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Public Notice CRTC 2000-1

Ottawa, 6 January 2000
A distinctive voice for all Canadians: Renewal of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's licences
A preamble to the Commission's decisions on the CBC licence renewals: Decisions CRTC 2000-1, 2000-2 and 2000-3
We Canadians need to remind ourselves that we are a unique people and a unique country. The CBC as the public broadcaster and telecaster in Canada, has a marvelous opportunity to share the aspirations and visions of our country not only with us citizens but also with people all over the world. (Public Consultation at Vancouver)
The Commission renews for a period of seven years, to 31 August 2007, the CBC's licences for its English- and French-language radio and television networks, for most of the television stations it owns and operates, and for Newsworld and the Réseau de l'information (RDI).
The Commission's decisions are built on the CBC's legislative mandate as well as previous licensing decisions. The Corporation's many accomplishments over its various licence terms also set the context for today's decisions. In addition, the Commission has carefully considered the oral and written comments received from Canadians, both at the May hearing and during the public consultations held prior to this hearing. These consultations afforded the Commission the opportunity to hear Canadians' views about the CBC, to consider their attachment to the public broadcaster, as well as their concerns and expectations regarding its future. Throughout this notice and the decisions which follow, the Commission has included representative quotes from comments made at the public consultations and the oral hearing.
During the oral hearing, which began on 25 May 1999, the Commission reviewed the Corporation's own plans and objectives for the new licence term. The Commission expects the CBC to fulfil the programming commitments made during the public hearing for its core radio and television services.
However, the Commission is of the view that, if the CBC is to effectively carry out its mandate as a national public broadcaster, an essential shift in focus is required.
The CBC has a very particular role to play as a voice for all Canadians, from every part of the country. Accordingly, the Commission considers that, as a priority, the CBC should rebalance its program schedules, particularly during the peak audience periods. Its programs must more effectively reflect all of Canada and the experience of all Canadians. The Corporation must achieve this goal while offering a balanced schedule of programming that meets the needs, satisfies the interests of its English and French speaking audiences, and reflects our evolving cultural diversity. The CBC's core radio and television services must be strengthened and made available to Canadians in all parts of the country. The Commission has set specific reporting requirements and conditions for each network in this respect, which must be fulfilled during the new licence term, beginning 1 September 2000. Pursuant to section 23(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission consulted with the Corporation, at its request, with regard to the conditions that the Commission proposed to attach to the CBC's licences.
See Appendix 1 for the specifics of the reporting requirements.
Building the Commission's decision
Canadians address the future of the CBC
I have up to now considered the CBC as a string that has kept us Canadians together from sea to sea and later the other sea for 61 years. I now regard it as it should have been regarded, as a hawser rope, ... that hold ships to the shore. (Public Consultation at Vancouver)
1. During the oral hearing held in the National Capital Region commencing 25 May 1999, the Commission examined the licence renewal applications submitted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC or the Corporation) for its French- and English-language radio and television networks, for most of the television stations it owns and operates, and for Newsworld and the Réseau de l'information (RDI). Prior to the hearing, the Commission held 11 public consultations across Canada to provide the greatest possible number of Canadians with an opportunity to express their views on Canada's public broadcaster. Over 625 individuals participated in the public consultation. In addition, the Commission received some 4,000 written submissions and 87 oral presentations during the 13 day oral hearing. (See Appendix 2).
2. In words which were eloquent, direct and often personal, participants from Newfoundland to British Columbia, from Québec to Whitehorse, described the role of the public broadcaster as it has been and as they hope it will be in the years ahead.
3. Many referred to the important role the CBC plays in developing and presenting Canadian artistic talent, in creating ground-breaking dramatic programming in both English and French, and in maintaining world-class journalistic standards. A recurring theme was the way the CBC links Canadians through their various stories, music and experiences, thereby ensuring that Canadians witness, understand and appreciate the full diversity of this vast country.
4. Canadians attach a great value to the place CBC programming has earned in Canada's national life. Their expectations, at times high, and their criticisms, at times severe, are an indication of their sense of attachment to their public broadcaster. Certain messages consistently emerged. Overwhelmingly, Canadians want to see themselves reflected in CBC programming. Many considered that the CBC's programming did not adequately reflect the concerns of Canadians from all across the country. For these participants, the "excellence of its regional programming is essential to the overall quality of the CBC." They believe that this is what gives the CBC its true relevance and distinctiveness.
5. Many Canadians emphasized a particular attachment to CBC radio, focusing on its distinctive programming, non-commercial nature and attention to regional concerns. However, a number of participants voiced concern that CBC television is not as clearly distinctive, and not as sufficiently reflective of each region of Canada. Canadians want to ensure that the "CBC provides equal service to all areas of the country." Moreover, both listeners and viewers stated that in recent years, they have seen a marked decrease in distinctively Canadian programs in the CBC's schedules, as well as a significant increase in repeat programming.
The CBC mandate
6. The Broadcasting Act (the Act) states that the CBC, as the national public broadcaster, should provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains. Section 3(1)(m) of the Act specifically states that the programming provided by the Corporation should:
(i) be predominantly and distinctively Canadian,
(ii) reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions,
(iii) actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression,
(iv) be in English and in French, reflecting the different needs and circumstances of each official language community, including the particular needs and circumstances of English and French linguistic minorities,
(v) strive to be of equivalent quality in English and French,
(vi) contribute to shared national consciousness and identity,
(viii)   be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose, and
(viii)  reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada.
The role of the CRTC
7. Under section 5(1) of the Act, the Commission must regulate and supervise all aspects of the Canadian broadcasting system with a view to implementing the broadcasting policy set out in section 3(1) of the Act, having regard to the regulatory policy set out in section 5(2) of the Act. The Act grants the Commission the authority to set the terms and conditions of the CBC's licences.
8. The Commission wants to ensure that its policies and regulations are in harmony with the broadcasting industry's constantly changing environment and that they enable the entire Canadian broadcasting system to remain on the leading edge of those changes. Its examination of the CBC's applications was closely preceded by other public proceedings, including those relating to commercial television and radio. The purpose of those proceedings was to update the Commission's policies and more effectively adapt them to this changing context. Following the public proceedings, new radio and television policies were announced in Public Notices CRTC 1998-41 and 1999-41. The new television policy, Building on Success – A Policy Framework for Canadian Television specifically emphasizes the scheduling of Canadian programs during prime time, and challenges broadcasters to better reflect the realities of Canada's various regions and its people.
9. The examination of the CBC's applications is another important step in the Commission's review of its broadcasting policies conducted over the past two years. For the first time in many years, almost all of the Corporation licences have been considered together. As set out in Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1999-3, dated 24 March 1999, the Commission wanted to explore with the CBC how it could best meet the expectations held by the public, fulfill its mandate under the Act, and contribute to strengthening the public component of Canada's broadcasting system.
The Commission's decision
CBC's unique role in Canada's national life
The glory of the CBC is to draw the country together while representing the marvellous range of local voices that is Canada.
(Public Consultation at Sydney)
[Translation] From Newfoundland to British Columbia, Anglophones and Francophones need a better knowledge and understanding of reality, and the best tool for the job is the CBC or SRC, and we would like to see some changes along these lines in the coming years. (Public Consultation at Moncton)
10. The Corporation can be proud of its long tradition of excellence in broadcasting. With their bold and innovative spirit, its architects sowed the seeds for programming that has been marked by high quality, rigour and professionalism.
11. Some of the best examples of this success are the Corporation's news and information programs, both on television and on radio. Canadians from coast to coast want to continue to rely on the CBC's regional, national and international information programs. This programming, long one of the hallmarks of the English and French services, has in recent years been enhanced by the all-news services of Newsworld and RDI.
12. A remarkable achievement of the Corporation is the emphasis on Canadian content on its English- and French-language television networks, particularly in prime time. On the French network, this is a tradition that is as old as the network itself and continues until this day. During the last licence term, both the French and English networks surpassed their commitments in this regard, reaching close to 90% Canadian content in prime time. This focus on Canadian content is reflected particularly in the showcasing of Canadian dramatic productions. By offering authentically Canadian, high-quality drama and comedy programs during prime time, the Corporation was among the first to search out creative artists that could appeal to Canadian viewers.
13. Commenting on the important role of CBC, Francophone Canadians paid particular homage to the importance of the CBC French-language television service, which plays an essential role in the cultural life of Quebec and of Francophones across Canada. As noted above, the CBC's dramatic programming is one of its major achievements, and this is especially true regarding French-language drama which has garnered enormous success with Francophone audiences.
14. The loyalty of the CBC's radio audience is also worthy of particular note. Many Canadians say that it is through radio, and especially through English-language radio, that the Corporation best fulfils its mandate as a national public broadcaster. CBC radio reaches many Canadians, who count on the CBC for programming that reflects themselves and links Canadians in all parts of the country in a sustained dialogue.
15. In the 1994 renewal decision for the CBC's television network licences (Decision CRTC 94-437), the Commission pointed out that, in an increasingly competitive environment, "…the need may be greater than ever for an outlet to express truly Canadian stories, ideas and values amid these foreign voices. A strong Canadian national public broadcaster is indispensable in this context." In its 1997 Vision Statement, the Commission also emphasized the primary role of Canada's public broadcaster – to provide a balanced reflection of Canada's values, linguistic duality, cultural diversity and expression of creativity. Further, in its June 1999 policy framework for Canadian television, the Commission reiterated its support for public broadcasting as follows:
…the Commission recognizes the strong presence and essential contributions of the public broadcasting sector. Its continued strength is imperative to ensure the economic viability and the development of high quality programming.
A shift in focus: A new balance in programming
The CBC can help in our identification as Canadians by letting all of us, region to region, talk to one another. (Public Consultation at Sydney)
16. Canadians look to the CBC for a Canadian perspective on national and world issues through a wide variety of programming that reflects their concerns and diversity. In setting out expectations, requirements and conditions of licence for the Corporation, the Commission is asking it to maintain this general interest role. The Commission is also asking the CBC to undertake an essential shift in focus and to thereby provide more diversity and a truer reflection of the whole of this country in its programming choices.
17. The Commission's decisions rest on the premise that the CBC's continued relevance and effectiveness require a more balanced approach to its programming, particularly during the peak audience periods. In order to address all aspects of its mandate in the coming term, he CBC should present on its national services substantially more programming originating from across the country. It should also establish a programming schedule that features a balanced range of programming genres.
Focus on basic services
I guess lately, of course a lot of people must be concerned with the number of repeat shows that the CBC has to have. …It is too bad that they are having to do that. (Public Consultation at Edmonton)
18. There were deep cuts to the CBC's budgets during the last licence term. While the Corporation has made efforts to streamline its structures and minimize any impact on programming, it has become obvious that the service provided to the Canadian public has been affected. Many listeners and viewers have noticed that there are fewer new episodes on television and more repeat programming on both radio and television. Even news and public affairs have suffered a reduction in the quantity and quality of regional and international coverage.
19. The Commission considers that in a time of budgetary constraints, all available resources should be devoted to the Corporation's existing services. The focus should be on preserving and strengthening the CBC's basic radio and television services. If the cultural networks, Radio Two and La Chaîne culturelle, are excluded, over 95% of Canadians can receive CBC's basic radio and television services over-the-air at no charge. Given the desires expressed by Canadians, CBC television's resources should be allocated on a priority basis to rebalancing the program schedule as determined in the decisions released today in order to provide a general interest service in each official language that gives Canada a unique and distinctive voice.
20. With respect to radio programming, it is important to recognize the regional and national role of the basic services, and to reinvest in those roles. As already noted, during the consultations, many Canadians expressed the view that the budget cuts of recent years have resulted in a perceptible decline in the quality of CBC radio. In particular, they pointed out that fewer resources are being allocated to production from across Canada. The Commission therefore considers that there is an urgent need for the Corporation to reinvest in its existing radio services and to diversify the allocation of its resources to better serve Canadians in all parts of the country.
21. The Commission also assigns high priority to extending the CBC's existing radio services to the majority of official language communities, as required under the Act. The Commission notes that this has been one of its longstanding concerns. It has taken note of the Corporation's commitments in this regard and expects it to report annually on the implementation of its service extension plan.
Balance through programming from across the country
... the CBC is the sum of its parts and ... the excellence of its regional programming is therefore essential to the overall quality of the CBC. (Public Consultation at Winnipeg)
22. Providing a true reflection of Canada, both regionally and nationally, is at the core of the CBC's mandate. If Canada's many voices and faces are to be represented on the public broadcasting service, the CBC must have a strong presence in all parts of the country and must be committed to local talent. If the CBC is more attentive to its activities and audiences across Canada, if it gives them greater opportunity to express themselves on the airwaves and to take part in decisions that affect them, the Corporation will be in a better position to reflect and enrich the lives of Canadians.
23. In particular, the Corporation must broadcast more programs from across the country during peak audience periods. This is consistent with the clearly expressed expectations of Canadians who want the public broadcaster to better reflect Canadian society from coast to coast. It is also one of the Corporation's basic responsibilities. The Commission has therefore attached to the licence for the English-language television network a condition that the CBC broadcast a minimum quantity of regionally-produced programming during the peak viewing period. As set out in greater detail in the relevant decision, these programs should be in the priority program categories listed in the Commission's new television policy. This includes programming types such as Canadian drama; music and dance and variety; long-form documentaries and entertainment magazine programs.
24. The fact that nearly 85% of the Francophone audience lives in Quebec casts the regionalization issue in different terms for the French-language network. The Corporation has a duty to reflect all regions of the province of Quebec, and particularly the Québec area, in order to meet the expectations expressed when the licence of station CBVT Québec was last renewed (Decision CRTC 98-107). The CBC's French-language television network also has a special responsibility to the many French-speaking Canadians living in other provinces particularly to the large Francophone communities in Ontario and New Brunswick. The Commission urges the Corporation to increase the presence of the regions in all types of programming on the French network. It also expects French-language television to redouble its efforts to make sure that all its services better meet the expectations and needs of Francophones outside Quebec.
Balance through programming choice
We want to hear a little of everything. If we hear a broad diversity of viewpoints, musical styles and written work, we are able to understand and embrace that broad diversity. (Public Consultation at Vancouver)
[Translation] As a true showcase for the arts including the stage, music, visual arts and literature, it is important that Radio-Canada maintains its vital links with Quebec's artistic community and its many festivals, and that it assures that our distinctiveness is widely communicated across Canada.
(Public Hearing at Hull)
25. To build audience loyalty and fulfill its mandate as a public broadcaster, the CBC must provide programming that is distinct from that available from other broadcasters.
26. A new balance in programming on the Corporation's core services also involves offering the "best of the world" as part of its programming menu. In selecting such programs, the CBC should aim to broaden and diversify the range of programming it offers to Canadians. Productions from the largest possible number of countries should be considered. The Commission therefore considers that the CBC should not compete for the acquisition and broadcasting of foreign blockbuster movies in prime time. First, such films are available from a wide variety of other sources. Secondly, and more fundamentally, greater competition for rights to foreign films puts an upward pressure on price, with the result that resources that could be devoted to Canadian programming are leaving the country. The Commission considers that this situation could be harmful to Canadian broadcasting and runs counter to the CBC's chief responsibility. Conditions of licence to this effect have been placed on the licences of the French and English television networks.
27. The Commission has addressed the rebalancing of programming genres on the French-language network in light of the particular situation in the French-language television market. Specifically, it has determined that this service must place greater emphasis on music and dance and variety, the performing arts, and children's programs. This will be a condition of licence on the French-language television network. Since its inception, French-language television has played a unique role in the affirmation of Canada's French-speaking community. It remains a crucial element in the cultural vitality of the country's Francophones, particularly for communities where those speaking French are a minority. The Corporation can make an irreplaceable contribution to the development and promotion of artistic and musical talent in all regions of the country by building on its proud tradition in this area.
28. The Commission also considers that CBC television network schedules should be better balanced throughout the entire 52 weeks of the broadcast year. In recent years, the Commission has noted a steady narrowing of the exhibition window for original new Canadian programming on the CBC. More often than not, that window is limited to the period from October to March, and Canadian entertainment series often have a first run of less than 13 weeks.
Social and cultural diversity
[Translation] Furthermore, by adapting its programming to match the various voices and faces that now form the demographic make-up of society, Radio-Canada will tailor itself to its target audience and will greatly fulfil its role as a focal point and leader of cultural expression. (Public Hearing at Hull)

29. The Act stipulates that the programming provided by the CBC must reflect Canada's multicultural and multiracial nature and actively contribute to cultural expression. The public broadcaster should reflect the diversity of Canada's voices and faces, both on the air and in its hiring practices. The record shows that the Corporation has made a considerable effort to recruit and train journalists and announcers from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

30. In its new television policy, the Commission stressed to private broadcasters the importance of better on-air representation of minority groups. It noted its intention to discuss their commitments to this goal when their licences are renewed. In view of its specific mandate, the Corporation has a heightened responsibility in this area. The Commission therefore requires the Corporation to report annually on its progress in implementing its commitment to "more adequately reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada and the special place of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples, and to balance their representation on the air and in the work force in a manner that realistically reflects their participation in Canadian society, and that will help to counteract negative stereotypes." The annual reports are discussed below in the section on the Corporation's accountability.
31. The CBC also has a special responsibility to reflect the concerns of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples and involve them in the production of its programs. The Commission requires the Corporation to report annually on its commitments to improve its record in this area. The Commission commends the CBC's northern television and radio services in this regard and encourages the Corporation to find ways to bring more northern-produced programming to the rest of Canada.
32. The Commission also underscores the public sector's special responsibility to promote the values that Canadians share. In its new television policy, the Commission stated that it is maintaining its policies on television violence, sex-role portrayal, and employment equity. The public broadcaster has a duty to play an exemplary role in these areas and to take the initiative if need be. In this regard, the Commission expects the CBC, at a minimum, to comply with the industry codes mentioned in the following renewal decisions, and to go further wherever possible.
Children's programming
There is a lot of evidence that the CBC still understands its responsibilities… the broadcasting of three hours of commercial-free children's television every weekday morning is a wonderful sign of moral strength by producers. (Public Consultation at Sydney)
33. The English- and French-language networks of the CBC have been trailblazers in the creation and production of children's programs that have, among other things, served as an excellent school for young artists. As such, the Corporation has served as an incubator for new Canadian talent. Moreover, since children's programs can easily be produced across the country, they provide an effective vehicle through which the CBC can both reflect Canadian diversity and showcase local talent. The Corporation has a special responsibility to offer entertaining and educational programming tailored to young people. The English-language television network of the CBC has significantly improved its programming for young people and intends to expand its range of programming for pre-school children. The Commission urges the Corporation to continue its efforts in this area.
34. The French-language television network must increase its efforts with respect to children's programs. There are fewer programs available in the Canadian broadcasting system for young French-speaking Canadians than there are for English speakers. French-language television has long been recognized for the quality and creativity of its children's programs. Many of the performers who have appeared in them have gone on to prominent acting careers. The financial realities surrounding children's programming in Quebec are subject to more constraints as a result of legislation restricting advertising aimed at children. In addition, since the penetration of cable television is significantly lower in Quebec than in the rest of Canada, children's programming carried only on cable is also less available. The Commission has placed a condition of licence on the French television network with respect to original programming directed to children.
35. The CBC has a responsibility to reinvest in programs for young Francophones and to develop new ways of speaking to the younger generation. With such reinvestment, the Corporation will not only help train a new generation of Canadian talent but may also secure the loyalty of new audiences in the future.
Concerns about commercialization
…at least part of its mandate is to function in creative ways which require that it not pay attention to the tyranny of numbers and to the tyranny of ratings and to the tyranny of the lowest common denominator. (Public Consultation at Edmonton)
36. Canadians' expectations of their national public broadcasting service stem from their keen awareness that they fund its operations. Canadians expect decisions affecting the programming of the CBC to be dictated first and foremost by the public interest.
37. Canadians' special attachment to CBC radio is due in large part to the sense that it is a unique, non-commercial public service. This was confirmed once again by the strong reaction of interveners against a proposal from the Corporation to broadcast messages from sponsors during some of its radio programs. The firm and virtually unanimous opposition to this proposal is an important factor in the Commission's denial of the CBC's sponsorship proposal.
38. During the consultations and the oral hearing, a number of interveners argued that the CBC should reduce or eliminate its dependence on television advertising revenue. Certain interveners suggested that the emphasis on advertising revenue affects programming choices. Many interveners also noted a growing similarity in programming between private and public broadcasters, a concern which underlies the Commission's comments and decisions regarding blockbuster films.
39. In examining the issue of commercialization, the Commission is cognizant of the financial constraints the CBC faces and the concerns expressed by interveners. The Commission acknowledges that the Corporation must continue to rely on advertising revenues for its television services. There is no doubt that these revenues provide general support for the CBC's programming endeavors. Certain parties considered that generating commercial revenues also serves to keep the Corporation more in tune with evolving audience trends and interests. At the same time, however, a public broadcaster is expected to take risks; to offer diversity, even controversy, and to venture into new innovative forms of programming. Responding to these objectives requires programming choices that are made with a clear understanding of the CBC's role and the public interest. Such choices should not be unduly influenced by commercial considerations. These considerations, more often than not, lead the CBC's services to become similar to, rather than distinct from, the services of commercial broadcasters. This is especially true in French-language markets.
40. The question is one of balance, and demands a careful weighing of objectives. The CBC will remain a general interest broadcaster providing a wide array of programming choices. It must nevertheless ensure that in the final analysis its programming choices are be founded on its mandate as a public broadcaster. In maintaining this criterion as the overriding rationale for programming, the CBC can fulfill its public trust by providing Canadians with programming which is not driven solely by the demand for revenues and ratings. As well, the CBC would demonstrate a greater concern for its mandate and for Canadian viewers if it spread its original programs over 52 weeks rather than concentrating during the period from October to March.
41. The Commission also encourages the CBC to explore other sources of revenue capable of reducing its current dependence on advertising revenue. Possible alternatives include capitalizing on its program inventory, more aggressively marketing its expertise and programs internationally, and making optimal use of production funds that now exist or could be created. The Commission urges the CBC to study other avenues for further diversifying its sources of revenue in order to permit a reduced reliance on advertising revenues.
Without the enlightened presentation of news and views and current affairs, which is really what Newsworld and RDI embody so well, we might as well pack it in... (Public Hearing at Hull)
42. In its licence renewal applications, the CBC proposed to increase the basic monthly subscription fee for its all-news specialty services, Newsworld and RDI. In approving the increases, the Commission took into account the positive effects of the Corporation's proposed initiatives, particularly at the regional level. It took note in particular of the collaborative projects between Newsworld and RDI designed to increase their news gathering and dissemination capabilities in all regions of Canada and to create a network of video journalists to serve new sectors in the Atlantic provinces, Southern Ontario, Northern Manitoba, the B.C. interior and the Far North. The Commission considers that these projects will appreciably improve the CBC's news coverage in all regions of the country and enable it to offer a more balanced range of input from all Canadians. These projects will also enhance the overall quality of information programming on the CBC, at both the national and international levels, and are consistent with the general thrust of the CBC licence renewal decisions published today.
CBC accountability
43. As a public broadcaster, the CBC is ultimately answerable to all Canadian citizens, who pay the greater part of its operating costs. In line with its pursuit of greater transparency, the CBC has undertaken to report annually to the Canadian public on all the commitments it has made in its licence renewal applications. The Commission expects the Corporation to fulfil all the commitments it made during this proceeding.
44. In the renewal decisions that follow, the Commission has listed many of the commitments made by the Corporation in its applications and at the public hearing. As noted in this public notice, the Commission has also imposed requirements and specific conditions of licence in areas that it considers to be critical. Appendix 1 to this Public Notice provides a list of the specific information which must be included in an Annual Report to be submitted to the Commission, in an approved format, within three months after the end of each broadcast year.
Financial reporting
45. As part of the renewal process, the Corporation, due to improvements in its financial systems, provided financial projection information in a much greater level of detail than in years past. Recognizing that financial projections do not constitute budgets as such, the Commission nonetheless appreciates this greater openness with respect to the CBC's financial information. At the hearing, the CBC stated that these new financial systems would facilitate faster information processing and allow the Corporation to include this greater level of detail in its annual returns to the CRTC.
46. This improved financial reporting capacity allows the Corporation to be more financially accountable to the public through the CRTC. The Commission therefore requires that in addition to its regularly published Annual Reports, the Corporation file with the Commission, on an annual basis for each fiscal year ending 31 March of the licence term, an annual financial information return in a format approved by the Commission, similar to that provided by the Corporation at the 25 May 1999 public hearing.

47. The Commission thanks the large number of Canadians who took the time to participate in person or in writing during the public hearing or the public consultations. Their participation not only reflected the high level of interest in the process but also the importance of the issues under discussion.
Related CRTC documents:
• Public Notice CRTC 1999-97 – Building on success – A policy framework for Canadian television
• Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1999-3
• Public Notice CRTC 1998-41 – Commercial radio policy 1998
• Decision CRTC 98-107 – Licence renewal for CBVT Québec
CRTC 1997 Vision Action Calendar
• Decision CRTC 94-437 – Renewal of the CBC's English-language and French-language television network licences
Secretary General
This notice is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be viewed at the following Internet site:


Appendix 1

CBC annual report
At the 25 May 1999 public hearing, the Corporation made the following commitment to provide an annual report to the public:
We are determined to offer Canadians, our shareholders, clear commitments on which we can be held to account. To this end, we offer an on-air annual review, an annual report and regular accountability sessions throughout the country to ensure that we get feedback from audiences.
The Corporation will further enhance its accountability through an annual Statement of Promise, which will include programming and other elements, and set targets for the coming year. This Statement of Promise, which is similar to the practice followed by the BBC, will involve an annual self-assessment and report on the Corporation's performance in meeting our commitments…(CBC Strategic Plan, March 1999, p. 36)
In addition to the report referred to above, the Commission requires the Corporation to file, within three months after the end of each broadcast year, an annual report with respect to the following requirements outlined in the decisions released today:
A. English & French television network licences
Provide, for each of the CBC English-language television network and the CBC French-language television network, a report containing the following information with respect to the performance by the CBC over the preceding broadcast year:
Foreign feature films
  • The non-Canadian feature film titles broadcast in peak time (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) on the network during the broadcast year;
  • the date those feature films were broadcast;
  • the Canadian theatrical release dates of those feature films; and
  • whether or not those feature films have appeared in the Variety list of the 100 top grossing feature films in Canada and the United States in the 10 years preceding their broadcast date.
Canadian feature films
The number of Canadian feature films broadcast in the broadcast year under review.
Performing arts
A list and brief description of programs consisting of complete or substantially complete presentations of a Canadian performing arts company's performance broadcast in peak time (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.).
Children's programming
The average weekly number of hours of Canadian programming directed to children (2-11 years), as well as the number of those program hours that consisted of original Canadian programming, broadcast during the broadcast week.
Youth programming
The average weekly number of hours of programming directed to youth (12-17 years), broadcast during the broadcast week.
Independent production
The number of hours of programming acquired from independent producers that were broadcast in peak time and throughout the broadcast day, specifying which of those were regionally produced.
Long-form documentaries in peak time
The number of hours of long-form documentary programming broadcast in peak time (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.).
Regional weekend news
On each owned and operated station, the average weekly number of hours of news programming broadcast during the broadcast day, Saturday and Sunday.
Regional non-news programming
The number of hours of non-news programming that have been produced in the regions and that have been broadcast by a CBC owned and operated television station on non network time and a separate list of those that have been broadcast on the network, during the broadcast day. Regional production is defined as that taking place outside of Montréal in the case of the French-language network, and, where principal photography occurs more than 150 km away from Toronto, in the case of the English-language network.
Network exchange
The number of hours of co-produced and/or exchanged programming broadcast during the broadcast year on the English and French-language television networks.
Cultural and ethnic diversity
A description of how the CBC is fulfilling its commitment to more adequately reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada and to balance their representation on the air in a manner that realistically reflects their participation in Canadian society, and that will help to counteract negative stereotypes.
Aboriginal representation and reflection
A description of how the CBC is fulfilling its commitment to more adequately reflect the special place of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples and to balance their representation on the air in a manner that realistically reflects their participation in Canadian society, and that will help to counteract negative stereotypes.
Portrayal of women
A description of the steps taken by the CBC to fulfil the Commission's expectation that it balance the representation and portrayal of women in the programming seen on its television services.
Closed captioning
The percentage of closed captioned news and, separately, non-news programming, broadcast by the television networks and each of its owned and operated stations over the broadcast year.
Descriptive video service
A list of programs that the CBC has broadcast that have been ‘described' for the visually impaired.
B. French-language television only
Music & dance and variety
The weekly average number of hours of Canadian programming in the categories of Music and Dance (Category 8) and Variety (Category 9) broadcast in peak time (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) during the broadcast year.
French-language service outside of Quebec
A description of how the CBC has adjusted its French-language television programming service to meet the needs of French-speaking Canadians living outside of Quebec.
C. English-language television only
Regional production
The number of hours of regionally-produced priority programming broadcast on the network in peak time;
  • a list of the qualifying programs;
  • the categories of the qualifying programs;
  • the production location of the qualifying programs; and,
  • the name of the production company.
Sports programming
Separately, for professional and amateur sports programming on the network:
  • the number of hours of original and, separately, repeat hours broadcast in peak time;s
  • the number of hours of original and, separately, repeat hours broadcast in the broadcast day.
CBUT Vancouver
The extent and nature of the reflection of the Victoria region in CBUT's news and current events programming.
D. English radio network licences
Canadian content
Radio One is to file quarterly self-assessment reports with the Commission during the first year of the new licence term. These reports must list all musical selections in category 2 and in category 3 played each broadcast week, identify those selections that are Canadian, and the percentage of all musical selections that the Canadian selections represent within each of category 2 and 3. If the Commission concludes that the licensee is in compliance with the Canadian content conditions of licence during the first year of the licence term, the Commission will only require such reports on an annual basis for the remainder of the licence term.
Extension of coverage
The licensee is required to file information indicating the additional Radio One and Radio Two transmitters that were implemented during the previous broadcast year and the increase in the English-language population covered both in actual numbers and in percentages in each province.
E. French radio network licences
Canadian content
La Première Chaîne and La Chaîne culturelle are to file quarterly self-assessment reports with the Commission during the first year of the new licence term. These reports must list all musical selections in category 2 and in category 3 played each broadcast month, identify those selections that are Canadian, and the percentage of all musical selections that the Canadian selections represent within each of category 2 and 3. If the Commission concludes that the licensee is in compliance with the Canadian content conditions of licence during the first year of the licence term, the Commission will only require such reports on an annual basis for the remainder of the licence term.
French-language vocal music
La Première Chaîne and La Chaîne culturelle are to file quarterly self-assessment reports with the Commission during the first year of the new licence term. These reports must list all vocal musical selections in category 2 played each broadcast month, identify those selections that are in the French language, and the percentage of all category 2 vocal musical selections that the French-language selections represent. If the Commission concludes that the licensee is in compliance with the French-language vocal music commitment during the first year of the licence term, the Commission will only require such reports on an annual basis for the remainder of the licence term.
Extension of coverage
The licensee is required to file information indicating the additional transmitters for La Chaîne culturelle that were implemented during the previous broadcast year, the increase in the French-language population covered both in actual numbers and in percentages for each province. The licensee is also required to file information with respect to the replacement of its affiliates to La Première Chaîne.
F. RDI and Newsworld
New programming initiatives
A detailed description of the actions taken by the CBC with respect to each programming initiative proposed in relation to the wholesale rate increase.
Appendix 2

The public process for the CBC licence renewals

Public consultations across the country:
Winnipeg, Manitoba – 9 March 1999
Sydney, Nova Scotia – 9 March 1999
Moncton, New Brunswick – 10 March 1999
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – 11 March 1999
Regina, Saskatchewan – 11 March 1999
Sudbury, Ontario – 16 March 1999
St. John's, Newfoundland – 16 March 1999
Vancouver, British Columbia – 16-17 March 1999
Quebec, Québec – 17 March 1999
Windsor, Ontario – 18 March 1999
Edmonton, Alberta – 18 March 1999
Call for comments on licence renewals:
447 written submissions and 3,999 interventions received
The public hearing from 25 May to 9 June 1999:
87 appearing individuals/parties
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