Broadcasting Procedural Letter Addressed to Monica L. Auer (Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRPC))

Ottawa, 15 June 2016

By email

Monica L. Auer
Executive Director
Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRPC)
execdir@frpc.net

Re: Procedural request – Call for comments on standard requirements for television stations, discretionary services, and on-demand services, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-195, 20 May 2016 (NoC 2016-195)

This is in response to your letter dated 8 June 2016 requesting that the Commission defer its consideration of standard conditions of licence (COLs) until it hears the applications to renew the licences of the television programming services.

In your 8 June 2016 letter, you submitted that parties were denied procedural fairness given that the CRTC initiated its television licence renewal process more than three months before it issued NoC 2016-195, and that the renewal applications have not yet been published in the Canada Gazette. You submitted that it is unfair for the CRTC to seek the public’s views on the standard COLs it will apply during the licence renewal process without also giving the public access to the information in the applications.

Accordingly, you requested that the Commission defer its consideration of the standard COLs until it hears the applications to renew the licences of the television programming services to which such conditions might be applied. You further requested that the Commission clarify whether or not it intends to include local programming requirements (which flow from the local and community policy review) in the final standard COLs without inviting public comment.

With respect to your request to defer consideration of the standard COLs, the Commission notes that the standard COLs represent generally applicable policy requirements outside of any specific licence application.  Applicants and interested parties are given an opportunity in the context of a specific application, such as those relating to the group-based licence renewal applications, to address the appropriateness of those standard COLs and propose and comment on any exceptions to them for individual licensees. 

The Commission notes that it has issued the local and community programming policy as well as the group-based licensing Notice of Consultation today. The Commission further notes that the deadline for interventions in NoC 2016-195 is 20 June.  As a result, interveners will have an opportunity to review the local and community programming policy prior to submitting their comments on the standard COLs. Interested parties will also have an opportunity to comment on the applicability of the standard COLs and the requirements flowing from the local and community programming policy to individual licensees as part of the group-based licensing process.

In light of this, the Commission does not believe that there is any procedural unfairness as a result of the issuance of NoC 2016-195 in advance of the publication of either of the above noted documents.  

For the reasons set out above, the Commission denies your request to defer its consideration of standard COLs until it hears the applications to renew the licences of the television programming services to which such conditions might be applied.

Yours sincerely,

Danielle May-Cuconato
Secretary General

Cc: Alysia Lau, PIAC, alau@piac.ca
Howard Law, Unifor, howard.law@unifor.org

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