Broadcasting Commission letter addressed to Monica L. Auer (Forum for Research and Policy in Communications)

Ottawa, 17 February 2020


Monica L. Auer, M.A., LL.M.
Executive Director
Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRPC)
Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Notice of hearing, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-379 (Ottawa, 25 November 2019) – Procedural request by the Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRPC)

Dear Ms Auer,

This letter is in response to the procedural request sent to the Commission on 23 January 2020 regarding the CBC/SRC licence renewal process announced in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-379 (the Notice). The procedural request raised two issues:

  1. CBC/SRC’s request for confidentiality of financial information for its online services
    The FRPC requested that the CRTC deny CBC/SRC’s requests for confidentiality with respect to financial information relating to its online services.
    As CBC/SRC notes in its reply to this procedural request, FRPC based its request on correspondence between the Commission and the CBC/SRC dated 9 and 17 October 2019, but the information in these letters has been supplemented by additional information included in CBC/SRC’s correspondence to the Commission dated 15 November 2019, which provided aggregated expenses for online services.
    In addition, since the receipt of this procedural request, the CBC/SRC has sent to the Commission, in a letter dated 3 February 2020, total aggregate historical and projected revenues for all its owned and operated audio and audio‐visual online services, and the Commission has placed this information on the public record of this proceeding.
  2. CBC/SRC’s request for confidentiality regarding employees allocated to produce local, regional and national news
    FRPC asked that CBC/SRC be required to disclose the number of staff engaged in news-related activities on a station‐by‐station basis. Even though the Forum would prefer the location-by-location breakdown, it also stated in its request that it would accept provincial and territorial breakdowns if CBC also provided several years of historical information.
    In its application, CBC/SRC submitted the number of employees per station in confidence citing security risks to its employees if such numbers were made public. Nevertheless, CBC/SRC has since disclosed aggregate data broken down by region for CBC and SRC, as of 31 January 2020.
    If, after reviewing the arguments and information provided by CBC/SRC, FRPC or any other intervener is of the view that additional details are required, or that the CBC/SRC’s responses require further clarification, they may make those views known in the context of their respective interventions. The CBC/SRC will then be afforded the opportunity to respond to those interventions as a part of the normal procedure for this process. The Commission may then decide to examine these and other issues at the hearing.


Scott Shortliffe
Executive Director

CC: Bev Kirschenblatt
Executive Director Corporate & Regulatory Affairs

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