The Broadcasting Act blunder series with a continued examination of the “regulate everything ” approach in Bill C-10. A previous post focused on the regulation and registration requirements which make a mockery of the government’s claim that there are no licensing requirements for Internet services since the requirements are little different than what is often found in a licence. Indeed, Section 10(1)(i) gives the CRTC the power to establish regulations that could require all broadcasting undertakings – including online undertakings – to register with the Commission, pay registration fees, and face regulations on Canadian programming, advertising rules, and audit rules. Failure to comply with these regulations carries the possibility of stiff penalties.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 72: Emily Laidlaw on the Good, the Bad, and the Missed Opportunities Behind Canada’s Privacy Reform
Canada’s new privacy bill is only a couple of weeks old but it is already generating debate in the House of Commons and careful study and commentary from the privacy community. As the biggest overhaul of Canada’s privacy rules in two decades, the bill will undoubtedly be the subject of deep analysis and lengthy committee review, likely to start early in 2021. Last week’s Law Bytes podcast featured Navdeep Bains, the Innovation, Science and Industry Minister, who is responsible for the bill. This week, Professor Emily Laidlaw of the University of Calgary, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity Law, joins the podcast with her take on the good, the bad, and the missed opportunities in Bill C-11.
The Broadcasting Act blunder series takes a day off to focus on my Globe and Mail op-ed this week on the decision in Bill C-10 to remove Canadian ownership and control requirements from the Broadcasting Act. The op-ed notes that while Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has told the House of Commons that the bill seeks to safeguard cultural sovereignty, the reality is that it represents a surrender of Canadian ownership and control over the broadcasting system.
I was very pleased to participate together with CBC’s Adrian Harewood in a public event last night sponsored by the Toronto Public Library on the COVID Alert App. Over the course of 90 minutes, we addressed the background that led to the app, answered questions about concerns, and explained why Canadians should feel comfortable downloading it. The full session is embedded below.
The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 11: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Licence or Registration Required
The government’s launch of Bill C-10, the Broadcasting Act reform bill, was careful to note that it was not creating a new licensing system for Internet services. For example, the Canadian Heritage FAQ states “Canadians will still be able to watch all of their favourite programs and access their preferred services. This Bill in no way prevents online streaming services from operating in Canada, or requires them to be licensed.” Previous posts have explored why this is unlikely to be the case with the new rules leading to less consumer choice as services choose to avoid the Canadian market given the new costs and requirements imposed by the government. The Broadcasting Act blunder series continues today with the first of several posts unpacking the shift from licensing to regulation, concluding that for many services, it could be a distinction without much of a difference.