Broadcasting, Telecommunications Acts review panel calls for comments as consultations get underway

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OTTAWA – The panel reviewing the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts has officially kicked off its public consultations with a call for comments from stakeholders and interested parties.

On Tuesday, the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel, as it is formally known, released Responding to the New Environment: A Call for Comments which asked for feedback under the following four broad themes:

  • Reducing barriers to access by all Canadians to advanced telecommunications networks;
  • Supporting creation, production and discoverability of Canadian content;
  • Improving the rights of the digital consumer; and
  • Renewing the institutional framework for the communications sector.

“The Panel is committed to providing relevant, practical and implementable recommendations to government”, reads the call for comments. “To this end, those submissions that offer not just perspective and insight but detailed suggestions, are evidence-based and include relevant legal or policy research, and measures or models adopted in other jurisdictions would be valuable. Specific areas of proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Act, Radiocommunication Act, and Broadcasting Act would also be helpful.”

The deadline for written submissions is November 30, 2018. Submissions may be submitted through the online feedback form, by email to [email protected], or in hardcopy format by mail to: The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel, c/o Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 1st Floor – 235 Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5.

Written submissions will be made publicly available through the panel’s website after the deadline.

The panel added that it will also participate in various industry and academic conferences, as well as stage meetings with experts, creators, stakeholders and other interested parties, including those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities, as part of its consultation process.

“Our Panel’s work will rely, in part, on attracting a wide cross-section of input, perspectives and opinions” said panel chair Janet Yale, in a statement. “We look forward to receiving submissions from a large and varied number of voices and from all corners of the country”.

The seven member panel of thinkers and experts in the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications fields will make recommendations to the government on how best to overhaul the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Radiocommunication Act. It pledged to issue a report next spring detailing what it has heard during this consultation process, and will announce then if any further consultations will be undertaken in advance of its final report which is due by January 31, 2020.

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