Public consultation for federal broadcast and telecom review will start this September

The government's panel has established a workplan for its 18-month project

The federal government’s panel for redrafting the country’s broadcast, telecom and radio laws announced it would kick off its public consultations this September, in a June 28th, 2018 statement.

The panel of seven, which consists mainly of lawyers and law professors, reported that it sat down in Ottawa on June 26th and 27th, 2018 to discuss its first steps under the leadership of Janet Yale, a former executive vice-president at Telus.

The group said it established a workplan for its 18-month project during its first meetings and will continue to meet regularly over the course of the summer.

The panel also identified a first priority: the development of a consultation plan as well as an approach to meeting its research needs.

“The work of the Review Panel takes place against the backdrop of sweeping change,” the panel wrote in the same June 28th statement.

“Existing models for delivery, access, creation and financing are being disrupted by new digital technologies and a variety of other factors. The Review Panel will seek to generate concrete recommendations for legislative change in this transformational context.”

The group also confirmed its intention to consult with “a full cross-section of voices from all corners of the country including our Indigenous, minority and two official-language communities.”

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Navdeep Bains and Canadian Heritage minister Mélanie Joly announced the review on June 5th, 2018.

The ministers placed an emphasis on considering which changes are needed to support the affordability and availability of telecom services, while expressing the need to examine how to build on Canada’s existing net neutrality framework.

The panel was also asked to look at how to assist in the creation of Canadian content and consider recommendations made by the Canadian broadcast regulator regarding what critics are calling an ‘internet tax’ to benefit Canadian content, among other things.

The panel will deliver an interim report next June.

Source: ISED