Broadcasting Procedural Letter addressed to Jay Thomson (Canadian Media Production Association)
Ottawa, 11 February 2016
Mr. Jay Thomson, LL.B, LL.M and Co-signatories
Broadcasting Policy and Regulatory Affairs
Canadian Media Production Association
601 Bank Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario KIS 3T4
RE: Procedural request regarding an application by Shaw Communications Inc., on behalf of Shaw Media Inc. and its licensed subsidiaries, for authority to effect a multi-step intra-corporate reorganization.
Dear Mr. Thomson and Co-signatories:
This letter is in response to the joint procedural request filed by the Canadian Media Production Association (the parties), dated 26 January 2016, requesting that the Commission modify the process set out for the above-noted application by providing the public 30 days to file interventions and by holding an appearing public hearing rather than a written public consultation.
The parties argued that the proposed transaction raises fundamental issues for the future of the Canadian broadcasting system, which must be addressed to determine whether approval of the application would be in the public interest. In light of this, the parties submitted that they should be given a full and fair opportunity to prepare and present their interventions, and that the transaction is important enough to warrant further discussion at an oral public hearing.
Procedural request to extend the timelines for the filing of interventions to 30 days
The CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules) set out the Commission’s general practice of giving interveners 30 days to file their submissions. However, the Rules also allow the Commission to dispense with or vary these rules when it is of the view that it is in the public interest to do so.
With regards to the above-noted application, the Commission denies the request to extend the timelines for the filing of interventions to 30 days, or to 20 February 2016. However, the Commission approves an extension of the deadline for submissions
until 18 February 2016, and extends the deadline for the applicant’s reply to 22 February 2016. It is the Commission’s view that the 28-day comment period granted is appropriate as it provides sufficient time for intervening parties to file their interventions while respecting both the public interest and fairness considerations outlined in the Rules, including the applicant’s request for an expedited treatment of the application.
Procedural request to hold an appearing public hearing
In Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2008-8-2 (the Bulletin), the Commission sets out the options for reviewing share transactions. Consistent with the Bulletin, the Commission issued a notice of consultation (notice of application received) to review the above-noted application. The Commission further reminds the parties that the Bulletin provides for a review of share transfer applications using a notice of consultation (notice of hearing) where “the application has been dealt with via notice of consultation (notice of applications received) and generates interventions that raise substantive concerns as determined by the Commission and which warrant further discussion at a public hearing.”
As such, consistent with the Bulletin, the Commission will make its determination on the need for further discussion at a public hearing based on the interventions received. The Commission therefore denies the request of the parties for an appearing public hearing.
Please note that a copy of your letter and this response will be added to the public record.
c.c.: Stephen Waddell, National Executive Director
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
Reynolds Mastin, President & CEO
Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA)
Alain Caron, President
Conseil provincial du secteur des communications (SCFP)
David Forget, Director of Policy
Directors Guild of Canada (DGC)
John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
Monica Auer, Executive Director
Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRPC)
Howard Law, Director
Unifor Media Sector
Maureen Parker, Executive Director
Writers Guild of Canada (WGC)
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