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Canada, Telecommunications

CRTC Backpedals On Allowing False News Broadcasting!

Hurrah for Canadian outrage! The more than 3,000 complaints on the CRTC’s website about Amendment 2010-931 and the resulting media furor has produced results: the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations has decided to question its own almighty wisdom in forcing the CRTC to change the amendment.

CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein says he’s been stalling this going 10 years now, but recently caved due to increased pressure.  He’s very happy to be shut of the whole deal:

“We never wanted to touch this thing. We put it forward because we were ordered to do it… I was perfectly happy with what it was before, and I’m sure at the next commission meeting, we will withdraw this attempt at rewriting.”

I’ve tried to corroborate this on the CRTC’s website, but it seems to be down.  Perhaps it’s undergoing heavy load from others trying to verify this as well?

Frankly, it’s good to know that Canadians can still make their voices heard on issues like this.  Especially since the timing of the whole proposed amendment is suspicious to say the least.  Openmedia.ca has a good timeline of events available, which I’ll summarize here:

Since 2001 the Joint Committee, after consideration of a 1992 Supreme Court ruling (R. v. Zundel, [1992] 2 S.C.R. 731, regarding publishing false news and it’s Charter’s guarantee of freedom of expression) has been in communication about the regulation’s wording with the CRTC.  Personally I am not certain that a corporation is legally entitled to the same rights as citizens, but that’s a separate issue.  Aside from a brief letter in 2005, the matter seems to have lain quiet.  Then in 2009 – the same time that Quebecor is forming Sun TV – there is a sudden flurry of activity between the Committee and the CRTC.

Finally in November 2010 the Committe orders the CRTC to adopt the regulation change.  Oddly enough, this is almost on the same day that the Progressive Conservatives’ mouthpiece Fox News North – excuse me, Quebecor’s news channel Sun TV – was licensed.  Basically the CRTC received a letter forcing the issue from the Committee.

Of course, it must be pure coincidence that after 9 years of the Committee basically ignoring it, the same time as Sun TV is being organized it is suddenly an urgent issue.  Why, it would be silly to think that Harper’s PC Party would user American style tactics and shady techniques to push their own agenda!  They’ve been a model of typical restrained Canadian politics!  Except, of course, for those nasty PC attack ads.  Oh, and Harper proroguing Parliament several times.  And trying to adopt the failed US model of justice for minimum drug sentencing, and building enormous numbers of prisons.  And Harper secretly signing border agreements with the US without public or legislative consultation.  And Ministers such as Oda modifying documents, and then lying about it, and then lying about it AGAIN when caught.  Hm… ok, perhaps there might be some basis to be suspicious.  But only if you’re a paranoid loony leftist pinko commie!  Er, I mean, a Liberal party member.


  1. Tyler Style 2011-02-25 18:10

    Today’s Globe & Mail brings you the same news I covered in this post six days ago 🙂

  2. Tyler Style 2011-02-25 18:14

    A nicely wrought quote from another Globe & Mail article on the topic:

    On CBC’s Power & Politics on Monday, Dean Del Mastro, parliamentary secretary to the Heritage Minister, got busy defending the government’s decision to push the CRTC on this. He waffled about the need for “divergent opinions” and made the extraordinary assertion that his constituents had been complaining that “free speech is under attack in this country.” Which puts us in mind of the alleged complaints about the long-form census.

    What does it all mean? Say hello to the likely rantings and ravings of the upcoming SUN TV News channel, otherwise known, you can be sure, as “divergent opinions.” What it means is not that the government has seen the future – the success of a right-wing TV news channel is an unknown – but it has posited the kind of future it would like to see in TV news and punditry. A future filled with poisonous invective that still conforms to CRTC regulations.

  3. LIberals R Retarded 2011-05-10 14:38

    You must be steaming mad at the topics being discussed on SUNTV. Topics CBC won’t deal with.
    CBC gets $1B of taxpayer dollars every year to run their propaganda, and Sun TV, along with all others, must generate their own income.
    Liberalism is a mental disorder and you are proving it.

    • Tyler Style 2011-06-01 21:41

      Hey buddy. Actually, I’m not mad at all about what SunTV broadcasts. It’s hilariously badly done, actually, and I think it does a lot more to hinder Conservative appeal than anything – generally speaking, I think they’re just preaching to the choir. And at any rate, the commentators I’ve seen are generally badly informed, incoherent, poor speakers, or come across as whackjob conspiracy theorists.

      As for dealing with topics CBC doesn’t touch on, generally CBC doesn’t touch on them because they aren’t really news. Mostly what I’ve seen Sun do is just espousing opinion or rhetoric rather than fact or reasoned argument. Which is why so many people so strongly opposed the move to change the CRTC regs in the first place – broadcasters would then be allowed to present just such pieces as actual news, as opposed to rhetoric or propaganda. And that’s what my post was about, not about running down a Conservative mouthpiece. It was about not allowing broadcasters to present opinions or pravda as actual news.

      Regarding private vs public funding, it was nothing to with my post – I don’t know why you’re bothering to bring it up? Completely separate issue.

      As for the insult – “Liberalism is a mental disorder and you are proving it” – well, I’m not a Liberal. There really isn’t a party that represents my views. I believe in fiscal responsibility and small government in terms of personal freedoms; in that respect I’m libertarian. However I also believe that there are some functions that private industry doesn’t do well or indeed even acts against the best interests of society and so government should handle those functions (medical care and research, for example).

      At any rate, the insult is semantically null anyway – you don’t even bother to explain what you’re talking about (how is liberalism a mental disorder, and what I am doing to prove it???) In any discourse insults are, at best, poor entertainment for bystanders or a cheap ego boost for the perpetrator. Which is probably why SunTV and Fox News tend to make sure extensive use of them 😀

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