Broadcasting - Commission Letter addressed to Various Parties

Ottawa, 24 March 2021

Ms. Sharon Mullen Handrahan
Tignish, Prince Edward Island

Mr. William and Ronelda Victor
Cardigan, Prince Edward Island

Mr. Allan Conant
Cardigan, Prince Edward Island

Mr. Winston Murchison
Belfast, Prince Edward Island

Re: Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-379 – Commission Letter addressed to Various Parties Interested

This is in response to your letter sent to the Commission in December 2020 regarding the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBC/SRC) licence renewal process announced in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-379 (the Notice) in which you request that the Commission take Prince Edward Island-specific concerns into consideration.

Commission’s analysis and decision

On 25 November 2019, the Commission launched its process relating to the renewal of CBC/SRC’s licences and set a date of 13 February 2020 for the submission of interventions related to the matters raised in the Notice (NOC 2019-379). On 28 January 2020, the Commission extended the date for the filing of interventions to 20 February 2020 (NOC 2019-379-1).

After the close of record, the CBC/SRC announced on 18 March 2020 that it would temporarily cease broadcasting certain local television newscasts across the country as a result of complications arising from the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission notes that these measures were in effect for a period of one week and that the newscasts in question have been reinstated since the end of March 2020.

As the temporary suspension occurred after the intervention period which closed in February 2020, the Commission recognizes that you could not have submitted your concerns during the initial consultation phase. However, the Commission notes that you submitted your concerns nine months after the temporary suspension.

As such, the Commission is not convinced that it should deviate from the procedure established for this proceeding and will not add your letter to the record of the present proceeding.

However, please note that the CBC/SRC was questioned during the January 2021 hearing regarding its local news obligations and decision to suspend local news programming during the pandemic. The Commission also heard from many groups that stressed the importance of televised news to Canadians across the country. Lastly, other intervenors who submitted comments during the intervention phase were able to provide additional comments responding to any issues raised in the hearing.

The CBC/SRC’s responses, intervenors’ presentations, and participants’ final submissions are all part of the public record and therefore can be taken into consideration by the Commission as a part of its decision making process.


Original signed by

Claude Doucet
Secretary General

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