Highlights from the proposed policy directions to the CRTC

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What are policy directions?

Under the Broadcasting Act, the Governor in Council can provide directions to the CRTC on policy matters of broad application. The proposed policy directions give binding, high-level instructions to the CRTC as it implements the Online Streaming Act.

The proposed policy directions are published in a draft form in Canada Gazette, Part I. Following the public consultation, which was held from June 10 to July 25, 2023, finalized policy directions will be published in Canada Gazette, Part II.

Highlights from the proposed policy directions to the CRTC

Ensure meaningful participation of Indigenous persons

The proposed policy directions reflect the importance of support and engagement that aim to further reconciliation and narrative sovereignty, support programming in Indigenous languages, and help address the repercussions of historical injustices and colonial legacies that have contributed to an underrepresentation of Indigenous stories and Indigenous-owned broadcasting undertakings in Canada’s broadcasting landscape.

Exclude social media creators

Building on provisions in the Broadcasting Act that ensure social media users are not regulated by the CRTC, policy directions would further ensure that individual users’ and social media creators’ content cannot be regulated. The proposed policy directions would only allow social media services to be regulated in respect of content that is both posted by broadcasters, and has been broadcast on a TV, radio, online streaming or another broadcasting service.

Support diversity and inclusion

The CRTC would be directed to meaningfully engage with Black and other racialized communities, official language minority communities (OLMCs), and other equity-seeking groups regarding support for the creation, availability and discoverability of programming made by members of these communities and groups. Expenditure requirements should support the creation of programming by creators from these groups and communities, taking into consideration challenges they face.

The CRTC would also be directed to regulate and supervise the broadcasting sector in a way that supports programming being available without barriers to persons with disabilities.

Support Canadian creators and media

The CRTC would be directed to ensure that the broadcasting sector will maximize its use of Canadian creators and strongly support the creation and discovery of diverse Canadian programming.

Discoverability and showcasing

The CRTC would be directed to consider different methods of discoverability and showcasing for Canadian programs, focusing on outcomes. It would be directed to, where possible, increase choice for users and to give streaming services flexibility in how they showcase Canadian programs.

Redefine Canadian programs

The CRTC would be directed to prioritize its examination of how it defines Canadian programs in the audio and audio-visual sectors. Its definition should, among other things:

Create an equitable, flexible and adaptable regulatory framework

The CRTC would be directed to create clear rules for all broadcasters requiring them to contribute to the creation, production and distribution of Canadian stories and music in a way that is flexible and fair. The CRTC would be encouraged to be adaptable in their approach, taking different business models into account and considering how to coordinate with other regulators.

Refer to the full policy directions for more details

For more information, see the text of the proposed policy directions and the regulatory impact assessment statement.

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