Review on Official Languages 2014-15

General Information

Minister responsible:

Name: Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Deputy Head:

Name: Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Official Languages Champion:

Name: Scott Hutton, Executive Director, Broadcasting

Name of the person responsible for official languages (Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act):

Name: John Traversy

National coordinator for the implementation of section 41 (Part VII) of the Official Languages Act:

Name: Renée Gauthier

Name(s) of the regional contact person(s) for section 41 of the OLA (if applicable)

Name: N/A

Common Questions - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

1 - Governance of Official Languages

Indicator 1 – Effectiveness of measures in place to ensure strong leadership in the area of official languages throughout the institution.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) The institution has a distinct official languages action plan or has integrated precise and complete objectives into another planning instrument in order to ensure respect of its obligations with regard to Parts IV, V, VI and VII (section 41) of the OLA. X Yes (include copy)
No (Explain)
 

Clarifications (Optional):

With respect to Part VII, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has developed a Three-Year Action Plan to implement Section 41 of the Official Languages Act (OLA) and the annual reviews of results. The Action Plan 2014–2017 (see Appendix A), as well as the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 annual reviews can be consulted in the Official Languages and Official Language Minority CommunitiesFootnote 1 section of the CRTC Web site.

2 - Monitoring of Official Languages

Indicator 1 – Effectiveness of measures in place to regularly monitor the implementation of the OLA.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) Mechanisms are in place to regularly monitor the implementation of Parts IV, V, VI and VII (section 41) of the OLA and to inform the deputy head of the results. X Yes (Explain)
No
N/A (Explain)
 

Clarifications (Optional):

As an administrative tribunal, the CRTC is subject to various legal requirements, including a number of requirements imposed by common law regarding the conduct of its hearings. In keeping with these obligations, and as is the case with all Commission proceedings affecting the rights, interests or privileges of persons, the Commission provides interested persons, including OLMCs, with an opportunity to make submissions on relevant issues, and reaches its decisions on the basis of the record properly before it.

The CRTC has instituted a practice whereby an analysis of the record associated with a given proceeding must be prepared with a view to integrating, in a systemic fashion, the objectives of subsection 41(1) of the OLA. This analysis forms part of the Commission's deliberations. The CRTC has developed a tool, known internally as "Lens 41", which has been systematically integrated into the decision process for proceedings that affect OLMCs. The Lens 41 analysis serves to assess the effects that a given decision or policy will have on OLMCs, and to better ensure that the vitality and development of these communities are fostered, recognizing both the context of the specific mandate entrusted to the CRTC through the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, as well as the limits imposed by this legislation.

All information documents regarding public hearings and all memoranda for Commission meetings also include a cover page entitled "Document at a Glance", which contains a section where staff can indicate whether the record presents issues regarding official languages and minority communities.

Where such considerations exist, staff must check the appropriate box and specify where exactly in the document the relevant Lens 41 analysis can be found. This mechanism draws the attention of decision makers on staff's determination that a specific file has impacts on Official Languages and that these implications are addressed in the document.

Staff analysis on Lens 41 serve as a discussion base at Commission meetings, so all Commissioners, as well as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer are informed of OLMC issues that will be the subject of deliberations and decision processes.

Concretely, the implementation of Section 41 of the OLA translates as regulatory policies, changes to regulations and the imposition by the Commission of conditions of licence on broadcasting undertakings, as well as the setting of expectations for these entities in individual decisions on the awarding of licences. The Commission places great importance on licensees respecting their regulatory obligations and conditions of licence. To confirm that broadcasting undertakings are in compliance, it may impose monitoring and reporting requirements. If the Commission is concerned about a licensee's compliance with regulatory obligations and conditions of licence, it may investigate, hear evidence and rule on the non-compliance issue. The Commission can then impose a variety of measures, such as renewing the licence for a short period, imposing an order, denying licence renewal, or suspending or revoking a licence.

The CRTC notes that, in the context of an investigation in which it was involved in 2013-2014, the Assistant Commissioner, Compliance Assurance Branch, wrote the following in a letter dated February 24, 2015 (our emphasis):

" The CRTC clearly demonstrated, during the investigation, that its public hearing process, as well as its internal measures (creation of the CRTC-OLMC discussion group, which constitutes a forum for meetings and discussion, development of the Lens 41 analysis document, the obligation for CRTC analysts to use this analysis grid in preparing the file that is mandatorily submitted to CRTC commissioners, who take into account the content of this file in their deliberations) take OLMC needs and interests into account. This led us to conclude that the CRTC fulfilled its obligations under Part VII of the Act.

The Commissioner concludes that the CRTC's internal process systematically incorporates an analysis enabling it to assess the impact that a decision or policy that it is considering adopting may have on one or more OLMCs and to take this analysis into account in its decision-making process. "

Measurement Criterion Measure
d) Mechanisms are in place to ensure that the institution remains systematically informed of official language minority communities' priorities (Part VII). X Yes
No
N/A (Explain)
 

Clarifications (Optional):

CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group

The CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group (the Group) is a concrete example of the Commission's efforts with respect to its initiatives to stay informed of OLMC priorities, needs and development.

The CRTC established the Group in 2007, as part of its Three-Year Action Plan (2006–2009) to implement section 41 of the OLA. Today, the Group's activities still help the Commission, within the limits of its mandate, to enhance the vitality and support the development of OLMCs, and to promote Canada's linguistic duality.

Twenty-eight organizations (including English- and French-language OLMC representatives) from across Canada belong to the Group (see Appendix B). Other members are the Department of Canadian Heritage, federal partner of the Commission, as well as the CRTC's Official Languages Champion, Scott Hutton, the CRTC's national coordinator for the implementation of Section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA, Renée Gauthier, and the CRTC's sectoral coordinators (see Appendix C).

The Group is a forum for exchange, communication and cooperation, to enable OLMCs and the CRTC to identify means to maximize OLMC participation in CRTC public proceedings and follow up as needed so that the Commission can take OLMC realities into account in the analyses and deliberations leading to its decisions. The Group meets twice yearly at the CRTC's offices, or via teleconference or videoconference.

Between Group meetings, OLMC organizations are proactively informed of recently launched proceedings that, in the opinion of CRTC staff, might concern them. OLMCs are thereby informed of proceedings whose outcome could affect them, and have an opportunity to make their views and concerns known to the Commission through the filing of submissions. As a result, the Commission is better able to meet the needs and aspirations of these communities, within the limits of its mandate.

Internal Official Languages Committee

The Official Languages Committee, created in 2003 and chaired by the Official Languages Champion, is made up of representatives from each CRTC sector along with the national coordinator for the implementation of Section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA. Its mandate is to promote use of both official languages in a fair manner, and to heighten employee and manager awareness of respecting the spirit of OLA and, more specifically, the obligations stipulated in parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. This Committee meets several times yearly to plan its awareness activities within the CRTC. The Committee also develops official language strategies and best practices. The Internal Official Languages Committee is kept informed of the priorities, needs and concerns of OLMCs. It also publishes bilingual Frequencies (email messages distributed across the CRTC), which serve as a reminder of the CRTC's official language obligations.

Other sources of information

CRTC staff members also stay abreast of community priorities by monitoring the work of the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages, the work of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the publications of the Department of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Treasury Board Secretariat and Statistics Canada, as well as by visiting the Web sites of OLMC representatives. This information is shared with the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, the person responsible for official languages, the Official Languages Champion, the national coordinator for the implementation of Section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA, the sectoral coordinators as well as the Internal Official Languages Committee.

Measurement Criterion Measure
e) Mechanisms are in place to determine and document the impact of the institution's decisions on the implementation of Parts IV, V, VI and VII (section 41) of the OLA (such as adopting or reviewing a policy, creating or abolishing a program, or establishing or eliminating a service point). X Yes
No
N/A (Explain)
 

Clarifications (Optional):

Please refer to the answer to question 2a). In addition, in its decisions, the CRTC publishes the reasons supporting its rulings that have an impact on the implementation of Part VII of the OLA.

Measurement Criterion Measure
f) When the institution's monitoring activities or mechanisms show shortcomings or deficiencies steps are taken and documented to improve or rectify the situation quickly. X Yes
No
N/A (Explain)
 

Clarifications (Optional):

The CRTC has always taken into account the interests of OLMCs in its decisions. However, to prevent shortcomings or deficiencies, emails are sent to staff to remind them of the Commission's obligations with respect to Section 41 of the OLAand explain how to proceed to ensure the Commission fully meets these obligations.

To ensure systematic implementation of the CRTC policy regarding Section
41 of the OLA, training and information sessions are provided to all commissioners, managers, employees and sectoral coordinators, to inform them of their roles and responsibilities, as defined in the policyFootnote 2.

For example, in 2014-2015, 44 new employees who joined the ranks of the CRTC received training on the CRTC policy regarding Section
41 of the OLAduring "CRTC-U" new employee orientation sessions.

Again with the aim of heightening awareness and informing its staff, the CRTC has also made additions to its Web page Official Languages and Official Language Minority Communities presenting OLMC profiles.

Last, during the accountability process, coordination and horizontal communication enable the Commission to determine whether there are improvements to be made the next year.

Questions from Canadian Heritage

7 – Development of official-language minority communities and promotion of English and French in the Canadian society (Part VII of the OLA)

Ongoing Dialogue

1. How does your institution ensure that it is aware of the priorities and needs of French-speaking communities outside Quebec and English-speaking communities in Quebec and to take them into account?

Please specify:

  1. The mechanisms used.
  2. The organizations/communities whom you were in contact with.
  3. How did you take these priorities into account?
a) Means employed by the CRTC to learn the needs and priorities of French-speaking communities outside Quebec and English-speaking communities in Quebec

CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group

The CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group (the Group) is a concrete example of the Commission's efforts with respect to its initiatives to stay informed of the priorities, needs and development of the French-speaking communities [outside] Quebec and English-speaking communities in Quebec.

The CRTC established the Group in 2007 as part of its Three-Year Action Plan (2006–2009) to implement Section 41 of the Official Languages Act (OLA). Today, the Group's activities still help the Commission, within the limits of its mandate, to enhance the vitality and support the development of OLMCs, and to promote Canada's linguistic duality.

Twenty-eight organizations (including English- and French-language OLMC representatives) from across Canada belong to the Group (see Appendix B). Other members are the Department of Canadian Heritage, federal partner of the Commission, as well as the Commission's Official Languages Champion, Scott Hutton, the Commission's national coordinator for the implementation of Section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA, Renée Gauthier, and the Commission's sectoral coordinators (see Appendix C).

The Group is a forum for exchange, communication and cooperation, to enable OLMCs and the Commission to identify means to maximize OLMC participation in Commission public proceedings and follow up as needed, so the Commission can take OLMC realities into account in the analyses and deliberations leading to its decisions. The Group meets twice yearly at the Commission's offices or via teleconference or videoconference.

The Group met in November 2014 and March 2015. At these two meetings, the organizations belonging to the Group were invited to raise their concerns, share their priorities and needs and ask questions to Commission staff members in attendance in the official language of their choice.Footnote 3 Certain CRTC staff members also took the opportunity to recap Commission decisions that had an impact on OLMCs and to present a few relevant future proceedings.

At the November 2014 meeting, Suzanne Gouin, President and Chief Executive Officer of TV5 Québec-Canada addressed the members of the Group. The launch of the Unis channel,Footnote 4 a service that offers high-quality French-language programming to all Canadians, including those who live in OLMCs and who are currently under-represented in the Canadian broadcasting system, was the main focus of her presentation. There was a question period and discussion between members and Ms. Gouin. Feedback from members revealed the importance they gave to Ms. Gouin's participation and their appreciation of her involvement.

It was the first time the CRTC gave a broadcaster the opportunity to address the Group. In light of the favourable response from OLMCs at this meeting, the CRTC plans to continue to foster networking between OLMCs and broadcasters, to heighten the awareness of the latter to the needs, concerns and priorities of OLMCs.

At the March 2015 meeting, the 2015-2016 Work Plan for the GroupFootnote 5 was discussed and carried (see Appendix A). The Work Plan was prepared by the organizations representing OLMCs belonging to the Group and identified OLMC priorities for a two-year period in relation to activities planned by the CRTC in its three-year plan.Footnote 6

Media such as television and radio, which are regulated by the Commission, are vectors for the social cohesion of OLMCs. By engaging and maintaining a dialogue with the representatives of these communities, particularly those of the Group, the Commission is better able to effectively target the needs of OLMCs and understand the role the media play in the development of these communities. In addition, this dialogue also makes it possible for OLMCs to underscore the importance of making themselves visible and of receiving content dedicated to their communities. By supporting the participation of OLMCs in the Commission's public proceedings, the Commission is better equipped to take into account the interests of OLMCs in its analyses and deliberations. In short, through its activities, the Group contributes to the development and vitality of OLMCs.

The Group's existence means the Commission is well-positioned to stay attuned to OLMCs. The Commission takes responsibility for inviting Group members via email to

Furthermore, whenever possible, the Commission notifies OLMCs of decisions it has taken that could have an impact on them.Footnote 7

Last, for the annual accountability exercise, the Commission coordinates and collaborates closely with Group members to prepare its Three-year Action Plan for Official Languages and annual reports in order to implement Section 41 of the OLA.

Mutual ties and regular exchanges

In addition to Group meetings, OLMC and CRTC staff members maintain regular ties, formal and informal, and exchanges that foster ongoing dialogue and heightened mutual understanding. CRTC experts and sectoral coordinators are also often called on to answer individual requests from OLMCs.

CRTC public proceedings

As indicated in answer to question 2b), as an administrative tribunal, the CRTC is subject to various legal requirements, including certain requirements imposed by common law with regards to the conduct of its hearings. In keeping with these obligations, and as is the case with all Commission proceedings affecting the rights, interests or privileges of persons, the Commission provides interested persons, including OLMCs, with an opportunity to make submissions on relevant issues, and reaches its decisions on the basis of the record properly before it.

Other sources of information

CRTC staff also stay abreast of community priorities by monitoring the work of the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages, the work of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the publications of the Department of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Treasury Board Secretariat and Statistics Canada, as well as by visiting the Web sites of OLMC representatives. This information is shared with the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, the person responsible for official languages, the Official Languages Champion, the national coordinator for the implementation of Section 41 of the OLA, the sectoral coordinators as well as the Internal Official Languages Committee.

b) Organizations/communities with which the CRTC has been in contact

Please refer to the list of Group members in Appendix B.

c) How the CRTC has taken these priorities into account

CRTC decisions

As indicated in the answer to question 2), the CRTC has instituted a practice whereby an analysis of the record associated with a given proceeding must be prepared with a view to integrating in a systemic fashion the objectives of subsection 41(1) of the OLA. This analysis forms part of the Commission's deliberations. The CRTC has developed a tool, known internally as "Lens 41", which has been systematically integrated into the decision process for proceedings that affect OLMCs. The Lens 41 analysis serves to assess the effects that a given decision or policy will have on OLMCs, and to better ensure that the vitality and development of these communities are fostered, recognizing both the context of the specific mandate entrusted to the CRTC through the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act, as well as the limits imposed by this legislation.

All information documents regarding public hearings and all memoranda for Commission meetings also include a cover page entitled "Document at a Glance", which contains a section where staff can indicate whether the record presents issues regarding official languages and minority communities. Where such considerations exist, staff must check the appropriate box and specify where exactly in the document the relevant Lens 41 analysis can be found. This mechanism draws the attention of decision makers on staff's determination that a specific file has impacts on Official Languages and that these implications are addressed in the document in order to apply, monitor and report on Section 41, Part VII of the OLA.

Staff analysis on Lens 41 serve as a discussion base at Commission meetings, so all Commissioners, as well as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer are informed of OLMC issues that will be the subject of deliberations and decision processes. When published, the decisions explicitly reflect the thoughts and conclusions of the Commission on the matter.

Concretely, the implementation of Section 41 of the OLA translates as regulatory policies, changes to regulations and the imposition by the Commission of conditions of licence on broadcasting undertakings, as well as the setting of expectations for these entities in individual decisions on the awarding of licences. The Commission places great importance on licensees respecting their regulatory obligations and conditions of licence. To confirm that broadcasting undertakings are in compliance, it may impose monitoring and reporting requirements. If the Commission is concerned about a licensee's compliance with regulatory obligations and conditions of licences, it may investigate, hear evidence and rule on the non-compliance issue. The Commission can then impose a variety of measures, such as renewing the licence for a short period, imposing an order, denying licence renewal, or suspending or revoking a licence.

Tangible Support

2. Did your institution provide support (financial or other types of support) for projects or initiatives that contributed to the development of official-language minority communities or to the promotion of English and French in Canadian society?

If yes, please:

  1. Describe these projects or initiatives.
  2. Identify which type(s) of support (financial or other).
  3. Explain their impacts on the development of official-language minority communities and on the promotion of English and French in Canadian society.
    Please indicate if your institution has other specific programs or initiatives that could be of interest to official-language minority communities.

N/A

Key Collaborations

3. Did your institution collaborate with other federal institutions or stakeholders (municipalities, provinces, territories, private sector) as part of a program, project or other initiative aimed at the development of official-language minority communities or the promotion of English and French in Canadian society?

If yes, please:

  1. Describe each of these collaborations and each of these partnerships.
  2. Indicate who your partners were.
  3. Identify the tangible results for the development of official-language minority communities or for the promotion of English and French in Canadian society.

Collaboration with Canadian Heritage

The CRTC actively participates in all meetings of national coordinators for the implementation of Section 41 of the OLA. At each meeting, the national coordinator invites one or two other staff members to join her, to heighten their awareness of the issues and concerns of OLMCs. Canadian Heritage has always been receptive to this practice.

The CRTC obtained a map from Canadian Heritage showing communities that have at least one school whose primary language of instruction is the minority language. The data used are from the 2011 Census of Canada. The CRTC has posted this map on its Web page Official Languages and Official Language Minority Communities. Furthermore, the CRTC has printed a blow-up of this map and placed it in clear view on each floor of its headquarters. The CRTC wishes to sincerely thank Canadian Heritage for having fulfilled its request.

To ensure accountability, CRTC staff members closely collaborate with the Interdepartmental Coordination Directorate, Official Languages Support Program. The results of this collaboration are summaries of reports that the Department of Canadian Heritage and Official Language submits annually to Parliament regarding the achievements of designated financial institutions. The main result of such collaboration is improved quality of our accountability as a federal institution.

Working with the Champion Network

The CRTC actively participates in all meetings organized by the Champion Network. After these meetings, the Official Languages Champion shares with the CRTC Steering Committee and the Internal Official Languages Committee the Canadian public service's unified vision for official languages, best practices, new issues identified by the Champion Network and values related to official languages, thereby promoting harmonized coordination, shared information and the governance of official languages within the CRTC and the federal public service.

For example, a detailed report on the Official Languages Good Practices Forum, held on February 26, 2014, was written and shared internally by the Official Languages Champion. The CRTC has also made Statistics Canada's April 2014 Portrait of Official-Language Minorities in Canada available on its Official Languages and Official Language Minority Communities Web site.

Broadcasting and telecommunications industries

The Commission raises awareness among Canadians and the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors that it regulates during its public proceedings affecting OLMCs.

For example, throughout the "Let's Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians" process, launched in October 2013 through Broadcasting Notice of Invitation CRTC 2013-563, the Commission invited Canadians, including OLMCs, to share their points of view on their television system and what they would like to change.

The Commission first made the announcement by asking Canadians what they thought about the shows on television and how they access them. It also asked Canadians to say whether they had enough information to make choices about television programming, and if they knew who to talk to if they were not satisfied. The Commission provided Canadians with a number of ways to participate in this first phase of the conversation. In fact, besides traditional methods, the Commission launched an online discussion and gave Canadians the chance to organize Flash! conferences, a unique way to join in the discussion. Participants, including OLMCs, were quick to respond enthusiastically. The Commission received more than 1,300 comments through all of the channels made available to Canadians. It also received reports on the 26 Flash! conferences, in which consumer groups, industry associations, OLMCs, schools and universities participated. The Commission then published "Let's Talk TV: A Report on Comments Received during Phase I."

During the second phase, which began in February 2014, Canadians were invited to fill out the interactive questionnaire "Let's Talk TV: Choicebook," which was designed based on the comments received during the first phase. In the questionnaire, the Commission asked Canadians to consider a number of scenarios that could result from changes to the television system, and to look at the difficult choices that could be examined as part of this proceeding, including a specific scenario on the representation of OLMCs on screen. These scenarios aimed to give Canadians the opportunity to compare their needs and interests with those of other Canadians, while taking into account the Commission's mandate. More than 7,500 people filled out the questionnaire. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer was personally involved and led two discussions on Twitter (one in French and one in English) to answer Canadians' questions about the "Let's Talk TV" initiative.

On April 24, 2014, the Commission launched the third phase of Let's Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians. Phase three was a formal review of the Commission's policy approach with respect to the television system, based on the issues and priorities identified by Canadians in the first two phases. In Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-190, Notice of Hearing: Let's Talk TV, the Commission

Throughout this extensive process, organizations presented many detailed submissions about OLMCs' realities, including observations made on behalf of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

Tangible Results

4. If your institution had to highlight three key initiatives or more in relation to the development of official-language minority communities, which ones would those be?

  1. Describe these initiatives.
  2. What are the tangible impacts of these initiatives on/in the official-language minority communities?
  3. What do you think is the determining success factor for these initiatives?
1. Let's Talk TV

The Commission led an extensive consultation with Canadians on the future of their broadcasting system. This two-year process resulted in a roadmap to maximize choice and affordability for Canadian television viewers, measures to support the creation of Canadian-made content for Canadian and international audiences, and measures to equip Canadian television viewers.

Tangible results

Five decisions were issued following this extensive process, including the Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-96 Let's Talk TV: A World of Choice - A roadmap to maximize choice for TV viewers and to foster a healthy, dynamic TV market ("A World of Choice"), in which the Commission indicated the following:

"The public record of this proceeding suggests that the current regulatory measures meet OLMC needs across Canada. The record also shows that these measures are not cost-prohibitive and are generally supported by BDUs. Consequently, the Commission considers it appropriate to generally maintain the current regulatory requirements, while adapting them to reflect changes to the framework resulting from this process and to provide more flexibility to BDUs with respect to the television services they offer. Specifically, the Commission will put in place the following measures:

The above-noted changes will not have a significant effect on the overall number of discretionary services in the language of the minority being distributed by BDUs, but will allow various BDUs to differentiate themselves in the market.

Moreover, as noted earlier in this policy, the Commission will also allow licensed terrestrial and DTH providers to apply for a condition of licence authorizing them to distribute as part of the entry-level service offering one out-of-province educational service in each official language in provinces or territories where there is no designated educational service. This measure would ensure greater distribution of educational television services across the country without constraining BDUs' flexibility. It would also have a positive impact on OLMCs in both language markets as Canadians would have access to more quality programming in the language of their choice, including programming intended for children and youth.

The Commission notes that terrestrial BDUs have in the past offered a number of French-language services together in a package in French-language markets, as required under the current regulations. In order to further ensure that citizens in OLMCs across Canada see themselves reflected in their programming, the Commission strongly encourages BDUs to offer French-language packages, regardless of the market where they operate."

In addition, the Commission ensured that BDUs took into account Canadians' concerns about affordability. By March 2016, Canadians will be able to sign up for an entry-level television service that will not cost more than $25 per month; this will be an alternate solution to the basic services currently offered by cable and satellite distribution companies.

The entry-level television service will include

By December 2016, Canadians will be able to subscribe to channels on a pick-and-pay basis, as well as in small packages. In addition, they will be able to choose to keep their current television services, without making changes, if these meet their needs and their budget.

During the Let's Talk TV conversation, Canadians were clear: they wanted more choices on the market. The Commission is making sure that Canadians have the ultimate choice. Viewers can subscribe to as few or as many channels as they want, or if they prefer, they can keep their current packages. This decision, along with other changes presented by the CRTC, particularly those on 30-day cancellation policies, give consumers more tools to shop and to negotiate agreements more to their advantage.

Determining success factor

After having reviewed all of the regulatory measures it has implemented over the years to ensure the Canadian broadcasting system reflects Canada's language duality and the needs of both official language minority communities are met, the Commission concluded that the measures are still relevant in the current context and kept them.

2. Montreal community channel

Following a complaint, the Commission concluded, among other things, that the Greater Montreal community channel MAtv does not adequately represent Montreal's communities, particularly the diversity of its linguistic, ethnic and cultural communities, as well as Aboriginal communities. The Commission required that this community channel take tangible measures to better serve the communities of Greater Montreal, including OLMCs. Videotron must also form a citizens' advisory committee, which will be responsible for ensuring that the programming better serves the communities of Greater Montreal.

In a separate record, the CRTC approved Videotron's request to create an English-language community channel to serve the communities of Greater Montreal.

Tangible results

The Group's member organizations have often told Commission staff that there is no community television for them. As for English-language organizations, they have regularly raised concerns regarding the fact that they lost their local station when Videotron acquired CFCF.

Greater Montreal is home to just over half of Quebec's Canadian-born Anglophones and nearly three-fourths of Anglophone immigrants.Footnote 8 Videotron now has two options to ensure that the communities of Greater Montreal, including English-language OLMCs, are represented on screen:

Determining success factor

Community television plays an important role in many Canadian communities. It must reflect local identity, and let people know what is happening in their area and around the world. Through these decisions, the CRTC ensures that all of the communities of Greater Montreal, including OLMCs, will be better served by their community television. Allowing Greater English-language community to showcase its institutions will foster its development. This will make it possible for community members to identify with what is on screen and participate if they want.

Related links: Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-32, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-31

3. New approach with respect to tangible benefits for television

When there is a transfer of ownership or control involving television programming companies, the Commission generally expects the applicant to take on specific and clear commitments regarding tangible benefits. In the case of traditional television programming companies, pay and speciality, the Commission generally expects that the proposed contributions represent 10% of the transaction's value, as established by the Commission. Furthermore, according to the Commission's general approach, most of the tangible benefits (around 85%) should serve to generate shows on screen.

Further to the review of its tangible benefits policy in 2014-2015, the Commission now requires that at least 80% of all tangible benefits relating to a change in the effective control of a television company be allocated to the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and to Commission Certified Independent Production Funds (CIPFs). Of this amount, at least 60% should be directed to the CMF and a maximum of 40% to CIPFs. Lastly, a contribution of no more than 20% of tangible benefits can be directed to discretionary projects.

Tangible results

The CMF's programs for French- and English-language productions in minority settings were designed to encourage productions that reflect the everyday realities of OLMCs. These programs have specific budgets for French- and English-language OLMCs. Tangible benefits relating to the change of effective control of a television company will be directed to these envelopes, thereby increasing the funding of new innovative and diverse shows from OLMCs.

Determining success factor

New innovative shows from OLMCs will certainly increase the representation of OLMCs on all Canadian screens.

5. If your institution had to highlight three key initiatives or more in relation to the promotion of English and French in Canadian society (Please do not confuse with obligations related to services to the public or language of work, e.g. bilingual Web sites or language training for staff), which ones would those be?

  1. Describe these initiatives.
  2. What are the tangible impacts of these initiatives on the Canadian society?
  3. What do you think is the determining success factor for these initiatives?
1. CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group

The CRTC-OLMC Discussion Group (the Group) is a concrete example of the Commission's efforts with respect to its initiatives to stay informed of OLMC priorities, needs and development.

The CRTC established the Group in 2007 as part of its Three-Year Action Plan (2006–2009) to implement Section 41 of the Official Languages Act (OLA). Today, the Group's activities still help the Commission, within the limits of its mandate, to enhance the vitality and support the development of OLMCs, and to promote Canada's linguistic duality.

Nearly 30 organizations (including English- and French-language OLMC representatives) from across Canada belong to the Group. Other members are the Department of Canadian Heritage, federal partner of the Commission, as well as the Commission's Official Languages Champion, Scott Hutton, the Commission's national coordinator for the implementation of Section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA, Renée Gauthier, and the Commission's sectoral coordinators.

The Group is a forum for exchange, communication and cooperation, to enable OLMCs and the Commission to identify means to maximize OLMC participation in Commission public proceedings and follow up as needed, so the Commission can take OLMC realities into account in the analyses and deliberations leading to its decisions. The Group meets twice yearly at the Commission's offices or via teleconference or videoconference.

Owing to the Group's existence, the Commission is well positioned to respond to OLMCs. Through email, the Commission invites Group members to

Furthermore, whenever possible, the Commission notifies OLMCs, by email, of decisions it has taken that could have an impact on them.Footnote 9

Tangible results

As a forum for exchange, communication and cooperation between Commission staff and OLMC representatives, the Group has, since 2007:

Determining success factor

Media such as television and radio, which are regulated by the Commission, are vectors for the social cohesion of OLMCs. By engaging and maintaining a dialogue with the representatives of these communities, particularly those belonging to the Group, the Commission is better able to target their needs and understand the role that these particular media play in the development of these communities. In addition, this dialogue also makes it possible for OLMCs to underscore the importance of making themselves visible and of receiving content dedicated to their communities. By supporting the participation of OLMCs in the Commission's public proceedings, the Commission is better equipped to take into account the interests of OLMCs in its analyses and deliberations. In short, through its activities, the Group contributes to the development and vitality of OLMCs.

2. The Commission's appearing hearings

For the public hearings that take place across the country, the Commission ensures that translators (simultaneous interpreters) are present in order to guarantee that Canadians can participate in the official language of their choice.

Regarding transcriptions, in order to comply with the OLA, the Commission's minutes will be bilingual for the cover page, the list of members and CRTC staff participating in the public hearing, as well as the table of contents. However, the publication mentioned above is a textual report of deliberations and, as such, is recorded and transcribed in one of the two official languages, according to the language used by the participant in the public hearing.

Tangible results

Canadians have access to the discussions held at the hearings in the official language of their choice, which fosters civic participation in public proceedings that have real impacts on citizens' daily lives.

Determining success factor

Canadians can participate in the Commissions' public hearings in both official languages.

Link to the CRTC's calendar of public hearings: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/process/pcal2015.htm

3. Speeches by CRTC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer given in both official languages

Within his mandate as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC, Jean-Pierre Blais delivers speeches to different audiences in order to share national interest issues that fall under the Commission's mandate. The Chairman makes sure he gives part of his speeches in each official language, to ensure that they reach a wider audience and adequately represent the two official languages across the country.

In addition, all speeches given by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer as well as Vice-chairpersons, Commissioners and senior management on the CRTC Web site are available in both official languages at the same time, regardless of the language in which most of the speech was delivered.

b) Tangible results

Canadians can experience Canada's linguistic duality through the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer's speeches.

c) Determining success factor

The public use of French and English by senior public servants fosters the vitality and use of both official languages. Canadians feel connected to the Chairman's speeches, regardless of their own official language.

Link to the Chairman's speeches: http://www.crtc.gc.caeng/com200/media2015.htm

6. What is the “key achievement” with a regional impact (success stories or results in official-language minority communities or on the promotion of English and French in Canadian society) that your institution would like to highlight?

Following a complaint, the Commission concluded, among other things, that the Greater Montreal community channel MAtv does not adequately represent Montreal's communities, particularly the diversity of its linguistic, ethnic and cultural communities, as well as Aboriginal communities. The Commission required that this community channel take tangible measures to better serve the communities of Greater Montreal, including OLMCs. Videotron must also form a citizens' advisory committee, which will be responsible for ensuring that the programming better serves the communities of Greater Montreal.

In a separate record, the CRTC approved Videotron's request to create an English-language community channel to serve the communities of Greater Montreal.

Tangible results

The Group's member organizations have often told Commission staff that there is no community television for them. As for English-language organizations, they have regularly raised concerns regarding the fact that they lost their local station when Videotron acquired CFCF.

Greater Montreal is home to just over half of Quebec's Canadian-born Anglophones and nearly three-fourths of Anglophone immigrants.Footnote 10 Videotron now has two options to ensure that the communities of Greater Montreal, including English-language OLMCs, are represented on screen:

Determining success factor

Community television plays an important role in many Canadian communities. It must reflect local identity, and let people know what is happening in their area and around the world. Through these decisions, the CRTC ensures that all of the communities of Greater Montreal, including OLMCs, will be better served by their community television. Allowing Greater English-language community to showcase its institutions will foster its development. This will make it possible for community members to identify with what is on screen and participate if they want.

Related links: Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-32, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-31

 

APPENDICES

Appendix A - Three-Year Action Plan for Official Languages - Implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act 2014–2017

Appendix B - Discussion Group CRTC-Official Languages and Minority Communities Members

Appendix C - Resources devoted by the Commission in order to respect its obligation under part VII of the OLA

General administrator: CRTC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

The Commission's Official Languages Champion

The National Coordinator for Section 41 OLA Implementation is

The National Coordinator and sectoral coordinators must

The Commission's Official Languages Champion : Scott Hutton, Executive Director, Broadcasting     

The National Coordinator for implementation of the Section 41 OLA Implementation (Section VII) Official Languages Act: Renée Gauthier, Senior Manager, French-language Programming, Television Policy and Applications

Sectorial Coordinators

Lynn Asselin
Senior Radio Analyst
819-997-9382
lynn.asselin@crtc.gc.ca

Michel Murray
Director
Telecommunications
819-997-9300
michel.murray@crtc.gc.ca

Claude Brault
Senior Analyst
Distribution Policy and Applications
819-997-6064
claude.brault@crtc.gc.ca

Frédéric Janelle
Senior Policy Analyst
French-language Programming
819-997-4608, frederic.janelle@crtc.gc.ca

Sheehan Carter
Senior Manager
TV Operations
819-997-4530
sheehan.carter@crtc.gc.ca

Michael Craig
Manager
English Television Applications
819-997-9394
michael.craig@crtc.gc.ca

Legal counsel

Éric Bowles
Legal counsel
819-953-5204, eric.bowles@crtc.gc.ca

Appendix D – Other measures: Corporate Emails informing of obligations under article 41 of the OLAO

Reminder - Implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act

Subsection 41(1) of the Official Languages Act (OLA) voices the federal government's commitment to “enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.”

More specifically, subsection 41(2) of the OLA includes the following key directive: “Every federal institution has the duty to ensure that positive measures are taken for the implementation of the commitments under subsection (1).”

While Official Language Minority Communities' (OLMCs) interests have always been considered in the course of the Commission's decision-making, it is especially important for us to formally document and demonstrate this consideration. Under section 77 of the OLA, any person may challenge any Commission decision in Federal Court on the grounds that the interests of OLMCs have not been considered.

How do we do this?

All analysts must consider the implications of section 41 of the OLA in the context of each file they encounter. Particular consideration is to be given to the potential impact of your file on OLMCs. When applicable, discussion of these considerations must appear in all public hearing briefing materials, and any memos being sent for Commission meetings (FCM, TCM or BCM). In addition, cover sheets for these meetings have been revised to include a section for staff to indicate whether the relevant file entails any OLMC considerations.

The section 41 impact analysis, also called ‘Lens 41', is a process by which any potentially significant effects of a decision or policy on an OLMC are assessed and balanced in the course of the CRTC's decision-making process. Information on the type of analysis required to determine whether or not your file entails official languages considerations can be found in the backgrounder “Obligations of the CRTC with respect to section 41, Part VII of the Official Languages Act – Enhancement of English and French”.

Finally, it is important that the decision explicitly reflects the Commission's consideration and determination in that regard. For more information, contact your resource person for the implementation of section 41 of the OLA, Renée Gauthier, at 997-4835.Renée Gauthier, Resource Person

Published: 3 February 2015

A Word from Hulk (The Commission's Official Languages Champion)

When he is not in the process of saving the planet with the Avengers, Hulk, with his renowned dedication, enforces section 41 of the Official Languages Act. This section says that all federal institutions (that Hulk is a part of!) are responsible for ensuring that positive steps are taken to implement the federal government's commitment to enhancing the vitality of the English and French minority communities in Canada and for supporting their development, as well as promoting the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. It is understood that this implementation is done while respecting provincial jurisdiction and powers!

This is why Hulk is always vigilant when the Commission reviews files affecting OLMCs (Official Language Minority Communities). Hulk wants the Commission to take every opportunity to enhance the vitality of these communities and support their development! He always takes the trouble to mention in his memos all the steps taken by the Commission in this regard and to clearly report to its members the potential impact of their recommendations on OLMCs.

Francophonie Month

Hulk was slightly relieved when March came: March is Francophonie Month. Hulk particularly likes this month because it reminds him of the importance of linguistic duality in his big, beautiful country and marks the beginning of spring!

In addition to highlighting the contributions to Francophonie throughout March, Hulk eagerly awaited March 20th, which is International Francophonie Day. This year, the day's theme was “J'ai à ma planète” [I cherish my planet]. And for someone who loves Earth as much as Hulk does, this was a truly special day!

His renowned dedication: La ferveur qu'on lui connaît

To eagerly await: Attendre fébrilement

To cherish something: Avoir quelque chose à cœur

Published: 31 March 2015

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