Broadcasting Procedural Letter addressed to Various Parties
Ottawa, 23 January 2017
Mrs. Erin Finlay
Chief Legal Officer
Canadian Media Producers Association
Mrs. Sylvie Courtemanche
Vice-president, Government Relations and Compliance
Corus Entertainment Inc.
Mr. Kevin Goldstein
Vice-president, Regulatory Affairs, Content and Distribution
Bell Media Inc.
Re: Procedural Request - Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-225 - Renewal of television licences held by large English- and French-language ownership groups – Bell Media Inc. and Corus Entertainment Inc. final written replies
Following the oral phase of the hearing announced in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-225, interested parties were given to 16 December 2016 in order to file submissions in reply to material contained on the public record. Applicants were then permitted to file final written replies that did not exceed 10 pages by 6 January 2017. Bell Media Inc. (Bell) and Corus Entertainment Inc. (Corus) both filed their final written replies on that date.
In a letter dated 10 January 2017, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) filed a procedural request to have the appendices submitted by Bell and Corus as part of their final written replies excluded from the public record of the proceeding.
The CMPA argued that Bell and Corus’ final written replies exceeded the 10 page limit set out by the Commission in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2016-225-5 (BNC 2016-225-5) given that these parties had filed appendices in addition to their 10-page documents.
In addition, the CMPA argued that Bell and Corus have attempted to add additional materials to the public record in support of their applications by including new information in those appendices.
In letters dated 12 January, 2017, Bell and Corus replied to the CMPA’s procedural request by stating that the information contained in the appendices simply represents a different method of presenting information that was already on the public record, and as such does not constitute new evidence and that this information is provided in response to concerns raised by interveners such as ACTRA, DGC and WGC, at the hearing and in their final written submissions.
In addition, Bell and Corus also argued that to their knowledge, the 10 page limit has never included appendices. They noted that the final written submissions of intervenors like the Quebec English-language Production Council (QEPC) and Women in Film & Television Vancouver Society also include appendices which bring those respective submissions over ten pages and that the CMPA has made no objections to these submissions.
After having reviewed the CMPA’s procedural request, Bell and Corus’ replies to the CMPA’s procedural request and the final written replies submitted by Bell and Corus, the Commission is of the view that final written replies submitted by Bell and Corus respect its guidelines outlined in BNC 2016-225-5.
The Commission considers that the Bell and Corus appendices do not introduce new evidence, and simply aggregate information that was submitted at various stages of the public process and by various parties and present it in a different manner in order to reply to concerns raised by interveners during various stages of the process.
With respect to the length of the documents, the Commission considers that the practice of including financial information or charts in appendices to substantiate claims made in the body of final written replies is often used by the industry and, generally, the Commission accepts such material as long as it is done in a reasonable manner.
In light of the above, the Commission rejects the CMPA’s procedural request. The appendices filed with the Bell and Corus final written replies will remain on the public record of
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