Broadcasting and Telecommunications Panel launches consultations

News release

September 25, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel launched its consultation process today with the release of 'Responding to the New Environment: A Call for Comments'.

The call for comments, which will form the heart of the consultations process, will allow the Panel to receive written submissions from stakeholders and other interested parties. These written submissions will be publicly available after the deadline for submissions on November 30, 2018.

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

The Panel's consultation process will also include participating in a number of industry and academic conferences and meeting with a cross-section of experts, creators, stakeholders and other interested parties, including those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities.

As set out today in its call for comments, the Panel has identified four broad themes that are intended to help guide its work and structure meaningful dialogue during its consultation process:

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

The consultations mark a key step before the Panel makes recommendations to the Government. The Panel's recommendations will ensure that the legislation governing Canada's communications sector takes full advantage of the benefits of the digital age. The Panel consists of seven experts in the fields of Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications.

The Panel's core objectives were established in early June with the release of a Terms of Reference by the Government of Canada. A final report will be presented to the government by January 31, 2020. The Panel's aim is to provide relevant, practical and implementable recommendations to the government.

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Janet Yale, who chairs the panel, is currently the president and CEO of The Arthritis Society. She has a long history in the communications sector, having previously served as Executive Vice-President at TELUS and the President and CEO of the Canadian Cable Television Association. Ms. Yale also served as a Director General at the CRTC and as General Counsel at the Consumers Association of Canada. She is recognized as a leader in the not-for-profit sector, and currently serves on the boards of Samara, the Ottawa Art Gallery and Business for the Arts.

Peter S. Grant is Counsel and past Chair of the Technology, Communications and Intellectual Property Group at law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto. He is considered a pioneer in the field of communications law in Canada. His practice touches all areas of communications law—broadcasting and cable television, satellite services, copyright, mass media and press law, cultural industries and telecommunications.

Hank Intven is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria where he teaches telecommunications, broadcasting and Internet law. He has practiced law with a major law firm for more than 30 years. He is recognized as a leading advisor to business, governments and regulators in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries in Canada and internationally.

Marina Pavlovi is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa and a member of its Centre for Law, Technology and Society. Her expertise is in consumer rights in the digital society, and technology policy and regulation. Prior to joining the University of Ottawa in 2007, she was an in-house counsel for a telecommunication company and also practiced in the area of international commercial arbitration.

Monique Simard has a long and distinguished track record in the cultural industries. She was President and CEO of the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) from 2014 to 2018 and was previously Director General of the National Film Board of Canada's French Program. Ms. Simard was Commissioner of the Commision de la personne du Québec from 1983 to 1988. In April 2018, she was appointed as Chair of the Board of the Quebecor Fund.

Monica Song leads the Communications Law practice at Dentons Canada LLP. She has over 20 years of experience as a leading Canadian lawyer in telecommunications and broadcasting, with in-depth knowledge of the legal, regulatory and public policy issues affecting the communications industry.

Pierre Trudel is a law professor at the Public Law Research Center of the Université de Montréal. He has also been a visiting professor at Université Laval (Québec City), at Université de Paris II (Panthéon-Assas) and at Université de Namur (Belgium). From 1986 to 1988, he was the research director for the Caplan-Sauvageau Task Force on Broadcasting Policy. He currently teaches and researches cyberspace law.