Top News

  • The Canadian communications landscape began 2023 with a change at the top of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), as Vicky Eatrides took her place as the new Chair on January 5. Eatrides will be supported by a team of new Vice-Chairs in Alicia Barin (Broadcasting) and Adam Scott (Telecommunications). The CRTC's senior leadership team can be found here.
  • The Rogers-Shaw merger received final approval in March, 2023 when Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne approved the transfer of spectrum licences from Shaw's Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc.'s Vidéotron. The $26 billion transaction closed on April 3, 2023. Fasken's Communications Law team was pleased to support Rogers and Shaw in seeking key telecommunications and broadcasting regulatory approvals at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the CRTC since the transaction was first announced in March 2021.
  • On the legislative front, Bill C-11 - the Online Streaming Act received Royal Assent at the end of April after working its way through the parliamentary process for over two years. This was followed swiftly by the CRTC issuing its Regulatory Plan to modernize Canada's broadcasting system, containing a plan with a phased approach to important consultations. The CRTC subsequently issued three Broadcasting Notices of Consultation with important deadlines in June, 2023:
    • CRTC 2023-198, The Path Forward – Working towards a modernized regulatory framework regarding contributions to support Canadian and Indigenous content
    • CRTC 2023-139, Proposed Regulations for the Registration of Online Streaming Services and Proposed Exemption Order regarding those Regulations
    • CRTC 2023-140, Review of exemption orders and transition from conditions of exemption to conditions of service for broadcasting online undertakings

In other significant legislative news:

  • Bill C-26, An Act respecting cyber security, amending the Telecommunications Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts passed second reading in the House of Commons in March, 2023 and was referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
  • Bill C-27, An Act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts passed second reading in the House of Commons in April and was referred to the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology.

Neither Committee has commenced their respective studies at the time of publication.


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Notices of Consultation

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