Leila Wright to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security


Ottawa, Ontario
February 8, 2024

Leila Wright, Executive Director of Telecommunications
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Check against delivery

Good morning and thank you for inviting us to appear before your Committee. 

Before I begin my remarks, I would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people.

I am joined today by my colleagues Steven Harroun, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, and Anthony McIntyre, General Counsel.

The CRTC is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that operates at arm’s length from the government. We hold public hearings on telecommunications and broadcasting matters, and we make decisions based on the public record. 

In the telecommunications industry, our work focuses on increasing competition for Internet and cellphone services. We do this by promoting greater choice and affordability for Canadians, encouraging investment in reliable and high-quality networks, and improving access to telecommunications services in Indigenous, rural, and remote communities. We also have a team that helps protect Canadians from unwanted emails, texts, and online scams.

The CRTC plays a small part in the federal government’s effort to protect the security of Canada’s telecommunications system. Other organizations that contribute to this effort include the Communication Security Establishment, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Canadian Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, and many others.

The CRTC does not have a role within the proposed Critical Cyber Systems Protection Act. Additionally, many of the proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Act establish new authorities exclusively for the Governor in Council and Minister of Industry, and do not modify the CRTC’s regulatory mandate under the Act.

However, there are a few changes that would be relevant to the CRTC’s work, and three in particular that I would like to acknowledge.

First, the proposed amendment to section 7 would add a new policy objective focused on promoting the security of the Canadian telecommunications system. As with other policy objectives set out in the Act, this addition would allow the CRTC to expressly consider how our decisions could further this new objective.

Second, the addition of section 15.6 would facilitate information sharing between a broader group of security-focused government departments and agencies and the CRTC, for the purpose of ensuring compliance with orders and regulations made by the Governor in Council and the Minister.

And third, section 47 would require the CRTC to take into account any orders or regulations made by the Governor in Council or the Minister in our decision-making.

Should Parliament adopt Bill C-26, the CRTC will be ready to implement amendments made to the Telecommunications Act that affect our work.

Thank you for inviting us to speak with you today. We look forward to your questions.


Media Relations

General Inquiries
Toll-free 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
TTY 819-994-0423

Stay Connected
Follow us on Twitter @CRTCeng
Like us on Facebook

Page details

Date modified: