to ensuring a suitable quality of service.” OLMC representation on screen is also among the objectives set out in section 3(1) of the Broadcasting Act.
- Please describe in detail the efforts made by (the applicant) to appropriately reflect Anglophone minority communities in its services.
- Please describe the plans of (the applicant) to continue to reflect Anglophone OLMCs in its services or to improve its services in this regard.
Information requests sent to large television ownership groups are available on the Commission’s website at: https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/instances-proceedings/Default-Defaut.aspx?S=O&PA=B&PT=NC&PST=A.
Question 2-II.b: What are the actual effects of these initiatives in/for official language minority communities?
Answer 2-II.b: ACTUAL EFFECTS ii
More substantial public record
The public record will include information on:
- What Large Groups have done for OLMCs during their last licensing period;
- What the Large Groups plan to do in their next licensing period;
- During the intervention period, OLMCs may base their case on information provided by the Large Groups.
Question 2-II.c: In your view, what is the main factor in the success of these initiatives?
Answer 2-II.c: SUCCESS FACTOR ii
- Large Groups to present positive initiatives they have taken for OLMCs over the last licensing period and projects they plan to implement in the next one;
- For the public, to be informed of Large Groups’ initiatives for OLMCs, in anticipation of their interventions when the new intervention period opens;
- For the Commission, to obtain a fuller, more substantial public record of the activities of the Large Groups, making for better decision-making by the Commission.
Question 2-III: If your institution had to point to three key initiatives or more that have contributed to the promotion of French and English in Canadian society (not to be confused with obligations under Parts IV and V), what would they be?
Question 2-III.a: Describe these initiatives
Answer 2-III.a: INITIATIVE iii
ii. MaTV community channel in Montreal and Terrebonne
In 2015, in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-31, on community channel MAtv, the Commission indicated that it was waiting for Vidéotron to form a citizen consultative committee, which would take into account all community members, as well as volunteers, to determine the blend, scope and types of broadcast likely to best serve the needs and interests of Greater Montreal.
Following creation of this consultative committee, Vidéotron decided to broadcast approximately 20% Anglophone programming on the French-language MAtv community channel serving the region of Montreal, Montreal West and Terrebonne (Greater Montreal) for the benefit of the Anglophone OLMC living in that region.
Question 2-III.b: What are the actual effects of these initiatives on Canadian society?
Answer 2-III.b: ACTUAL EFFECTS iii
Better local reflection of the OLMC
Broadcasting community programming in English (representing about 20% of total programming) now allows the Anglophone community to see itself reflected and to be seen by other members of the community subscribing to Vidéotron in Montreal, Montreal West and Terrebonne (Greater Montreal).
Question 2-III.c: In your view, what is the key factor in the success of these initiatives?
Answer 2-III.c: SUCCESS FACTORS iii
New input to the expression and reflection of local Anglophone life
Broadcasting of community programming in English on MaTV has allowed the Anglophone community of Greater Montreal to enjoy new input into local Anglophone voices and images. The addition of English-language programming to MaTV, reflecting the community’s reality, has filled an enduring gap in this market.
This initiative has been extremely well received by the Anglophone community of Greater Montreal, as illustrated by testimony from the English Language Arts Network in Quebec (ELAN). In fact, when they appeared at the public hearings on revising the policy framewok for local and community television (CRTC 2015-421), Fortner Anderson and Guy Rogers, respectively board member and Executive Director of ELAN, expressed their satisfaction with this measure
This is what Fortner Anderson said at the hearing:
"First, we want to thank the Commission for its support in getting English Community Television to the 750,000 official language minority community viewers in the Montreal area. We still don’t have a dedicated English language community channel anywhere in Quebec, but since September of last year, we do have 20 percent of the programming carried on the French MaTV channel in the Montreal area. We have been greatly impressed by the quality of original English language programs on MaTV, such as Montreal Billboard and Citylive.
These programs are attracting strong audiences from both the Francophone and Anglophone communities. For the first time in a generation, we can see our local reflection in our own official language, and this is good.
As a testament to the success of this venture, Videotron has seen an increasing number of show proposals submitted from the Anglophone community. We would like to thank you on behalf of the three-quarters of a million Anglophones in and around Montreal"Footnote 9.
Question 3: What “key achievement” having a regional impact (success stories or results in official-language minority communities or on the promotion of English and French in Canadian society) would your institution like to highlight?
Answer 3.a: Self-identification of activists from OLMCs
At the Commission’s public deliberations, interested parties and the general public are invited to submit interventions or observations on a given subject, such as broadcasting requests, regulatory policies, telecommunications procedures, non-compliance hearings or proprietary requests. When a written intervention is submitted, it can be done using an on-line form. The Commission is currently working on improving its intervention form to enable applicants to self-identify as coming from an OLMC.
This amendment to the intervention form may seem trivial, but it has taken huge efforts to implement, in particular because of changes to the Commission’s in-house computer system. This innovation will enable the Commission to track the number of intervenors from OLMCs and identify trends in their participation in the Commission’s work in coming years.
Answer 3.b: French-language community broadcasting licences renewed
In 2015, the following licences were renewed:
- CJRM-FM Labrador City and its transmitters CKIJ-FM St. John’s and CKIP-FM La Grand’Terre, French-language community radio station.
- CKUM-FM Moncton, a campus radion station aimed at the French-speaking community in New Brunswick.
Answer 3.c: Improved telecommunications services in the Canadian North
The 2013 Report on Official Languages stated the Commission’s decision to improve the supply of telecommunications services in Northern Canada. As well as establishing a new regulatory framework for Norouestel, the Commission concluded that there was a need to regulate prices and rates for some of the Internet services it provides and approved a five-year modernization plan for the firm’s network.
In the course of fiscal 2015-16, rates for retail Internet landline services offered by Norouestel, approved by the Commission in March 2015, took effect, including certain reductions designed to shrink the spread between the rates charged to Canadians living in the north and those available to customers in the south.
In addition, Norouestel has continued to improve its telecommunications network in accordance with the modernization plan previously approved by the Commission, especially with regard to its services in certain official language minority communities in the Yukon (Whitehorse), the Northwest Territories (Hay River and Yellowknife) and in Nunavut (Iqaluit). In particular, through this plan, Whitehorse and Yellowknife will start to enjoy improved high-speed Internet services in 2015-2016, and Iqaluit will get improved telephone facilities offering higher quality services.
Improved telecommunications services in the Canadian north will help meet the needs of the people living there, whichever the official language of their choice. For Canadians living in a language minority situation in this region, these improvements will provide better access to Internet and other telecommunications services, opening up for them a vast array of information and services in their own official language.
Deployment of broadband in 5 Canadian provinces
On February 25, 2016, the CRTC announced that, in accordance with deployment plans approved by the Commission for each company in 2010, Bell Canada, MTS Allstream and TELUS had completed extension of broadband Internet services in over 280 rural and remote communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. At least 15 official language minority communities have gained access to high-speed Internet services through this program, which called for investment of some $422 million.
Question: 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation
The 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation represents a unique opportunity for institutions to contribute to the development of official language minority communities and promote both official languages.
- Is your institution planning to contribute to the 150th anniversary of Confederation?
- If so, describe the activities planned.
- Please detail the steps taken or to be taken in connection with these activities to ensure that your institution meets its obligations under Part VII of the Act (e.g. consultations, impact analysis, use of specific language clauses, creation of partnerships).
- Please indicate the anticipated results.
In January 2016, the Commission’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Pierre Blais, issued a call to staff concerning the “Canada 150” project, to suggest names for the CRTC’s meeting rooms to honour people who have played major roles in the Canadian communications industry. Evaluation of the exceptional people who, through their accomplishments, values and ideas, have marked the growth and spread of Canadian communications over the past 150 years will be based on the following criteria:
- Posthumous recognition: the rooms will named to honour deceased individuals;
- Ethnic diversity: Canada’s founding peoples and people representing the cultural mosaic, as far as possible;
- Geographic representation: Canadians from sea to sea to sea;
- Temporality: Canadians who have marked our history from its beginnings.
A committee of six members, including Mr Blais, will be mandated to evaluate the suggestions and information submitted by CRTC staff in order to select the 13 individuals for recognition. The selection committee members are:
- Alex Benay, President and CEO, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation;
- André Bureau, broadcasting legal counsel;
- George Green, Vice-President, Heritage Conservation and Commemoration, Parks Canada ;
- Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO, National Arts Centre, Ottawa;
- Hélène Laurendeau, Associate Deputy Minister, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
These rooms are routinely used by all CRTC staff, but also by the public and members of the radio, television and telecommunications industries.
The CRTC will honour the names of Canadian personalities from a variety of provinces, fields and cultures who have left their own mark on communications, and in so doing celebrate Canada’s linguistic duality and honour this country’s heritage and history.
The new room names, selected from the suggestions received, will be announced in turn, starting in June 2016 and running until June 2017.
What does the OLA say?
Subsection 41(1) of the Official Languages Act (OLA) voices the federal government’s commitment to “enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.”
The OLA and the Commission
The Commission is required to develop and put into effect an action plan for implementing section 41 of the OLA. This designation results from the fact that the Commission’s decisions have a direct impact on the development and vitality of official language communities in Canada.
Therefore, the Commission is required to:
- Take positive measures to implement the OLA. In concrete terms, this means considering the needs and realities of official language minority communities (OLMCs) in its decision-making process.
- Report on progress to Parliament, the Senate, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Commissioner of Official Languages.
Role of analysts
Analysts are responsible for indicating clearly in their analysis potential positive or negative impact of their recommendations on OLMCs. Analysts must signal in the “Document at a Glance”Footnote 10 the existence of issues in this regard and where Commissioners can find it in the Briefing Book.
Nature of the analysis
The analysis must enable Commission members to properly assess the potential impact of a decision or policy on OLMCs, so that they can consider this in their decision-making process.
The following questions may serve as a guide for the type of considerations associated with this analysis:
1. Will the decision/policy have any impact on the vitality or development of official language minority communities?
(Note: No further analysis will be required where no OLMC interests are implicated.)
- Broad consideration of OLMC concerns will need to be undertaken whenever staff detects a potential OLMC impact for any file, policy proceeding, licence renewal, or competitive process. In addition to discussing any relevant comments submitted by the parties, staff will also have to consider, where appropriate, the effect that their recommendations may have on OLMCs.
- Because the Commission is an administrative tribunal with quasi-judicial functions, public proceedings are the primary vehicles by which the communities can voice their concerns. While all CRTC proceedings are publicly disclosed, OLMCs are expressly made aware of those proceedings that could have a greater impact on them via the CTRC-OLMC discussion group. In such cases, it is imperative that any section 41 arguments submitted by any party be addressed in the staff analysis.
2. How do these considerations impact the balance of the analysis?
(ie. What BA or TA policy objectives are also implicated? Are the concerns of the OLMCs significant enough to outweigh any other relevant policy concerns?)
- Analysts need to be cognizant that they won’t always be able to address the needs of the OLMCs by recommending a positive course of action. However, where staff’s recommendations do not support a positive course of action, the associated analysis should specifically identify the prevalence of any other policy objectives in the BA (or TA when appropriate) that form the basis of the recommendation.
The Broadcasting Directorate is the lead, in consultation with other sectors, for applying, monitoring and reporting on section 41, Part VII of the OLA.
There are many resources that can help you on this issue. Scott Hutton, Executive Director of Broadcasting, is the Official Languages Champion. Frédéric Janelle is the Acting National Coordinator, Section 41 of the Official Languages Act, and Éric Bowles is the designated counsel for official languages.
Additional information useful for analysts may be found on the page dedicated to OLMCs on the Commission's Web site as well as the coordinates of the people mentioned above.
Members of the CRTC-OMLC Discussion Group
|Alliance nationale de l’industrie musicale (ANIM)||Ottawa||Ontario||Benoit Henry
|Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC)||Ottawa||Ontario||Chantal Nadeau
President, Board of Directors
|Alliance des radios communautaires (ARC du Canada)||Ottawa||Ontario||François Coté
|613-562-0000, ext. 354
Development and Communications Officer
|613-562-0000, ext. 305
|Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise (ACF)||Regina||Saskatchewan||Marc Masson
Director of Communications
|Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO)||Ottawa||Ontario||Peter Hominuk
|Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.l.e.s du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAAPNB)||Moncton||New Brunswick||Jean-Pierre Caissie
|506-852-3313, ext. 226
|Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA)||Edmonton||Alberta||Isabelle Laurin
Director of Communications
|780-466-1680, ext. 202
|Association des francophones du Nunavut (AFN)||Iqaluit||Nunavut||Éric Corneau
|Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY)||Whitehorse||Yukon||Roch Nadon
Director, Arts and Culture + Youth
|867-668-2663, ext. 321
|Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires (ANREC)||Ottawa||Ontario||Shelley Robinson
|Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique (APCM)||Ottawa||Ontario||Natalie Bernardin
|English-language Arts Network (ELAN)||Montréal||Quebec||Guy Rodgers
|Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse (FANE)||Dartmouth||Nova Scotia||Marie-Claude Rioux
Communications Liaison Officer
|Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada (FCFA)||Ottawa||Ontario||Suzanne Bossé
Director of Communications
|Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF)||Ottawa||Ontario||Carol-Ann Pilon
Acting Director General
|613-241-8770 poste 23
Head of Communications
|613-241-8770, ext. 22
|Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique (FFCB)||Vancouver||British Columbia||Mylène Letellier
|Fédération franco-ténoise (FFT)||Yellowknife||Northwest Territories||Léo-Paul Provencher
|867-920-2919, ext. 254
|Fédération des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador (FFTNL)||St. John’s||Newfoundland||Gaël Corbineau
|Front des réalisateurs indépendants du Canada (FRIC)||Ottawa||Ontario||Laurence Véron
|On Screen Manitoba (OSM)||Winnipeg||Manitoba||Nicole Matiation
|Canadian Heritage (PCH)||Gatineau||Quebec||Mara Indri-Skinner
Director, Interdepartmental Relations and Accountability, Official Languages Branch
|Quebec Association for Anglophone Community Radio (QU’ANGLO)||Sherbrooke||Quebec||Hugh Maynard
|877-782-6456, ext. 704
|Quebec Community Group Network (QCGN)||Montréal||Quebec||Sylvia Martin-Laforge
|514-868-9044, ext. 225
|Quebec English-language Production Committee (QEPC)||Montréal||Quebec||Kirwan Cox||450-451-4664
|Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB)||Petit-Rocher||New Brunswick||Bruno Godin
|Société franco-manitobaine (SFM)||Saint-Boniface||Manitoba||Daniel Boucher
President - Director General
|Société Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin (SSTA)||Summerside||Prince Edward Island||Aubrey Cormier
|Voice of English-speaking Quebec (VEQ)||Québec||Quebec||Jean-Sébastien
|New Brunswick Producers Association Inc. / Association des Producteurs du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc.||Moncton||New Brunswick||René Savoie
Roles and responsibilities of resource persons responsible for the implementation of the OLA
The CRTC’s Official Languages Champion
- supports the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC in developing an integrated vision for the official languages program within the institution;
- demonstrates leadership in promoting the official languages, in accordance with the Official Languages Act (OLA) and the CRTC’s Official Languages Policy; and
- demonstrates his or her commitment to promoting and using both official languages within the CRTC.
The National Coordinator responsible for the implementation of section 41 of the OLA
- is responsible for all activities relating to the implementation of section 41 of the OLA within the CRTC, including inreach activities.
The national and regional coordinators must
- perform any necessary follow-up and share information internally and with the OLMCs;
- ensure that OLMC issues are integrated, where appropriate, into all of the analyses and decision-making processes affecting the development and vitality of OMLCs;
- oversee the accountability process (action plan and reports) relating to the implementation of section 41 of the OLA; and
- chair the meetings of the CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group and ensure the exchange of information among its members.
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