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Legislative changes possible in grey market fight: Wernick, Helm

News | 11/22/2001 5:00 am EST

Legislative changes may be necessary to clarify that grey market satellite TV activity is indeed illegal in Canada, Canadian Heritage ADM Michael Wernick told the House of Commons standing committee studying Canada’s broadcasting industry on Nov. 20. If the Supreme Court of Canada backs a December 1999 B.C. Court of Appeal ruling that legalized the sale of unauthorized U.S. satellite TV services in Canada, legislative changes could be used to rectify the problem, Wernick suggested. Michael Helm, director general of the telecommunications policy branch at Industry Canada, also appeared before the committee. He said his department has been "acting aggressively" to curb illegal sellers of U.S. satellite services in the country. "American satellite services don’t have the rights (to be operating here without a licence), and so we have been reasonably aggressive in enforcing that…but we have been getting mixed decisions from the courts."

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