It's Canada's turn in the carousel of attempts at terrible internet regulation around the world. The ruling Liberal party...

Somebody please tell me if anyone involved in writing this thing has any understanding of how any online services work?



I wasn’t involved with writing the article nor the legislation, but I state my stance below.

I legit think this is an over-reaction to the bill, and I’m no fan of the Liberals.

We have to start from the point that Canada is different from the United States. Canada has a smaller population, economy and hence has less influence. In addition to that the cultural similarities between the countries mean that “Canadian culture” has less influence within Canada itself.

The CRTC, is an organization dedicated for the promotion of Canadian cultural media which entails a certain amount of demotion of American cultural media. From the start, it was mean to safeguard Canadian media production. As said in the article, it was first introduced for radio and television airwaves, now it’s the 21st century, and it’s finally coming to the internet. As such, as stated in the article, streaming companies need to comply and now need to promote Canadian content. In this new age this expansion of provision serves to protect Canadian media production.

Also, unlike the U.S., we have campaign regulation and as such political content will be regulated. Again this is just the expansion of the rules to a new domain. We have minimum broadcast laws for parties and coverage rules for elections, again this is just extending it to the internet. And as always Canada is different to the United States.

The only issue I have is user generated content. This is a bit of a wild card. This is because both a random person and a news organization produce user-generated content on websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but one will be subject to CRTC rules while the other is not. I’m almost certain this realization is the reason for the clause’s removal. Besides, we have a separate and independent supreme court. If the regulation violates the Charter rights of people than the courts will protect people. What’s important here is that corporations aren’t people, so they should not have Charter rights. CRTC has existed to regulate corporations. This should have been taught in civics class.

I hope you understand what I’m saying. If you have questions, just ask or read up on Canadian government websites and history.


I totally understand what you’re saying, and as far as the reaction goes, are you referring to the article, or my comment?

The scope of this article and the reaction has everything to do with them blowing the protections for user generated content. My comment is based on the notion that there isn’t a reaction big enough until they get it through their heads that they absolutely have to rework the legislation to make the protections clear for users.

That said, they’re also walking fine lines of distinction on things - I can appreciate them regulating large business and doing what they’re supposed to do, however:

  • You’ll note that they’re including “podcasts” as “professional” productions. That’s dicey to define it that way, considering some will be, some won’t. Will they clarify that they’re only going to regulate commercial entities?

  • Your comments regarding the CRTC are duly noted as to their stated purpose. However, they’ve been nothing short of a massive failure for Canadians, allowing for the mess of unified “media” companies, blocking legitimate, 100% Canadian access to our airwaves, allowing theft of content from distributors, etc. The list goes on and on and aside from enforcing “Cancon” on the few radio & TV broadcasters we have, they’ve done a great job of completely messing things up for years. I would agree with the stated purpose of the CRTC, but what we’re provided has been an abomination.


Thanks for being patient and providing a detailed response.

I was referring to the backlash in general. I also think the article and your comment were a bit too negative. However, reading this comment shows me that there is always more nuance and things I don’t know, which is good.

I hope that they only restrict the regulations to commercial entities, however again it depends on the wording. I should also note that the point of the legislative branch is to pass legislation. The legislation can be struck down or upheld in the Supreme Court. Our version of rights is different from the U.S. and our Supreme Court is not as partisan, at least not overtly. I think that’s where the distinction will be made. If the legislation is too broad the courts will enforce only the section and interpretation that upholds rights for people or struck down. I can see there is a bunch of grey areas. Personally, the line I would draw is if the poster is a person or if it is a legal commercial entity. There are sole proprietor ships, however those legal constructs are not distinct from the person it is just a way for people to produce goods and services commercially. That is also a grey area and an area of discussion, should they be included or not? I would say any and all commercial activity should be regulated, and personal activity shouldn’t. So in the case of podcasts, we already know that big corporate entities do that and small commercial entities exist as well. Those, in my opinion, should be regulated. There could also be sole proprietors that do that as well. That I can understand to be a grey area, there are a lot of “small and independent creators”. In all cases when you have a reduced barrier to entry, especially compared to radio and TV, regulation will be more invasive. What type of “podcast” should not count as being out of the scope of regulation? Should one where no one is being paid be regulated? What about frequency? If you post once a month count? I can see how invasive it is; however, we are also decreasing the barrier for people to produce content. The technology changes and so should the regulation, even it increases its reach. There is also the problem of enforcement which I can’t see how it could be done.

As in regard to the terrible record of CRTC, I can see how terrible it can be. Could you provide some sources for that, I don’t mean it as a gotcha just so that I can understand the institution better. I want more Canadian content to be available, but I understand the current layout, if it is not working, needs to be fixed. I think that our current setup as a liberal democracy, I mean our current representative setup, is not equipped to hold such institutions accountable. We are living in a different age compared to when the Constitution Act was still known as the British North America Act. For that I can see how regulation can be and done ineffectively. In my opinion, there should be new institutions that are better suited should be made. An idea, we have school trustees that oversee the school boards, could we elect trustees that oversee regulatory bodies, especially ones concerning nontechnical matters? I can understand the frustration with the CRTC, but I hope we could try to improve it or replace it. At this point I think, like all regulators, it can be corrupted.


Howdy, I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance recently to give you a decent response.

In all honesty, I think if you look at the state of communications in Canada with even the tiniest bit of a critical eye, you should be able to see the mess the CRTC has created.

Who are the Canadian TV outlets? Bell and Rogers (tiny bit of Shaw) - oh yes, the CBC, representing greater Toronto with zeal.

Who are the Canadian Radio outlets? Do you know of any outside of college radio that aren’t owned by a corporation that’s had to glom a pile of media together to maintain some semblance of a reasonable business?

Look at our disaster of a cellular service industry.

Look at our disaster of internet service.

Tell me, have you ever swung the AM or FM radio dials outside of the few major markets in Canada? Do you hear anything but static now? If it’s a dying medium, why does the CRTC still regulate it like it needs to preserve that precious bandwidth for someone who desperately needs to make a buck off of it? Even if that weren’t the issue, the small players that do try and run a legitimate business on the air have been entangled in so much pointless red tape they’ve been nearly all squished out of existence. Not because they couldn’t sell enough if things were sane, but because they couldn’t keep people around who need to continually fight the bureaucracy to try and help keep their business alive.

Why aren’t the airwaves much busier these days? Any Joe in any small town should be able to put up a community radio station if they want to… and yet… static. (And as I write this, I know of one small town radio station nearby that bucked this trend and I would love to talk to them about it sometime: - I’m definitely aware that what I’m saying isn’t absolute, not at all)

For fun, you could do a search for something like “crtc denies small radio”

Tell me - is the CRTC serving Canadians well by wrapping up a small town volunteer radio station in such a brutally densely stupid pack of regulations?

They may well have sorted through the red tape and been able to move forward, but oh my good lord - as that ruling notes, there’s all of 3 other radio stations in Whitehorse and they want this one to produce news, not play pop-ish radio and drag people in to their studios from wherever to make the content really local (regardless of whether ‘local’ in that area has a geographic span of a few thousand square KMs or not). Why? Why waste everyone’s time with this? Yes, they need to regulate appropriately, but this isn’t it, it’s just stifling.

I could go on and on (unfortunately, heh!) about it all, they need a massive overhaul of the regulations before there truly is nothing but static out there (and bills like C-10 will just begin to shift all their nonsense on to the Internet, which will be nothing but harmful).

What’s going on in Canada?

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