Communications Legislative Review

Goodmans LLP is advising multiple clients on the potential implications of the review on foreign over-the-top services in Canada.

On June 5, 2018, the Federal Government launched an 18-month review of the Telecommunications Act, Broadcasting Act and Radiocommunications Act (the “Legislative Review”), with the objective to “update and modernize the legislative framework in a balanced way without increasing the cost of services to Canadians”.

On January 29, 2020, the final report of the Legislative Review was published and recommended extensive legislative amendments, among other things, to ensure that foreign over-the-top services contribute in some manner to the Canadian broadcasting system, bringing online news services under the jurisdiction of the CRTC and introducing regulation of program producers’ commercial relationships with broadcasters and foreign over-the-top services.

On February 2, 2022, the Government introduced Bill C-11 to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. Bill C-11 replaces Bill C-10, which had been introduced on November 3, 2020 but died on the order paper when the federal election was called in September 2021. Among other things, Bill C-11 proposes to modernize the Broadcasting Act to bring Canadian and foreign businesses that provide audio or audiovisual content online within its scope and require such businesses to report to the CRTC and make financial and programming contributions to the Canadian broadcasting system. Once adopted, it will result in profound changes to the Canadian broadcasting industry for years to come.