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Referendum Act (S.C. 1992, c. 30)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2019-08-28 and last amended on 2005-12-31. Previous Versions

Referendum Broadcasts

Marginal note:Provision of free broadcasting time

  •  (1) In the period beginning on Thursday, the eighteenth day before polling day, and ending on the second day before polling day, every network operator

    • (a) that reaches the majority of those Canadians whose mother tongue is the same as that in which the network broadcasts,

    • (b) that is licensed with respect to more than a particular series of programs or type of programming, and

    • (c) that does not involve any distribution undertaking within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act,

    shall, subject to the regulations made pursuant to that Act and to the conditions of its licence, make available, at no cost, to registered referendum committees for the transmission of referendum announcements and other programming produced by or on behalf of those committees an aggregate of three hours of broadcasting time during prime time.

  • Marginal note:Determination of population reached

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a network is deemed to reach

    • (a) people resident within those areas served by broadcasting stations affiliated to the network that

      • (i) in the case of A.M. radio stations, are enclosed by the night-time interference-free official contour of the stations,

      • (ii) in the case of F.M. radio stations, are enclosed by the fifty microvolt per metre official contour of the stations, and

      • (iii) in the case of television stations, are enclosed by the Grade B official contour of the stations; and

    • (b) people resident outside the areas described in paragraph (a) to whom the signals of broadcasting stations affiliated to the network are available via distribution undertakings licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Marginal note:Allocation of free broadcasting time

  •  (1) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall, before Sunday, the twenty-second day before polling day, allocate the broadcasting time to be made available under section 21 among the registered referendum committees that are entitled to be considered for the allocation, in such manner that the time is allocated equally to committees that support the referendum question and committees that oppose it.

  • Marginal note:Committees entitled to be considered

    (2) A registered referendum committee is entitled to be considered for the allocation of broadcasting time if it

    • (a) applied for registration under section 13 before Tuesday, the twenty-seventh day before polling day;

    • (b) indicated in the application that it wishes to be considered for the allocation, on which network it wishes the time to be made available to it and whether it supports or opposes the referendum question; and

    • (c) paid a deposit of five hundred dollars in legal tender or a certified cheque made payable to the Receiver General.

  • Marginal note:Criteria

    (3) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall allocate broadcasting time in a manner that is fair to all the registered referendum committees entitled to be considered for the allocation and that is not contrary to the public interest, and, in considering the allocation of broadcasting time to a particular registered referendum committee, the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall consider whether

    • (a) the committee represents a significant regional or national interest;

    • (b) allocation to the committee would be equitable having regard to the different views expressed on the referendum question; and

    • (c) the referendum announcements and other programming proposed by the committee would be directly related to the referendum question.

  • Marginal note:Additional information

    (4) In order to allocate broadcasting time, the Broadcasting Arbitrator may request additional information from any registered referendum committee entitled to be considered for the allocation.

  • Marginal note:Notification

    (5) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall, as soon as possible after completing the allocation and, in any event, not later than Monday, the twenty-first day before polling day, send a notice in writing of the allocation to every registered referendum committee considered for the allocation, every network affected by the allocation and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

  • Marginal note:Deposits

    (6) The deposit paid by a registered referendum committee entitled to be considered for an allocation of broadcasting time

    • (a) shall be returned to the committee, if it is not allocated time or uses all the time allocated to it; or

    • (b) is forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada, if the committee does not use all the time allocated to it.

  • Marginal note:Allocation binding

    (7) An allocation of broadcasting time to be made available by a broadcasting network is final and binding on the network and on all registered referendum committees entitled to be considered for the allocation.

Marginal note:Information to registered referendum committees

 The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall, on request, provide all registered referendum committees that are entitled to be considered for the allocation of broadcasting time with the names and addresses of all network operators.

Marginal note:Free time not referendum expense

  •  (1) The commercial value of any free broadcasting time made available to a registered referendum committee under section 21 shall be deemed not to be a referendum expense.

  • Marginal note:Free time not commercial time

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection 21(1), the Broadcasting Act, any regulations made under that Act and any conditions of a licence of a network operator, free broadcasting time shall not be considered to be commercial time.

Marginal note:Notice of preference

  •  (1) Each registered referendum committee to which free broadcasting time is allocated shall, not later than Tuesday, the twentieth day before polling day, send to each network operator that is to provide the time a notice in writing of the days and hours when the committee wishes the time to be made available to it.

  • Marginal note:Consultation

    (2) Within two days after receiving the notice, the network operator shall consult with the registered referendum committee that sent the notice for the purpose of reaching an agreement on the days and hours when the broadcasting time is to be made available to the committee.

  • Marginal note:Where no agreement

    (3) Where no agreement is reached under subsection (2), the matter shall be referred to the Broadcasting Arbitrator and the Arbitrator shall forthwith decide the days and hours when broadcasting time is to be made available to the registered referendum committee and give notice of the decision to the committee and the network operator.

  • Marginal note:Factors

    (4) In making a decision under subsection (3), the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall take into account the following principles:

    • (a) that each registered referendum committee should, as far as possible, have the freedom and flexibility to determine the actual broadcasting time it wishes to be made available to it; and

    • (b) that any broadcasting time to be made available to any registered referendum committee should be made available fairly throughout prime time.

  • Marginal note:Decision binding

    (5) A decision under subsection (3) is final and binding on the registered referendum committee and on the network operator.

Marginal note:C.R.T.C. guidelines

  •  (1) The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission shall, not later than three days after the issue of the writs of referendum, send to the Broadcasting Arbitrator guidelines respecting the application of the Broadcasting Act and the regulations made under that Act to network operators in relation to the referendum.

  • Marginal note:Broadcasting Arbitrator guidelines

    (2) The Broadcasting Arbitrator shall, not later than five days after the issue of the writs of referendum, issue to all network operators

    • (a) guidelines covering

      • (i) the allocation of free broadcasting time under this Act,

      • (ii) the procedures for booking free broadcasting time by registered referendum committees, and

      • (iii) such other matters as may be pertinent to the conduct of network operators under this Act; and

    • (b) the guidelines sent to the Broadcasting Arbitrator pursuant to subsection (1).

 
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