Conservatives Looking for Broadcast Act Changes

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National Politics

Ottawa, ON – Alain Rayes, Conservative Shadow Minister for Canadian Heritage, Official Languages & Quebec Economic Development, and Garnett Genuis, Conservative Shadow Minister for International Development and Human Rights, released the following statement on preventing promotion of human rights abuses:

“Canadians are deeply concerned about abuses of human rights that take place around the world, and about regimes that use media to promote and glorify those abuses.

“The promotion and glorification of human rights abuses by state-controlled foreign media has no place in Canada. Allowing foreign states who are violating human rights to promote those abuses or dispel legitimate criticism on Canadian channels runs counter to our Canadian values and to the principle of free and open conversation.

“Therefore, Conservative will be introducing amendments to the Broadcasting Act which would prevent broadcasting licences being issued to an organization that is subject to direction or controlled by a non-democratic foreign state, by a foreign state that is committing genocide or crimes against humanity, or that transmits, produces, or participates in the production of forced confessions. This will combat attempts by hostile state actors to spread misinformation and celebrate the abuse of fundamental human rights.

“Conservatives are committed to advancing justice and human rights both at home and around the world. We call on all member of the Heritage committee and all Members of Parliament to support these important amendments.”

The proposed amendments to Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act, to prevent promotion of human rights abuses can be found here:

13.1 The Act is amended by adding the following after subsection 22(1):

(1.1) In addition to subsection (1), no licence shall be issued, amended or renewed under this Part in relation to a broadcasting undertaking, including one that distributes foreign programming, that, in the opinion of the Commission, is subject to direction or control by a foreign state that is not a democratic state or that is committing, or is governed by a party who has committed, genocide or crimes against humanity.

(1.2) If the Commission is of the opinion that an existing licence meets the criteria set out in subsection (1.1), it must immediately suspend the licence until an investigation of the matter has been completed.

13.1 The Act is amended by adding the following after subsection 22(1):

(1.1) In addition to subsection (1), no licence shall be issued, amended or renewed under this Part in relation to a broadcasting undertaking, including one that distributes foreign programming, that transmits, produces or participates in the production of forced confessions, except where brief audio-visual portions of such confessions are transmitted as part of a news program.

(1.2) After receiving a complaint in relation to subsection (1.1), the Commission must, without delay, investigate the complaint and publish a report on the matter on its website within 30 days following receipt of the complaint.