Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Laith Marouf (CMAC)
Ottawa, 10 November 2020
Community Media Advocacy Centre
Re: Notice of hearing, Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-379 (Ottawa, 25 November 2019) – Procedural request by the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC)
Dear Mr. Marouf,
On 24 July 2020, the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) filed a procedural request asking that the Commission order the CBC/SRC to file further information on the record of this proceeding. Specifically, CMAC requested that the Commission order the CBC/SRC to file:
- data regarding employment equity broken down by diversity groups and the percentage of total employees indicated for each, by category of manager, by category of employee and for each of the Corporation’s radio and television stations across the country, as well as for the Corporation’s web platforms and digital assets using the same diversity groups.
- a record of all complaints known to its Human Resources Department made by Corporation employees, alleging any form of discrimination or racism over the period of 2015-2020.
The CBC/SRC, in its 29 July 2020 answer, submitted that it is subject to the provisions of the Employment Equity Act and that by virtue of that fact, section 5(4) of the Broadcasting Act (the Act):
Where a broadcasting undertaking is subject to the Employment Equity Act, the powers granted to the Commission under this Act do not extend to the regulation or supervision of matters concerning employment equity in relation to that broadcasting undertaking.
The CBC/SRC argued, therefore, that there was no legal basis for CMAC’s request for further information.
In its 4 August 2020 reply, CMAC argued that the requested information was necessary to assess whether the CBC/SRC was achieving the policy objectives set out in sections 3(1)(d)(iii) and 3(1)(m)(viii) of the Act. CMAC also expanded its request, in its reply, to include information regarding programming logs of news programming, produced and aired between September 2013 and July 2020, on all of the CBC/SRC’s platforms.
While programming-related issues with respect to the diversity of content offered by the CBC/SRC and the relevance of this content to Canada’s diverse populations (including urban/rural populations, populations across Canada’s regions, Indigenous persons, multicultural populations, LGBTQ2 and women) are a part of the scope of this proceeding, the Commission considers that CMAC’s requests primarily seek information that is related to employment equity and therefore outside of the Commission’s purview by virtue of section 5(4) of the Act.
However, the Commission acknowledges that there is a need to examine issues of diversity and inclusion in this proceeding as they pertain to the CBC/SRC’s programming, how that programming reflects the reality of Canada’s diverse population and how the CBC/SRC’s programming decision-making process impacts on its relevance to all Canadians. The Commission has already received on the record of this proceeding a great deal of information on these issues, and intends to explore these issues more thoroughly during the oral phase of this public proceeding.
The Commission is also of the view that there is further information which the CBC/SRC could provide in advance of the hearing which could assist the Commission and parties to the proceeding in the discussion of this issue.
In light of the above, the Commission denies CMAC’s procedural request seeking to have further information filed on the record of this proceeding. The Commission has also sent by a separate letter a further request that the Corporation file additional information relating to the manner in which the production of its English- and French-language programming meaningfully includes in key production roles members of Canada’s diverse population – which includes women, Indigenous peoples, ethnic and multicultural communities, Canadians with disabilities and Canadians who identify as LGBTQ2.
The further information to be provided by the Corporation will be placed on the public record for this proceeding. Appearing interveners will have the opportunity to comment on this information as part of the oral phase of the public hearing. All interveners to this proceeding will have an opportunity to comment on this additional information as part of their final written submissions following the oral phase of the public hearing, by a date to be announced. The Corporation will be permitted to reply to interveners either during the oral phase of the hearing or following the oral phase of the hearing as part of its final reply.
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