Access to information requests and responses

Access to information requests by the Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRPC)

2022

Request to the CRTC in August 2021 for documents related to the joint application by FRPC and PIAC seeking financial support for the Broadcast Participation Fund

CRTC Cover Letter re A-2021-00031, received by e-mail 26 July 2022

Result:  Attachment to 26 July 2022 e-mail from CRTC (48 pages), made searchable using Adobe Acrobat’s OCR facility) – shows questions from CRTC Commissioners and a portion of CRTC staff’s answers, along with other items considered by the CRTC’s Full Commission at its meeting of 13-14 July 2021 including:

  • presentation by Nordicity on international media ownership
  • presentation by Media Technology Monitor on Spring 2021 trends
  • discussion of CCSA’s undue preference/disadvantage complaint against Bell Media, of Videotron’s undue preference complaint against CBC/SRC re Ici Tou.tv Extra
  • amendment of Broadcasting Order 2016-417 and relief from reporting requirements of Sur Sagar Radio
  • presentation by Xplornet Communications
  • Review-and-vary applications by Iristel of Telecom Decision 2020-268, by Telus of Telecom Decision 2020-268
  • one hour scheduled to discuss “Decision” involving SRC’s use of an offensive word on air (Item 8), and
  • 15 minutes to discuss process for Rogers’ application to acquire effective control of Shaw (Item 10)

Request to the CRTC for a copy of any report submitted to the Heritage Minister about the complaint it addressed on 27 June 2022 regarding a radio program broadcast by the CBC on its French-language service

Result:  Undated letter attached to 22 July 2022 from the CRTC (Answer:  “None”)

Request to the CRTC on 19 May 2022 for a list of the CRTC’s committees, their membership and the dates on which they met from 1 January 2022 on

First result:  Undated letter attached to 20 June 2022 email from the CRTC (Two of three questions answered; request for dates about when committees met redacted, including dates on calendar months)

Second result (after complaint):  Undated revised answer attached to 21 July 2022 email from the CRTC (Now provides dates and shows when committees met)

Both results shown here

Request to the CRTC in May 2022 for a list of the CRTC staff working groups that the CRTC’s Chairperson had assigned for the implementation of the new broadcasting legislation in Bill C-11

CRTC’s response letter emailed 23 June 2022

Please provide

a) the precise number of working groups;

b) a list of the working groups showing for each group, the main topic or subject of their work;

c) for each working group, a list of the studies that the CRTC’s staff has itself undertaken or commissioned from outside parties with respect to its work;

d) the date by which each working group is supposed to complete its work; and e) the name of the CRTC Commissioner, if any, to which each working group reports.”

Result:  A-2021-00073/SK:

Please provide a copy of any documents that

a) assigned a mandate or mission to these working groups; and/or

b) provided directions or any guidance to these working groups.”

 Result:  A-2021-00074/KB:

Request to the CRTC for a copy of the report to the Heritage Minister mandated by section 25(1) of the 1991 Broadcasting Act when the Commission believes CBC has breached a condition of its licence(s)

Legal context:  Broadcasting Act, s. 25(1):

Report of alleged contravention or non-compliance by Corporation

25 (1) Where the Commission is satisfied, after a public hearing on the matter, that the Corporation has contravened or failed to comply with any condition of a licence referred to in the schedule, any order made under subsection 12(2) or any regulation made under this Part, the Commission shall forward to the Minister a report setting out the circumstances of the alleged contravention or failure, the findings of the Commission and any observations or recommendations of the Commission in connection therewith.

Marginal note:  Report to be tabled

(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report referred to in subsection (1) to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the report is received by the Minister.

Three instances when the CRTC found that CBC had breached its conditions of licence or the CRTC’s regulations, does not have a copy of the report to the Minister mandated by section 25 of the Broadcasting Act and did not sanction the breach through a shorter-than-normal licence term:

  • with respect to its 2000 decision (BDC 2000-1, para. 92) following a public hearing beginning 25 May 1999, that CBC’s Radio One network had breached its condition of licence for Canadian content – Result 21 June 2022 letter re A-2022-00001 (Answer:  “none”); despite the breach, the CRTC renewed CBC’s licences for a full seven years (para. 105)
  • with respect to its 2004 decision (BDC 2004-531, paras. 11-12) following a public hearing beginning 16 February 2004, that contrary to the CRTC’s regulation requiring the submission of accurate program logs (and even after giving CBC the chance to correct them), the CBC’s logs were inaccurate – Result14 July 2022 letter re A-2021-00078 (Answer: “None”); the CRTC renewed CBC’s licences for two years, not due to the breach of its regulations, but to “enable the  Commission to consider the next renewal application for this undertaking at the same time as it considers the licence renewal applications for the originating station, CBFT Montréal, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation French-language television network, to which the station belongs.”
  • with respect to its 2013 decision (BDC 2013-263, para. 83) following a public hearing beginning  19 November 2012 that CBC’s French-language television network had breached a condition of licence regarding the broadcasting of original children’s programming “for certain years” – Result18 January 2021 letter re A-2020-00055 (Answer:  “none”); despite the breach, the CRTC renewed CBC’s licences for the full five years that CBC requested (para. 368)

2021

Request to the CRTC for documents showing for each of the past five years the number of warning letters sent regarding alleged violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules 

Result:  2 February 2022 letter re A-2021-00045 (Answer:  “None”)

Request to the CRTC for its ‘statistical and financial summaries’ for Indigenous radio stations, from 2008 to 2020

Result:  26 March 2021 letter re A-2020-00075 (Answer:  two-page PDF document providing the data)

Request to the CRTC for any studies it undertook or commissioned since 2014 about commercial radio stations and the employment opportunities mentioned in section 3(1)(d) of the Broadcasting Act

Result:  26 February 2021 letter re A-2020-00067 (Answer:  “none”)

Request to the CRTC for any studies it undertook or commissioned since 2014 to analyze the amount of original local news broadcast by large ownership groups’ radio stations

Result:  26 February 2021 letter re A-2020-00066 (Answer:  “none”)

Request to the CRTC for any studies it undertook or commissioned since 2014 to analyze the types and amounts of programming broadcast by radio stations in Canada

Result:  26 February 21 letter re A-2020-00065  (Answer:  “none”)

2020

Request for a copy of any briefing materials provided to CBC’s Board of Directors about CBC’s Strategic Plan

Response:  9 March 2020 letter from CBC with release package (see Result, below)

Result:  March 2020 release package consisting of a 106-page long, black-and-white PDF presentation

Request for a copy of any report forwarded by CRTC to the Minister of Canadian Heritage pursuant to section 25(1) of the Broadcasting Act regarding CBC’s breach of a condition of its licence in 2013

Result:  18 January 2021 response (Answer:  “none”):

Request to the CBC for written materials provided to its Board of Directors about the branding initiative known as Tandem, from 1 January 2019 to 12 November 2020 (the date when the request was made) 

Request:  14 December 2020 letter describing request

Result:  14 December 2020 response

Request to the CRTC for copies of any research it undertook or commissioned since 2007 concerning the impact of concentrated media ownership on radio or television news in Canada (A-2020-00041)

Result:  9 October 2020 response

Request to the CRTC for the numbers of fulltime or full-time equivalent journalists employed in Canadian broadcasting for each broadcasting year from 2014/15 through to and including 2018/19 and showing – if the information is available – their location and whether they are employed by radio, by television or by radio and TV stations or services (A-2020-00024)

Result:  28 August 2020 response

2018

Request for the dates on which CRTC Commissioners met, along with agendas of the meetings

Request:  19 December 2018

Result:  Monthly calendars of the CRTC, January 2007 to December 2018

Request to CRTC re. SCFP’s Application

Request for electronic copies of all records held or controlled by the CRTC regarding SCFP’s 13 Febuary 2018 application, including meeting agendas, minutes of meetings, e-mails, correspondence between CRTC Commissioners and/or CRTC staff, text messages, research, records of telephone conversations and briefing notes.

Request: 22 May 2018 | Result: CRTC cover letter release copy 7

Request for copies of any and all records held by the CRTC, Commissioners, or CRTC Staff, related to the statement from the 7 March 2018 staff letter to SCFP.

Request: 12 April 2018

Request to CRTC re. Fair Play Application

Request for copies of any and all communications between any Commissioner and/or Commission staffperson, and any or all of the parties set out in an appendix, which dealt with copyright infringement, online piracy, and/or website blocking.

Request16 February 2018 | Result: A201700033_release-copy

Request for copies of any and all documents from 1 January 2016 to 16 February 2018, which are held by the CRTC and deal with copyright infringement, online piracy, and/or website blocking.

Request16 February 2018 | Result: A201700032_release-copy

2015

In September 2015 the CRTC was asked for any records it held with respect to the numbers and locations of news bureaux (not stations) operated by Canadian radio programming services in Canada, for each broadcast year from 2009/10 up to and including 2013/14; in October 2015 the CRTC answered that “a search of the records under the control of the CRTC has revealed none relating to the subject” of the request

In September 2015 the CRTC was asked for the numbers and locations of news bureaux (not stations) operated by Canadian television programming services in Canada, for each broadcast year from 2009/10 up to and including 2013/14; in October 2015 the CRTC answered that “a search of the records under the control of the CRTC has revealed none relating to the subject” of the request

[The materials below predate the Forum’s establishment in 2013, but provide information that may be relevant to those studying Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications.]

2012

On 12 April 2012 the CRTC was asked for any reports, studies, research, analyses, briefing materials or memos of, or commissioned by, the CRTC concerning its Native Radio Policy, Public Notice CRTC 1990-89; on 26 April 2012 the CRTC answered that it had found “no information” relating to the request

2010

In August 2010 the CRTC was asked for any studies, research, briefings, memoranda, and/or reports of, or commissioned by, the CRTC since 1999, on the impact of efficiencies and synergies from ownership consolidation, on Canadian programming investment; in September 2010 the CRTC answered that it did not have any records pertaining to this request

In August 2010 the CRTC was asked for any of studies, research, briefings, memoranda and/or reports since 1999, concerning the achievement of the CRTC’s purpose “to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden” on over-the-air broadcasting licensees; in September 2010 the CRTC answered that it did not have any documents pertaining to this request

In September 2010 the CRTC was asked for any research or studies it had undertaken or commissioned since January 2007 about the impact of “partial deregulation” of advertising limits on conventional television stations; in October 2010 the CRTC answered that it did not have any documents pertaining to this request

2009

In 2008 the CRTC was asked for historical broadcast records, and in 2009 it disclosed that in 2008 it had “moved to a 10 year retention period for most records (paper and electronic)”.

1999 

On 2 July 1999 the CRTC was asked under the Access to Information Act for a number of historical files.  It answered on 15 July 1999, to say that it destroyed its licensee broadcasting files after fifteen years, as these files have no historical value.