Broadcasting Act
Chapter B-9.01 [1991, c.11]

PART II - OBJECTS AND POWERS OF THE COMMISSION IN RELATION TO BROADCASTING


Objects

Objects
5. (1) Subject to this Act and the Radiocommunication Act and to any directions to the Commission issued by the Governor in Council under this Act, the Commission shall regulate and supervise all aspects of the Canadian broadcasting system with a view to implementing the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) and, in so doing, shall have regard to the regulatory policy set out in subsection (2).
Regulatory policy
(2) The Canadian broadcasting system should be regulated and supervised in a flexible manner that
(a) is readily adaptable to the different characteristics of English and French language broadcasting and to the different conditions under which broadcasting undertakings that provide English or French language programming operate;
(b) takes into account regional needs and concerns;
(c) is readily adaptable to scientific and technological change;
(d) facilitates the provision of broadcasting to Canadians;
(e) facilitates the provision of Canadian programs to Canadians;
(f) does not inhibit the development of information technologies and their application or the delivery of resultant services to Canadians; and
(g) is sensitive to the administrative burden that, as a consequence of such regulation and supervision, may be imposed on persons carrying on broadcasting undertakings.
Conflict
(3) The Commission shall give primary consideration to the objectives of the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) if, in any particular matter before the Commission, a conflict arises between those objectives and the objectives of the regulatory policy set out in subsection (2).

Policy guidelines and statements
6. The Commission may from time to time issue guidelines and statements with respect to any matter within its jurisdiction under this Act, but no such guidelines or statements issued by the Commission are binding on the Commission.

Policy directions
7. (1) Subject to subsection (2) and section 8 , the Governor in Council may, by order, issue to the Commission directions of general application on broad policy matters with respect to
(a) any of the objectives of the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) ; or
(b) any of the objectives of the regulatory policy set out in subsection 5(2) .
Exception
(2) No order may be made under subsection (1) in respect of the issuance of a licence to a particular person or in respect of the amendment, renewal, suspension or revocation of a particular licence.
Directions binding
(3) An order made under subsection (1) is binding on the Commission beginning on the day on which the order comes into force and, subject to subsection (4), shall, if it so provides, apply with respect to any matter pending before the Commission on that day.
Exception
(4) No order made under subsection (1) may apply with respect to a licensing matter pending before the Commission where the period for the filing of interventions in the matter has expired unless that period expired more than one year before the coming into force of the order.
Publication and tabling
(5) A copy of each order made under subsection (1) shall be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the making of the order.
Consultation
(6) The Minister shall consult with the Commission before the Governor in Council makes an order under subsection (1).

Procedure for issuance of policy directions
8. (1) Where the Governor in Council proposes to make an order under section 7 , the Minister shall cause the proposed order to be
(a) published by notice in the Canada Gazette, which notice shall invite interested persons to make representations to the Minister with respect to the proposed order; and
(b) laid before each House of Parliament.
Referral to committee
(2) Where a proposed order is laid before a House of Parliament pursuant to subsection (1), it shall stand referred to such committee thereof as the House considers appropriate to deal with the subject-matter of the order.
Implementation of proposal
(3) The Governor in Council may, after the expiration of forty sitting days of Parliament after a proposed order is laid before both Houses of Parliament in accordance with subsection (1), implement the proposal by making an order under section 7 , either in the form proposed or revised in such manner as the Governor in Council deems advisable.
Consultation
(4) The Minister shall consult with the Commission before a proposed order is published or is laid before a House of Parliament under subsection (1).
Definition of "sitting day of Parliament"
(5) In this section, "sitting day of Parliament" means a day on which either House of Parliament sits.

General Powers

Licences, etc.
9. (1) Subject to this Part, the Commission may, in furtherance of its objects,
(a) establish classes of licences;
(b) issue licences for such terms not exceeding seven years and subject to such conditions related to the circumstances of the licensee
(i) as the Commission deems appropriate for the implementation of the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1), and
(ii) in the case of licences issued to the Corporation, as the Commission deems consistent with the provision, through the Corporation, of the programming contemplated by paragraphs 3(1)(l) and (m) ;
(c) amend any condition of a licence on application of the licensee or, where five years have expired since the issuance or renewal of the licence, on the Commission's own motion;
(d) issue renewals of licences for such terms not exceeding seven years and subject to such conditions as comply with paragraph (b);
(e) suspend or revoke any licence;
(f) require any licensee to obtain the approval of the Commission before entering into any contract with a telecommunications common carrier for the distribution of programming directly to the public using the facilities of that common carrier;
(g) require any licensee who is authorized to carry on a distribution undertaking to give priority to the carriage of broadcasting; and
(h) require any licensee who is authorized to carry on a distribution undertaking to carry, on such terms and conditions as the Commission deems appropriate, programming services specified by the Commission.
Restrictions re conditions
(2) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and 28(3) , no licence of a distribution undertaking may be made subject to a condition that requires the licensee to substitute replacement material for commercial messages carried in a broadcasting signal received by that licensee.
Exception
(3) Subsection (2) does not apply in respect of a condition of a licence renewed after October 4, 1987 where before that date the licensee was complying with such a condition.
Exemptions
(4) The Commission shall, by order, on such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate, exempt persons who carry on broadcasting undertakings of any class specified in the order from any or all of the requirements of this Part or of a regulation made under this Part where the Commission is satisfied that compliance with those requirements will not contribute in a material manner to the implementation of the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) .

Regulations generally
10. (1) The Commission may, in furtherance of its objects, make regulations
(a) respecting the proportion of time that shall be devoted to the broadcasting of Canadian programs;
(b) prescribing what constitutes a Canadian program for the purposes of this Act;
(c) respecting standards of programs and the allocation of broadcasting time for the purpose of giving effect to the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) ;
(d) respecting the character of advertising and the amount of broadcasting time that may be devoted to advertising;
(e) respecting the proportion of time that may be devoted to the broadcasting of programs, including advertisements or announcements, of a partisan political character and the assignment of that time on an equitable basis to political parties and candidates;
(f) prescribing the conditions for the operation of programming undertakings as part of a network and for the broadcasting of network programs, and respecting the broadcasting times to be reserved for network programs by any such undertakings;
(g) respecting the carriage of any foreign or other programming services by distribution undertakings;
(h) for resolving, by way of mediation or otherwise, any disputes arising between programming undertakings and distribution undertakings concerning the carriage of programming originated by the programming undertakings;
(i) requiring licensees to submit to the Commission such information regarding their programs and financial affairs or otherwise relating to the conduct and management of their affairs as the regulations may specify;
(j) respecting the audit or examination of the records and books of account of licensees by the Commission or persons acting on behalf of the Commission; and
(k) respecting such other matters as it deems necessary for the furtherance of its objects.
Application
(2) A regulation made under this section may be made applicable to all persons holding licences or to all persons holding licences of one or more classes.
Publication of proposed regulation
(3) A copy of each regulation that the Commission proposes to make under this section shall be published in the Canada Gazette and a reasonable opportunity shall be given to licensees and other interested persons to make representations to the Commission with respect thereto.

Regulations respecting licence fees
11. (1) The Commission may make regulations
(a) with the approval of the Treasury Board, establishing schedules of fees to be paid by licensees of any class;
(b) providing for the establishment of classes of licensees for the purposes of paragraph (a);
(c) providing for the payment of any fees payable by a licensee, including the time and manner of payment;
(d) respecting the interest payable by a licensee in respect of any overdue fee; and
(e) respecting such other matters as it deems necessary for the purposes of this section.
Criteria
(2) Regulations made under paragraph (1)(a) may provide for fees to be calculated by reference to any criteria that the Commission deems appropriate, including by reference to
(a) the revenues of the licensees;
(b) the performance of the licensees in relation to objectives established by the Commission, including objectives for the broadcasting of Canadian programs; and
(c) the market served by the licensees.
Exceptions
(3) No regulations made under subsection (1) shall apply to the Corporation or to licensees carrying on programming undertakings on behalf of Her Majesty in right of a province.
Debt due to Her Majesty
(4) Fees payable by a licensee under this section and any interest thereon constitute a debt due to Her Majesty in right of Canada and may be recovered as such in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Publication of proposed regulations
(5) A copy of each regulation that the Commission proposes to make under this section shall be published in the Canada Gazette and a reasonable opportunity shall be given to licensees and other interested persons to make representations to the Commission with respect thereto.

Inquiries
12. (1) Where it appears to the Commission that
(a) any person has failed to do any act or thing that the person is required to do pursuant to this Part or to any regulation, licence, decision or order made or issued by the Commission under this Part, or has done or is doing any act or thing in contravention of this Part or of any such regulation, licence, decision or order, or
(b) the circumstances may require the Commission to make any decision or order or to give any approval that it is authorized to make or give under this Part or under any regulation or order made under this Part,
the Commission may inquire into, hear and determine the matter.
Mandatory orders
(2) The Commission may, by order, require any person to do, forthwith or within or at any time and in any manner specified by the Commission, any act or thing that the person is or may be required to do pursuant to this Part or to any regulation, licence, decision or order made or issued by the Commission under this Part and may, by order, forbid the doing or continuing of any act or thing that is contrary to this Part or to any such regulation, licence, decision or order.
Referral to Commission
(3) Where an inquiry under subsection (1) is heard by a panel established under subsection 20(1) and the panel issues an order pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, any person who is affected by the order may, within thirty days after the making thereof, apply to the Commission to reconsider any decision or finding made by the panel, and the Commission may rescind or vary any order or decision made by the panel or may rehear any matter before deciding it.

Enforcement of mandatory orders
13. (1) Any order made under subsection 12(2) may be made an order of the Federal Court or of any superior court of a province and is enforceable in the same manner as an order of the court.
Procedure
(2) To make an order under subsection 12(2) an order of a court, the usual practice and procedure of the court in such matters may be followed or, in lieu thereof, the Commission may file with the registrar of the court a certified copy of the order, and thereupon the order becomes an order of the court.
Effect of variation or rescission
(3) Where an order that has been made an order of a court is rescinded or varied by a subsequent order of the Commission, the order of the court shall be deemed to have been cancelled and the subsequent order may, in the same manner, be made an order of the court.

Research
14. (1) The Commission may undertake, sponsor, promote or assist in research relating to any matter within its jurisdiction under this Act and in so doing it shall, wherever appropriate, utilize technical, economic and statistical information and advice from the Corporation or departments or agencies of the Government of Canada.
Review of technical matters
(2) The Commission shall review and consider any technical matter relating to broadcasting referred to the Commission by the Minister and shall make recommendations to the Minister with respect thereto.

Hearings and reports
15. (1) The Commission shall, on request of the Governor in Council, hold hearings or make reports on any matter within the jurisdiction of the Commission under this Act.
Consultation
(2) The Minister shall consult with the Commission with regard to any request proposed to be made by the Governor in Council under subsection (1).

Powers respecting hearings
16. The Commission has, in respect of any hearing under this Part, with regard to the attendance, swearing and examination of witnesses at the hearing, the production and inspection of documents, the enforcement of its orders, the entry and inspection of property and other matters necessary or proper in relation to the hearing, all such powers, rights and privileges as are vested in a superior court of record.

Authority re questions of fact or law
17. The Commission has authority to determine questions of fact or law in relation to any matter within its jurisdiction under this Act.

Hearings and Procedure

Where public hearing required
18. (1) Except where otherwise provided, the Commission shall hold a public hearing in connection with
(a) the issue of a licence, other than a licence to carry on a temporary network operation;
(b) the suspension or revocation of a licence;
(c) the establishing of any performance objectives for the purposes of paragraph 11(2)(b) ; and
(d) the making of an order under subsection 12(2) .
Idem
(2) The Commission shall hold a public hearing in connection with the amendment or renewal of a licence unless it is satisfied that such a hearing is not required in the public interest.
Where public hearing in Commission's discretion
(3) The Commission may hold a public hearing, make a report, issue any decision and give any approval in connection with any complaint or representation made to the Commission or in connection with any other matter within its jurisdiction under this Act if it is satisfied that it would be in the public interest to do so.
Place of hearing
(4) A public hearing under this section may be held at such place in Canada as the Chairman of the Commission may designate.

Notice of hearing
19. The Commission shall cause notice of
(a) any application received by it for the issue, amendment or renewal of a licence, other than a licence to carry on a temporary network operation,
(b) any decision made by it to issue, amend or renew a licence, and
(c) any public hearing to be held by it under section 18
to be published in the Canada Gazette and in one or more newspapers of general circulation within any area affected or likely to be affected by the application, decision or matter to which the public hearing relates.

Panels of Commission
20. (1) The Chairman of the Commission may establish panels, each consisting of not fewer than three members of the Commission, at least two of whom shall be full-time members, to deal with, hear and determine any matter on behalf of the Commission.
Powers
(2) A panel that is established under subsection (1) has and may exercise all the powers and may perform all the duties and functions of the Commission in relation to any matter before the panel.
Decision
(3) A decision of a majority of the members of a panel established under subsection (1) is a decision of the panel. Consultation
(4) The members of a panel established under subsection (1) shall consult with the Commission, and may consult with any officer of the Commission, for the purpose of ensuring a consistency of interpretation of the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) , the regulatory policy set out in subsection 5(2) and the regulations made by the Commission under sections 10 and 11 .

Rules
21. The Commission may make rules
(a) respecting the procedure for making applications for licences, or for the amendment, renewal, suspension or revocation thereof, and for making representations and complaints to the Commission; and
(b) respecting the conduct of hearings and generally respecting the conduct of the business of the Commission in relation to those hearings.

Licences

Conditions governing issue, amendment and renewal
22. (1) No licence shall be issued, amended or renewed under this Part
(a) if the issue, amendment or renewal of the licence is in contravention of a direction to the Commission issued by the Governor in Council under subsection 26(1) ; and
(b) subject to subsection (2), unless the Minister certifies to the Commission that the applicant for the issue, amendment or renewal of the licence has satisfied the requirements of the Radiocommunication Act and the regulations made under that Act and has been or will be issued a broadcasting certificate with respect to the radio apparatus that the applicant would be entitled to operate under the licence.
Exception
(2) The requirement set out in paragraph (1)(b) does not apply in respect of radio apparatus, or any class thereof, prescribed under paragraph 6(1)(m) of the Radiocommunication Act.
Suspension or revocation of broadcasting certificate
(3) No licence is of any force or effect during any period when the broadcasting certificate issued under the Radiocommunication Act with respect to the radio apparatus that the holder of the licence is entitled to operate under that Act is suspended or revoked.
Issue, etc., contravening this section
(4) Any licence issued, amended or renewed in contravention of this section is of no force or effect.

Consultation between Commission and Corporation
23. (1) The Commission shall, at the request of the Corporation, consult with the Corporation with regard to any conditions that the Commission proposes to attach to any licence issued or to be issued to the Corporation.
Reference to Minister
(2) If, notwithstanding the consultation provided for in subsection (1), the Commission attaches any condition to a licence referred to in subsection (1) that the Corporation is satisfied would unreasonably impede the Corporation in providing the programming contemplated by paragraphs 3(1)(l) and (m) , the Corporation may, within thirty days after the decision of the Commission, refer the condition to the Minister for consideration.
Ministerial directive
(3) Subject to subsection (4), the Minister may, within ninety days after a condition is referred to the Minister under subsection (2), issue to the Commission a written directive with respect to the condition and the Commission shall comply with any such directive issued by the Minister.
Consultation
(4) The Minister shall consult with the Commission and with the Corporation before issuing a directive under subsection (3).
Publication and tabling of directive
(5) A directive issued by the Minister under subsection (3) shall be published forthwith in the Canada Gazette and shall be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the directive is issued.

Conditions governing suspension and revocation
24. (1) No licence shall be suspended or revoked under this Part unless the licensee applies for or consents to the suspension or revocation or, in any other case, unless, after a public hearing in accordance with section 18 , the Commission is satisfied that
(a) the licensee has contravened or failed to comply with any condition of the licence or with any order made under subsection 12(2) or any regulation made under this Part; or
(b) the licence was, at any time within the two years immediately preceding the date of publication in the Canada Gazette of the notice of the public hearing, held by a person to whom the licence could not have been issued at that time by virtue of a direction to the Commission issued by the Governor in Council under this Act.
Licences of Corporation
(2) No licence issued to the Corporation that is referred to in the schedule may be suspended or revoked under this Part except on application of or with the consent of the Corporation.
Publication of decision
(3) A copy of a decision of the Commission relating to the suspension or revocation of a licence, together with written reasons for the decision, shall, forthwith after the making of the decision, be forwarded by prepaid registered mail to all persons who were heard at or made any oral representations in connection with the hearing held under subsection (1), and a summary of the decision and of the reasons for the decision shall, at the same time, be published in the Canada Gazette and in one or more newspapers of general circulation within any area affected or likely to be affected by the decision.

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.
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.

General Powers of the Governor in Council

Directions
26. (1) The Governor in Council may, by order, issue directions to the Commission
(a) respecting the maximum number of channels or frequencies for the use of which licences may be issued within a geographical area designated in the order;
(b) respecting the reservation of channels or frequencies for the use of the Corporation or for any special purpose designated in the order;
(c) respecting the classes of applicants to whom licences may not be issued or to whom amendments or renewals thereof may not be granted; and
(d) prescribing the circumstances in which the Commission may issue licences to applicants that are agents of a province and are otherwise ineligible to hold a licence, and the conditions on which those licences may be issued.
Idem
(2) Where the Governor in Council deems the broadcast of any program to be of urgent importance to Canadians generally or to persons resident in any area of Canada, the Governor in Council may, by order, direct the Commission to issue a notice to licensees throughout Canada or throughout any area of Canada, of any class specified in the order, requiring the licensees to broadcast the program in accordance with the order, and licensees to whom any such notice is addressed shall comply with the notice.
Publication and tabling
(3) An order made under subsection (1) or (2) shall be published forthwith in the Canada Gazette and a copy thereof shall be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the making of the order.
Consultation
(4) The Minister shall consult with the Commission with regard to any order proposed to be made by the Governor in Council under subsection (1).

Directions re Free Trade Agreement
27. (1) The Governor in Council may, either on the recommendation of the Minister made at the request of the Commission or on the Governor in Council's own motion, issue directions of general application respecting the manner in which the Commission shall apply or interpret paragraph 3 of Article 2006 of the Agreement.
Effect of directions
(2) A direction issued under subsection (1) is binding on the Commission from the time it comes into force and, unless otherwise provided therein, applies in respect of matters pending before the Commission at that time.
Request of Commission
(3) The Commission may, in order to request the issuance of a direction under subsection (1), suspend the determination of any matter of which it is seized.
Definition of "Agreement"
(4) In this section, "Agreement" has the same meaning as in the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act.

Setting aside or referring decisions back to Commission
28. (1) Where the Commission makes a decision to issue, amend or renew a licence, the Governor in Council may, within ninety days after the date of the decision, on petition in writing of any person received within forty-five days after that date or on the Governor in Council's own motion, by order, set aside the decision or refer the decision back to the Commission for reconsideration and hearing of the matter by the Commission, if the Governor in Council is satisfied that the decision derogates from the attainment of the objectives of the broadcasting policy set out in subsection 3(1) .
Order on reference back
(2) An order made under subsection (1) that refers a decision back to the Commission for reconsideration and hearing shall set out the details of any matter that, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, may be material to the reconsideration and hearing.
Powers on reference back
(3) Where a decision is referred back to the Commission under this section, the Commission shall reconsider the matter and, aftera hearing as provided for by subsection (1), may
(a) rescind the decision or the issue, amendment or renewal of the licence;
(b) rescind the issue of the licence and issue a licence on the same or different conditions to another person; or
(c) confirm, either with or without change, variation or alteration, the decision or the issue, amendment or renewal of the licence.
Setting aside after confirmation
(4) Where, pursuant to paragraph (3)(c), the Commission confirms a decision or the issue, amendment or renewal of a licence, the Governor in Council may, within sixty days after the confirmation, on petition in writing of any person received within thirty days after that date or on the Governor in Council's own motion, by order, set aside the decision or the issue, amendment or renewal, if the Governor in Council is satisfied as to any of the matters referred to in subsection (1).
Reasons
(5) An order made under subsection (4) to set aside a decision or the issue, amendment or renewal of a licence shall set out the reasons of the Governor in Council therefor.

Filing of petitions
29. (1) Every person who petitions the Governor in Council under subsection 28(1) or (4) shall at the same time send a copy of the petition to the Commission.
Notice
(2) On receipt of a petition under subsection (1), the Commission shall forward a copy of the petition by prepaid registered mail to all persons who were heard at or made any oral representation in connection with the hearing held in the matter to which the petition relates.
Register
(3) The Commission shall 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).

Amendment of schedule
30. The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister made on the request of the Commission and with the consent of the Corporation, amend the schedule.

Decisions and Orders

Decisions and orders final
31. (1) Except as provided in this Part, every decision and order of the Commission is final and conclusive.
Appeal to Federal Court of Appeal
(2) An appeal lies from a decision or order of the Commission to the Federal Court of Appeal on a question of law or a question of jurisdiction if leave therefor is obtained from that Court on application made within one month after the making of the decision or order sought to be appealed from or within such further time as that Court under special circumstances allows.
Entry of appeal
(3) No appeal lies after leave therefor has been obtained under subsection (2) unless it is entered in the Federal Court of Appeal within sixty days after the making of the order granting leave to appeal.
Document deemed decision or order
(4) Any document issued by the Commission in the form of a decision or order shall, if it relates to the issue, amendment, renewal, revocation or suspension of a licence, be deemed for the purposes of this section to be a decision or order of the Commission.

Offences

Broadcasting without or contrary to licence
32. (1) Every person who, not being exempt from the requirement to hold a licence, carries on a broadcasting undertaking without a licence therefor is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable
(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars for each day that the offence continues; or
(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars for each day that the offence continues.
Contravention of regulation or order
(2) Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with any regulation or order made under this Part is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable
(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars for a first offence and not exceeding fifty thousand dollars for each subsequent offence; or
(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for a first offence and not exceeding five hundred thousand dollars for each subsequent offence.

Contravention of conditions of licence
33. Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with any condition of a licence issued to the person is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Limitation
34. Proceedings for an offence under subsection 32(2) or section 33 , may be instituted within, but not after, two years after the time when the subject-matter of the proceedings arose.

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