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Broadcasting Act (S.C. 1991, c. 11)

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Act current to 2024-02-06 and last amended on 2023-06-22. Previous Versions

PART IIObjects and Powers of the Commission in Relation to Broadcasting (continued)

Provision of Information by Commission

Marginal note:Minister or Chief Statistician

 The Commission shall, on request, provide the Minister or the Chief Statistician of Canada with any information submitted to the Commission in respect of a broadcasting undertaking.

Marginal note:Access to information

 Subject to section 25.3, the Commission shall proactively make available for public inspection any information submitted to the Commission in the course of proceedings before it.

Marginal note:Confidential information

  •  (1) A person who submits any of the following information to the Commission may designate it as confidential:

    • (a) information that is a trade secret;

    • (b) financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential and that is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the person who submitted it; or

    • (c) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected

      • (i) to result in material financial loss or gain to any person,

      • (ii) to prejudice the competitive position of any person, or

      • (iii) to affect contractual or other negotiations of any person.

  • Marginal note:Information not to be disclosed

    (2) Subject to subsections (4), (5) and (7), if a person designates information as confidential and the designation is not withdrawn by that person, no person described in subsection (3) shall knowingly disclose the information, or knowingly allow it to be disclosed, to any other person in any manner that is intended or likely to make it available for the use of any person who may benefit from the information or use it to the detriment of any person to whose business or affairs the information relates.

  • Marginal note:Persons who shall not disclose information

    (3) Subsection (2) applies to any person referred to in any of the following paragraphs who comes into possession of designated information while holding the office or employment described in that paragraph, whether or not the person has ceased to hold that office or be so employed:

    • (a) a member of, or a person employed by, the Commission;

    • (b) in respect of information disclosed under paragraph (4)(b) or (5)(b), the Commissioner of Competition appointed under the Competition Act or a person whose duties involve the carrying out of that Act and who is referred to in section 25 of that Act;

    • (c) in respect of information provided under section 25.1, the Minister, the Chief Statistician of Canada or an agent of or a person employed in the federal public administration.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of information submitted in proceedings

    (4) If designated information is submitted in the course of proceedings before the Commission, the Commission may, while protecting the privacy of Canadians,

    • (a) disclose the information or require its disclosure if the Commission determines, after considering any representations from interested persons, that the disclosure is in the public interest; and

    • (b) disclose the information or require its disclosure to the Commissioner of Competition on the Commissioner’s request if the Commission determines that the information is relevant to competition issues being considered in the proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of other information

    (5) If designated information is submitted to the Commission otherwise than in the course of proceedings before it, the Commission may, while protecting the privacy of Canadians,

    • (a) disclose the information or require its disclosure if, after considering any representations from interested persons, the Commission considers that the information is relevant to a matter arising in the exercise of its powers or the performance of its duties and functions and determines that the disclosure is in the public interest; and

    • (b) disclose the information or require its disclosure to the Commissioner of Competition, on the Commissioner’s request, if the Commission considers that the information is relevant to competition issues that are related to such a matter.

  • Marginal note:Information disclosed to Commissioner of Competition

    (6) Neither the Commissioner of Competition nor any person whose duties involve the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act and who is referred to in section 25 of that Act shall use information that is disclosed

    • (a) under paragraph (4)(b) other than to facilitate the Commissioner’s participation in proceedings referred to in subsection (4); or

    • (b) under paragraph (5)(b) other than to facilitate the Commissioner’s participation in a matter referred to in subsection (5).

  • Marginal note:Information inadmissible

    (7) Designated information that is not disclosed or required to be disclosed under this section is not admissible in evidence in any judicial proceedings except proceedings for failure to submit information required to be submitted under this Act or for forgery, perjury or false declaration in relation to the submission of the information.

General Powers of the Governor in Council

Marginal note:Directions

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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).

Marginal note:Directions – Free Trade Agreement

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, issue directions

    • (a) requiring the Commission to implement paragraphs 1 and 4 of Annex 15-D of the Agreement and specifying the manner in which, and the date on or before which, those paragraphs are to be implemented;

    • (b) respecting the manner in which the Commission shall apply or interpret paragraph 3 of that Annex; and

    • (c) requiring the Commission to cancel any measure taken by the Commission in the implementation of paragraph 4 of that Annex on the date the Agreement ceases to have effect, or such later date as the Governor in Council may specify.

  • Marginal note:Consultation

    (2) The Minister shall consult with the Commission with regard to any direction proposed to be issued by the Governor in Council under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Directions binding

    (3) A direction issued under subsection (1) is binding on the Commission from the time it comes into force.

  • Marginal note:Definition of Agreement

    (4) In this section, Agreement has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act.

Marginal note:Setting aside or referring decisions back to Commission

  •  (1) If the Commission makes a decision under section 9 to issue, amend or renew a licence, the Governor in Council may, within 180 days after the date of the decision, on petition in writing of any person received within 45 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).

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note:Powers on reference back

    (3) Where a decision is referred back to the Commission under this section, the Commission shall reconsider the matter and, after a 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 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.

  • (4) [Repealed, 2023, c. 8, s. 22]

  • (5) [Repealed, 2023, c. 8, s. 22]

Marginal note:Filing of petitions

  •  (1) Every person who petitions the Governor in Council under subsection 28(1) shall at the same time send a copy of the petition to the Commission.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

Marginal note:Amendment of schedule

 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

Marginal note:Decisions and orders final

  •  (1) Except as provided in this Part, every decision and order of the Commission is final and conclusive.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

Prohibition

Marginal note:Carrying on broadcasting undertaking

  •  (1) A person shall not carry on a broadcasting undertaking unless

    • (a) they do so in accordance with a licence issued to them; or

    • (b) they are exempt, under an order made under subsection 9(4), from the requirement to hold a licence.

  • Marginal note:Exception — online undertaking

    (2) Despite subsection (1), a person may carry on an online undertaking without a licence and without being so exempt.

Offences

Marginal note:Broadcasting contrary to Act

 Every person who contravenes section 31.1 is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable

  • (a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $25,000 for each day that the offence continues; or

  • (b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $250,000 for each day that the offence continues.

Marginal note:Contravention of regulation or order

 Every person who contravenes 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 of not more than $25,000 for a first offence and of not more than $50,000 for each subsequent offence; or

  • (b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $250,000 for a first offence and of not more than $500,000 for each subsequent offence.

Marginal note:Defence

 A person is not to be found guilty of an offence under section 32 or 33 if they establish that they exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

Marginal note:Limitation

 Proceedings in respect of an offence under section 33 may be instituted within, but not after, two years after the day on which the subject matter of the proceedings arose.

 

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