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Events and documents related to the CRTC’s hearing of CBC’s licensing applications

27-Jan-21 CRTC public hearing on CBC’s licensing applications to end with Phase III, “Reply by the Corporation”; will there be a written reply phase? No CRTC announcement yet.

11-Jan-21           CRTC public hearing on CRTC licensing applications to begin; it’s currently scheduled to last two and a half weeks

10-Dec-20          CRTC responds to Part 1 application/procedural request filed by former CBC employees on 13 November 2020: it adds former employees’ 13 Nov/20 letter to the 2019-379 public record; permits parties appearing at the 11 Jan/21 CRTC public hearing to address the Tandem initiative; permits CBC to reply; and says that the CRTC (ie, members of the hearing panel) may question CBC at the hearing – the CRTC’s letter says it will not permit interventions to be filed on the Tandem matter, and does not state whether the signatories to the 13 November 2020 letter will be permitted to appear

07-Dec-20 Former CBC employees write the Minister of Canadian Heritage. They note that when CBC President Catherine Tait appeared before Members of Parliament on the House of Commons Standing Committee on 13 May 2019 and said that CBC wants to build on Canadians’ trust in CBC, she did not disclose that CBC had decided to produce and sell branded advertising content. CBC’s licensing applications to the CRTC also did not mention CBC’s involvement in branded content. The signatories asked that the Minister and other members of the Governor in Council (Cabinet) request the CFTC to investigate CBC’s production and/or sale of branded content, as permitted by section 15 of the Broadcasting Act.

28-Nov-20          Letter from former CBC employees asking CRTC to acknowledge receipt of and post their 13 November 2020 Part 1 application/procedural request

27-Nov-20          Former CBC employees ask CRTC Secretary General to post their previous 13 November Part 1 application/procedural request on its website; CRTC Secretary General sends reply e-mails (see 28 November 2020 letter from former CBC employees)

25-Nov-20          FRPC answers CBC’s 24 November 2020 letter, noting that CBC did not oppose the addition of Tandem to the 2019-379 proceeding, and that CBC was apparently seeking to add new evidence about branded content to the proceeding’s record (without asking for the CRTC’s consent to do so, given section 24 of the CRTC’s Rules of Practice and Procedure: “An applicant must not amend an application or file any supplementary documents related to the application with the Commission after the application has been posted on the Commission’s website.”)      

24-Nov-20          CBC writes the CRTC with reference to the Forum’s 28 and 30 October 2020 procedural requests and includes answers to 10 questions raised by former CBC employees about Tandem

23-Nov-20          Letter from former CBC employees to the CRTC asking it to post previous 13 November 2020 request on its website     

13-Nov-20          25 former employees of the CBC ask CRTC to investigate Tandem, or in the alternative, to change its procedures to add the branding issue to the agenda of the 2019-379 proceeding

10-Nov-20          CRTC announces that its public hearing to hear CBC’s’ licences will begin on 11 Jan/21 (and end 27 Jan/21 – see hearing agenda); writes CMAC to agree that more information about diversity in CBC’s programming is required, and asks CBC for more information regarding diversity (to be filed by 1 December 2020): CBC hearing agenda is posted and revised

30-Oct-20           FRPC asks CRTC to accept supplementary facts in relation to FRPC’s 28 Oct/20 request to add information about CBC’s ‘years-long’ practice of publishing branded content      

28-Oct-20           FRPC asks CRTC to add CBC’s ‘Tandem initiative’ in branded content to 2019-379 proceeding  

24-Sept-20 FRPC publishes research about CBC’s broadcast notifications for the CRTC’s 2019-379 proceeding; analyzing the 82 announcements that CBC said it had broadcast to inform the public about the proceeding and their right to participate found that

  • 10% (8 notifications) may not have been made at all
  • in 8 cases certifications that broadcasts had been made were signed before the dates when the notifications were broadcast
  • in 4 cases announcements about the CRTC’s extended deadline for interventions were broadcast before the date when the CRTC announced the extension
  • the times declared for 24 broadcast notifications (28% of all notifications) were inaccurate

17-Sept-20 FRPC submits answer to CBC’s response to FRPC’s request asking that it add CBC’s report on its broadcast notifications to the public record

02-Sep-20           FRPC asks CRTC to add information about broadcast notifications to 2019-379 proceeding    

21-Aug-20 CRTC provides copies of CBC’s broadcast notifications (requested by the Forum under the Access to Information Act)

17-Aug-20 FRPC responds to CBC’s 17 Aug/20 answer about replacing the CRTC’s CBC licensing proceeding with a policy review of public broadcasting

17-Aug-20 CBC opposes FRPC’s 4 Aug/20 procedural request to terminate the 2019-379 licensing proceeding and hold a policy review on public broadcasting

04-Aug-20          FRPC submits procedural request asking CRTC to terminate the 2019-379 proceeding due to lack of evidence and to instead review its policy for public broadcasting   in light of the absence on the record of evidence about the impact of Covid-19 on the CBC’s financial position and programming plans     

24-Jul-20            CMAC asks the CRTC to order CBC to file more employee data with respect to diversity and complaints about discrimination or racism; on 10 Nov/20 CRTC denies part of the request but also asks CBC to file more information about diversity

23-Jul-20            CBC states at paragraph 13 of Reply Phase 2 – English version that  “…CBC/Radio-Canada cannot provide any meaningful predictions regarding its future financial circumstances. No clarity for projections is likely before at least 18 to 24 months. And even then, any economic and financial predictions will be tentative, at best.” 

23-Jul-20 The Forum submits an access-to-information request to the CRTC asking for a copy of the document sent by the CBC to the CRTC regarding the broadcast notifications CBC was required to make regarding its licensing applications

22-Jul-20    CRTC denies FRPC’s request to add CBC’s redacted Powerpoint of its Strategic Plan to the public record because it “does not contain any new pertinent information for this process”, and because FRPC posted the redacted plan on its website; CRTC also denies FRPC’s request that it post the report that CBC is required to submit to the CRTC to show that it broadcast required notifications about the CRTC’s renewal proceeding       

13-Jul-20            15 interveners, including FRPC, reply to CBC’s new financial evidence            

22-Jun-20           CRTC invites comments to be filed by 23 July 2020, solely on CBC’s new financial evidence, in 2019-379-3  

22-Jun-20 CRTC renews CBC’s licences administratively to 31 Aug/21    

12-Jun-20           CBC files cover letter for one page of new financial evidence about its conventional and digital services, stating (in the cover letter) that “These forecasts … do not reflect any changes that may result from the impact on revenue and expenses of the Covid-19 pandemic.” (underlining added)

Please note: these (and other) links go to the CBC’s English-language versions of the documents; it also filed French-language versions that are posted on the CRTC’s 2019-379 website, under ‘2019’          

25-May-20         CRTC  public hearing originally scheduled to begin on 25 May 2020 concerning CBC’s applications postponed  (through notice of consultation issued 8 April 2020)       

11-May-20         CBC writes the CRTC to say that by 12 June 2020 it will file the additional information mentioned in its 6 March 2020 Reply for the years of 2018/19 to 2022/23, by 12 June 2020.    (Source: CBC, Response from CBC/Radio-Canada to the Request for information – Filing of additional financial information regarding the CBC/SRC’s digital activities Applications # 2019-0280-0, 2019-0279-2, 2019-0282-5 and 2019-0281-7, Letter (11 May 2020) DM#3849736, answer to question a). )         

06-May-20         CRTC writes CBC and refers to “the filing of additional financial information regarding [CBC’s] digital activities” mentioned by CBC in its 6 March 2020 reply   (Source: DM#3849736, CBC, Response from CBC/Radio-Canada to the Request for information –   Filing of additional financial information regarding the CBC/SRC’s digital activities Applications # 2019-0280-0, 2019-0279-2, 2019-0282-5 and  2019-0281-7, 11 May 2020 letter)  

04-May-20 CRTC writes CBC, asking it to answer these questions by 11 May 2020:

  1. A new date by which CBC/SRC will file the information referred to in its 6 March 2020 reply comments;
  2. Additionally, in advance of providing this additional information, a detailed description of the material that will be submitted, including:
  • Names of services/platforms for which information will be filed;
  • Whether these services/platforms are, in your view, operating outside of the DMEO and the basis for your rationale;
  • Whether the information is submitted on an aggregate or disaggregate basis
    • per service/platform
    • per language market 
    • per type of content (audio vs audio-visual)
  • The breadth of expense and revenue data that will be included, and whether such information will include historical, current and projections.
  • Any other information not included above that you intend to file with respect to the digital activities in question.

14-Apr-20           Quebecor asks CRTC to consider unfair competition by CBC with private broadcasters; CRTC staff denies the request on 6 May 2020

08-Apr-20 CRTC postpones CBC licensing hearing originally scheduled for 25 May 2020 (hearing is rescheduled on 10 Nov/20 to begin 11 Jan/21)

12-Mar-20          FRPC asks CRTC to place list of CBC’s broadcast notifications on public record in relation to CBC’s claims about trustworthiness CRTC denies the request on 22 July 2020

12-Mar-20          FRPC asks CRTC to add attached copy of CBC’s 53-page redacted 20 March 2019 strategic plan to the record of the 2019-379 proceeding due to the plan’s relevance CRTC denies the request on 22 July 2020

11-Mar-20          World Health Organization announces that Covid-19 is a global pandemic     

9-Mar-20 In response to an access-to-information request made by the Forum, CBC provides FRPC with a copy of a 106-page PDF document (53 pages in English, 53 pages in French), appearing to be a redacted PowerPoint presentation made to BC’s Board of Directors on 20 March 2019, entitled “Your stories, taken to heart: Our strategic plan”

06-Mar-20          CBC replies to interveners (Reply – English version), and offers to file additional financial information by mid-April 2020 

March 20 CRTC publishes summary of its online public consultation about CBC/Radio-Canada programming (held from November to December 2020)

26-Feb-20           FRPC asks CBC to provides dates of its broadcast notifications; CBC denies the request on 11 March 2020 

20-Feb-20           Interventions on CBC’s applications in 2019-379 due: more than 10,000 interveners send comments to the CRTC

19-Feb-20 CRTC staff deny CMAC request that the Commission ask the CBC for more information about diversity

17-Feb-20 CRTC staff deny FRPC’s 23 Jan/20 request that it require more information about CBC’s online services, and numbers of its news employees – on 6 Mar/20 CBC offers to file more financial information, and does so on 12 Jun/20

13-Feb-20 Original intervention deadline for CBC proceeding; on 28 Jan/20 CRTC extends this by one week, to 20 Feb/20

08-Feb-20           Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) asks CRTC to order CBC to release information about diversity; CRTC staff denies the request on 19 February 2020, and suggests CMAC ask for this in its intervention

04-Feb-20           FRPC asks CRTC CRTC denies the request on 22 July 2020 (in part because FRPC posted the plan on its website; FRPC subsequently asked CRTC for the broadcast notification information under the Access to Information Act and published an analysis of the notifications showing numerous errors)

29-Jan-20           Report of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review panel published        

28-Jan-20           CRTC extends intervention deadline in 2019-379 proceeding from 13 February 2020 to 20 February 2020 in 2019-379-1   

28-Jan-20 CRTC writes Friends of Canadian Broadcasting to say that FCB should address additional funding for CBC in FCB’s intervention, and to deny FCB’s requests for disclosure of a full-and-complete version of its 3-year strategic plan, and additional financial information about CBC’s TV, radio and digital services

23-Jan-20           FRPC asks CRTC to disclose information about CBC’s online services and numbers of its news employees; CRTC staff denies the request on 17 February 2020

09-Dec-19          CRTC’s Facebook consultation ends        

Nov-2019 CRTC publishes “International benchmark study for the CRTC”, Harnessing public broadcasting for Canadians in the digital age

29-Nov-19          Friends of Canadian Broadcasting asks for more information about CBC’s licence renewal applications:  incremental funding for CBC, CBC’s full strategic plan, historical and projected financial information by platform and genre; CRTC denies the request on 28 January 2020 but asks CBC for more financial information; CBC files additional financial information on 12 June20

25-Nov-19          CRTC publishes CBC’s applications to renew its licences and maintain the exemptions that currently apply to CBC’s online services; it sets 13 February 2020 as the deadline for interventions  (this deadline is later postponed, and a new hearing is subsequently scheduled to begin 11 January 2021)

25-Nov-19 CRTC launches an online public consultation about CBC/Radio-Canada programming – results are posted in March 2020

23-May-19         CRTC writes CBC regarding the renewal of its radio and television programming services             

22-May-19         CBC announces it has a new 3-year strategic plan, Your Stories, Taken to Heart

20-Mar-19 New strategic plan presented to CBC’s Board of Directors – see redacted PowerPoint presentation made to BC’s Board of Directors on 20 March 2019, entitled “Your stories, taken to heart: Our strategic plan”

29-Oct-18           CRTC administratively renews CBC’s radio and television licences from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020 in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2018-407,             

27-Jul-17            CRTC administratively renews CBC’s radio and television licences from 1 September 2018 to 31 August 2019, in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-269,             

28-May-13         CRTC renews CBC’s radio and television network and station licences from 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2018 in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – Licence renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-263 and Broadcasting Orders CRTC 2013-264 and 2013-265 (Ottawa, 28 May 2013)