Catching Up on MediaPolicy.ca: CBC mot d’n controversy continues and its licence renewal keeps a low profile.

July 9, 2022

The CRTC/Radio Canada “mot d’n” controversy raged (not an overstatement) this week especially in Québec where politicians and journalists demanded the CBC appeal the Commission’s ruling chastising two radio hosts for saying the full n-word in quoting the name of Pierre Vallières’ classic text. 

There’s much reading material to choose from: I recommend Xavier Boisrond’s piece in La Presse

Also, industry analyst Monica Auer tweeted her view that on a close reading of the Broadcasting Act the CRTC “decision” doesn’t appear to be one as defined in the legislation and because of that may not be appealable (or enforceable for that matter). 

The Commission ruling does not cite any violation of the Radio Regulations (which contain the Commission’s Abusive Comment and Equitable Portrayal Codes) or any of Radio Canada’s licence conditions. It would be an interesting turn of events if the CBC —which is under pressure to appeal— sat on its hands and did not act on the Commission’s directives to apologize and edit the online audio file and then see what the CRTC did next.

While eyes were fixed on this controversy, the Commission’s renewal of the CBC’s licence flew under the radar. It is a mere 270 pages in length featuring tectonic shifts in licence conditions followed by fire-breathing dissents: I posted about that here with a follow-up scheduled for next week.

Everyone knows about the Rogers service outage but some may have missed the news that the mediation efforts between Shaw, Rogers and the Competition Bureau failed to deter the Bureau’s effort to block the $26 Billion merger. 

That means the Bureau will commence its case before the Competition Tribunal in November. The Alberta government announced it intends to seek intervenor status before the Tribunal, possibly to support the merger which includes Rogers’ promise to create 500 new jobs in Calgary. Québecor also joined in to support its proposed purchase of Freedom Wireless assets.

The hearing should be a nerd-fest of competition law and industry jargon, still CPAC should televise this one.

Published by

Howard Law

I am retired staff of Unifor, the union representing 300,000 Canadians in twenty different sectors of the economy, including 10,000 journalists and media workers. As the former Director of the Media Sector and as an unapologetic cultural nationalist, I have an abiding passion for public policy in Canadian media.

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