Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Reynolds Mastin (Canadian Media Producers Association)

Ottawa, 21 December 2020

BY EMAIL:                             

Reynolds Mastin
President and CEO
Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)
702-1 Toronto Street
Toronto, Ontario  M5C 2V6

Re: Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-379, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBC/SRC) Licence Renewal – Joint Request from several intervenors

Mr. Reynods Mastin,

This letter is in response to the procedural request sent to the Commission dated 8 December 2020 regarding the CBC/SRC licence renewal process announced in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-379 (the Notice). In your request, you ask that the process announced in the Notice be postponed for a period of two years because of significant developments related to the Canadian broadcasting industry’s current policy and legislative environment, particularly with respect to the consideration of Bill C-10 by Parliament. In addition, you raise concerns regarding what you consider are deficiencies on the record with respect to the CBC/SRC’s financial information and situation, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Response to the request by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) du Canada and the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF)

The Commission has also received a letter dated 14 December 2020, from the FCFA and the FCCF in response to your request. The FCFA and FCCF oppose your request to postpone the current process announced in the Notice and indicate that the proceeding should continue as scheduled.

In addition to arguing that, despite the current consideration of Bill C-10 by Parliament, the Commission should be establishing a regulatory framework under the CBC/SRC’s current mandate in the Broadcasting Act, the FCFA and FCCF submit that there is a high level of dissatisfaction in the francophone and Acadian Communities with how the CBC/SRC has represented them in the past, and that these issues must be addressed without further delay.

Commission’s decision and analysis

The Notice for this process was issued on 25 November 2019 (CRTC 2019-379) and the initial deadline for the submission of interventions was 13 February 2020. On 28 January 2020, the Commission extended the intervention period to 20 February 2020, which preceded the COVID- 19 pandemic.

However, the Commission reopened the intervention period for this proceeding from 22 June to 13 July 2020 (as detailed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2019-379-3) as the CBC/SRC filed additional financial information. During that phase, intervenors expressed concerns over the CBC/SRC’s financial projections, arguing that they did not take into account the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission intends to address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at the public hearing. Parties that will appear at the oral phase of the public hearing will be able to make representations with respect to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the CBC/SRC’s financial performance while all parties to the proceeding will be permitted to file comments as a part of their final written submissions. The CBC/SRC will be permitted the opportunity to reply.

Furthermore, the Commission is of the view that the CBC/SRC’s mandate is set out in the Broadcasting Act and that the current licence renewal process can be completed with reference to this current mandate. Bill C-10 has not been adopted by Parliament at this time and thus the Commission’s responsibility is to regulate and supervise the public broadcaster under the current Broadcasting Act, and will continue to do so as part of this proceeding.

The Commission therefore denies the joint request to postpone the public proceeding and administratively renew the broadcasting licences of the CBC/SRC for a period of two years.


Original signed by

Claude Doucet
Secretary General

cc. Bev Kirshenblatt, Executive Director, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, CBC, Kelsey McLaren, Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Hélène Messier, Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM), Marie Kelly, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), Carol Ann Pilon, Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC), Dave Forget, Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), Nicole Matiation, On Screen Manitoba (OSM), Kirwan Cox, Quebec English-language Production Council (QEPC), and Maureen Parker, Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), Jean Johnson, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) du Canada, Martin Théberge, Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF)

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