Broadcasting Act (S.C. 1991, c. 11)
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Act current to 2023-03-06 and last amended on 2020-07-01. Previous Versions
PART IIObjects and Powers of the Commission in Relation to Broadcasting (continued)
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note: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).
(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.
Marginal note: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.
(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.
Marginal note: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.
(6) The Minister shall consult with the Commission before the Governor in Council makes an order under subsection (1).
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note: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.
(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).
Marginal note:Definition of sitting day of Parliament
(5) In this section, sitting day of Parliament means a day on which either House of Parliament sits.
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note: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.
(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.
(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).
- 1991, c. 11, s. 9
- 1994, c. 26, s. 10(F)
Marginal note: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.
(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.
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note: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.
(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.
(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.
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note: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.
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,
(a.1) any person has done or is doing any act or thing in contravention of section 34.1,
(a.2) any person has failed to do any act or thing that the person is required to do under sections 42 to 44 of the Accessible Canada Act or has done or is doing any act or thing in contravention of any of those sections, 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.
Marginal note:Mandatory orders
(2) The Commission may, by order, require any person to do, without delay 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 under this Part, under any regulation, licence, decision or order made or issued by the Commission under this Part or under any of sections 42 to 44 of the Accessible Canada Act and may, by order, forbid the doing or continuing of any act or thing that is contrary to this Part, to any such regulation, licence, decision or order, to section 34.1 or to any of sections 42 to 44 of the Accessible Canada Act.
Marginal note: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 re-hear any matter before deciding it.
- 1991, c. 11, s. 12
- 2014, c. 39, s. 191
- 2019, c. 10, s. 161
Marginal note: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.
(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.
Marginal note: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.
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.
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note: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.
(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).
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note: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
Marginal note: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).
(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.
Marginal note: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.
Marginal note:Place of hearing
(4) A public hearing under this section may be held at such place in Canada as the Chairperson of the Commission may designate.
- 1991, c. 11, s. 18
- 2001, c. 34, s. 32(E)
- Date modified: