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CRTC broadcasting decisions: petitions and appeals

Parliament made the CRTC the “single independent authority” for regulating and supervising Canada’s broadcasting system (subsection 3(2) of the 1991 Broadcasting Act).

Parliament also created two ways to appeal a CRTC’s decision or order. Subsection 31(2) of the Act permits a decision and/or an order of the CRTC to be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, as long as the Court grants leave for that appeal.

Subsection 28 separately permits any person to submit petition to the Governor in Council (aka Cabinet) regarding a CRTC decision ‘issuing, amending or renewing a licence’. Cabinet may do nothing, may deny the petition, may set aside the CRTC decision, or require the CRTC to reconsider its decision.

Subsection 28(1) gives Cabinet some 45 days after receiving such petitions to respond.

Parties that petition Cabinet about CRTC broadcasting matters must send a copy to the Privy Council, to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and to the CRTC (subsection 29(1)).

The CRTC must do two things:

(a) forward a copy of the petitions “to all parties who were heard at or made any oral representation in connection with the hearing to which the petition relates” – in this case, the CRTC public hearing held from 11 January to 28 January 2021 (the hearing transcript is available here), and

(b) “establish and maintain a public register in which shall be kept a copy of each petition received by the Commission under subsection 28(1) or (4)”

You can find a list of previous petitions submitted under the Broadcasting Act here.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – Various audio and audiovisual services – Licence renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2022-165 (Ottawa, 22 June 2022)

On 22 June 2022 the CRTC renewed the broadcasting licences of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) from September 2022 to August 2027.

At least two parties have applied to the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) for leave to appeal the decision.

Nineteen parties, including the Forum, submitted petitions to Cabinet (see below) asking that the decision be set aside and/or returned back to the CRTC for reconsideration, due to concerns that it does not implement (“derogates from”) the objectives in Parliament’s broadcasting policy for Canada, set out in subsection 3(1) of the 1991 Broadcasting Act.

On 16 September 2022 Cabinet returned the decision to the CRTC for reconsideration.

Applications for leave to appeal Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2022-165 to the Federal Court of Appeal:

AQPM’s application and news release

CMPA’s application

Petitions submitted to Cabinet about Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2022-165:

ACTRA & DGC petition and cover letter

Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la video (ADISQ) -petition

Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC) – petition

Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) – petition


Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) – petition

Canadian Media Guild (CMG) – petition

Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) – petition

FRIENDS’ petition

FRPC’s petition

IATSE’s petition

Public Broadcasting for the 21st Century (PBC21) – petition

Public Interest Advocacy Centre Petition (PIAC) – news release and petition (link to PIAC’s site)

Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications – letter and petition

JP Roman’s petition

Letters in support of petitioners

Unifor‘s comments in support of FRIENDS’ petition