From Ad IDEM / CMLA
The CRTC is considering changes to the: Radio Regulations, 1986, Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, Pay Television Regulations, 1990, Specialty Services Regulations, 1990,and the Broadcasting Information Regulations, 1993.
The CRTC put out a call for comments on January 10, 2011. At closing on February 9th, there were approximately 3,222 submissions including comments from AdIDEM.
According to the Call, the amendments address concerns raised by Parliament’s Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations related to the following provisions:
- the prohibition on broadcasting false or misleading news;
- the prohibition on broadcasting programming that contains obscene or profane language; and
- the submission of information by licensees to the Commission.
Ad IDEMS submissions raise the following concerns:
The prohibition on broadcasting false or misleading news is likely so overbroad as to be unconsitutional. The regulations, as proposed, threaten to have a chilling effect on free expression and ultimately on the search for truth. If enacted, the regulation could discourage people from engaging in public discussions about emerging ideas or information for fear of later being found to have made misleading statements. By creating a new offence, the CRTC would increase the risk of publishing any information and thus discourages free expression to the detriment of the public good.
Regarding the prohibition of broadcasting obscene or profane language, the proposed regulation prohibits a broader range of language than the Criminal Code and also removes the defence of publication for the public good. Ad IDEM suggests that the proposed regulations should be amended to more closely mirror the Criminal Code.