The Minister of Canadian Heritage has assured the House of Commons that the next chair of the CRTC will be fluent in both of Canada’s official languages. The government has been taking heat for appointing a unilingual anglophone as Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick and a Governor-General who does not speak French.
A former senior general counsel at the Department of Justice has told members of parliament studying the Online Streaming Act that the bill “lacks a foundation in Canadian constitutional law” because internet streaming services do not transmit to the public by radio waves nor do they operate telecommunications facilities that cross provincial boundaries.
The government’s attempt to create a brand new threshold of “reasonable general concern” for the search of personal digital devices at Canada’s border crossings is necessary because of the presence of the evidence of drug trafficking, child pornography, and “hate propaganda” on devices like cell phones, according to the minister responsible for the legislation.
A Walt Disney Company executive is questioning rules around Canadian content, claiming that some of its Canada-specific stories do not qualify as CanCon while American-based stories qualify, and is calling for the government to develop a more “flexible” approach to CanCon in the Online Streaming Act.
The CRTC has found that Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron did not contravene its regulations or video-on-demand exemption order, after BCE Inc. filed a complaint that the company was giving itself and advantage by offering its Hélix TV Vrai hybrid video-on-demand (HVOD) service at a lower price compared to its direct-to-consumer (DTC) version.
Amongst those independent internet service providers (ISPs) who had been pleading with the federal government to overturn the CRTC’s 2021 reversal of a 2019 decision that drastically lowered the rates those ISPs paid for access to incumbent networks, reaction to Thursday’s proposed policy direction was like the policy itself: decidedly mixed.
BCE Inc.’s Bell Mobility Inc. has lost an application before the CRTC about Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron Ltd. over the Quebec firm’s use of Bell’s wholesale roaming service. In a letter Wednesday, the commission dismissed the filing and urged the parties to negotiate between themselves.