Commission letter addressed to Honourable Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P. and The Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.

Ottawa, 24 October 2017

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Canadian Heritage
15 Eddy Street, Floor 12
Gatineau, Quebec  K1A 0M5

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Innovation, Science and
Economic Development
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0H5
Building C.D. Howe

Dear Ministers,

I would like to thank you for your letter welcoming me to my new position as Chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

I look forward to fostering an open and transparent relationship with both of you.  As I embark on this new challenge at the CRTC, it is useful for me, and for the entire Commission, to understand the Government’s priorities in the areas in which we regulate. 

I appreciate the recognition within your letter of the nature of the CRTC as an arm’s length institution, and I am comforted that you will respect our role as an administrative tribunal.  We will continue to find ways in which we can work together in order to realize the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation for the benefit of all Canadians, while maintaining this distinction.

Our work will be informed by the many broad policy objectives set out in the Acts with which we regulate, as they currently read. In addition, we look forward to contributing to the announced reviews of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts. In particular, on 12 October 2017 we announced the path forward to respond to the request from the Governor in Council of 27 September 2017, pursuant to section 15(1) of the Broadcasting Act to provide a report relating to future distribution models for and the continued creation, production and distribution of Canadian programming.  We will be soliciting views on these topics in a process that will be efficient and inclusive of Canadians and stakeholders alike.

Canadians are looking to the Commission to help ensure that what they want, and what they need, from our communications system is achieved. As emphasized in my statement of 7 September 2017, we know that Canadians want fast, affordable and reliable Internet access wherever they work and live. The same can be said for wireless services.  Canadians should be provided with access to and have the ability to create high-quality and diverse content, recognizing that English and French broadcasters operate under different conditions.  They should have a greater variety of innovative applications and services, which they should be able to access on the networks and devices of their choice. Canadians want the Commission to combat unwanted commercial electronic messages and unsolicited telemarketing calls.

The role of the CRTC is to balance many competing interests, ideas and approaches while consistently fulfilling our statutory mandates.  Our role is to regulate the communications system in the public interest. 

Thank you again for your words of welcome.  Together with my fellow Commissioners and all those who work at the CRTC, I look forward to taking up the challenge of ensuring that all Canadians have access to a world-class communications system, which will contribute to their success in a digital economy.

Sincerely,

Ian Scott

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