ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1997-48

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Public Notice
CRTC 1997-48
Ottawa, 25 April 1997
On 15 April 1997, the Governor in Council issued Order in Council P.C. 1997-592, a copy of which is appended to this notice. The Order in Council (OIC) was issued pursuant to section 15 of the Broadcasting Act (the Act) which provides that the Governor in Council may request that the Commission hold hearings or make reports on any matter within its jurisdiction under the Act.
The OIC requests the CRTC to seek comments from the public and report on the views and concerns expressed on whether the establishment of one or more additional Canadian national English-language, French-language or bilingual television networks would serve the objectives of the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in the Act, as well as the priorities identified by the Governor in Council in the OIC. In addition, the OIC requests the Commission to assess the comments received and propose options for addressing unresolved policy issues.
In the OIC, the Governor in Council notes that the over-the-air television sector of the broadcasting system has expanded through the licensing of undertakings to serve local and regional needs. Further, many of these undertakings are licensed to companies which also hold licences in other parts of the country, resulting in the emergence of station groups reaching substantial portions of Canadian viewers, but not operating as licensed networks.
The Governor in Council also sets out, in the OIC, the following six specific priorities which should be considered in the discussions relating to new national television networks:
• increasing the quality and quantity of Canadian programming available to Canadians on television;
• contributing to a regional and national programming presence in the Canadian broadcasting system;
• ensuring that all programming undertakings, whether as parts of networks or as parts of station ownership groups, provide equitable support for Canadian programming;
• enhancing Canada’s capacity to produce and distribute domestic television programs;
• maintaining and increasing the broadcast presence of distinct Canadian programs; and,
• encouraging the availability of Canadian creative productions in the international marketplace.
The Commission hereby solicits public comment on how these priorities, and the objectives of the Act, can best be fulfilled to the benefit of all Canadians.
To ensure an adequate opportunity for all interested parties to formulate their views and advice on the matters raised in the OIC, and to focus the discussion, the Commission will hold a two-stage written comment process. This will be followed by a public hearing to be held in the National Capital Region beginning 15 September 1997.
The deadline for the submission of written comments in the first stage is 4 June 1997. These initial comments will be made available for examination by the public as soon as possible following the deadline.
Interested parties, regardless of whether or not they participated in the first stage, will then have an opportunity to reply to the comments filed during that stage. These second-stage replies must be submitted by no later than 4 July 1997.
The Commission wishes to emphasize that comments filed in response to this notice must be complete and focused. Each submission should include a short executive summary. Those wishing to include research findings as part of their submissions should provide details concerning the methodology employed in conducting that research. Such material must be filed by the deadline for the first-stage written comments.
In order to participate in the oral phase of the proceeding, a party must have filed either a first- or a second-stage submission to the proceeding. Any party wishing to appear at the oral phase of this public process must indicate on the first page of its submission why its written submission is not sufficient and why an appearance is necessary. The Commission will inform each party whether its request to appear is granted. The Commission emphasizes that consideration of all written submissions will be an important element in the preparation of its report.
Submissions filed in response to this notice must be addressed to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, K1A 0N2. Because of time constraints, the Commission will only accept submissions that are received on or before the deadline dates noted above. Submissions must be filed in hard copy form. All submissions filed in accordance with the above procedure will be considered by the Commission and will form part of the public record of the proceeding without further notification to those filing comments.
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This document is available in alternative format upon request.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
Please note that the Appendix is not attached to this Notice.
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