CRTC Three-Year Plan 2017-2020

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Purpose of the Three-Year Plan

The plan provides a rolling three-year horizon of key Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) activities. The document is intended to provide Canadians, industry and other interested stakeholders and groups with important information to prepare for and participate in the CRTC’s public processes. Because the communication environment evolves constantly, the CRTC may need to adjust its plan to respond to emerging issues.

Who we are and what we do

The CRTC is an administrative tribunal within the Government of Canada that is responsible for regulating and supervising Canada’s communication system in the public interest.

The CRTC operates under a number of legislative authorities and Acts of Parliament. These include the following: the CRTC Act, the Bell Canada Act, the Broadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and the Canada Elections Act, which includes provisions that established the Voter Contact Registry (VCR).

At the heart of our mandate is the duty to serve the public interest by putting Canadians at the centre of the communication system. To this end, our role encompasses consulting Canadians on communication issues of importance to them, dealing with the many applications we receive by making decisions and rules, responding to enquiries and complaints, as well as reporting to Canadians on the progress and outcomes of our work. The CRTC promotes and enforces compliance with its regulatory policies and decisions. It encourages and facilitates industry co-regulation and self-regulation through consultations, committees and working groups with various industry stakeholders. The CRTC also plays a key role in resolving industry disputes. Finally, in the current dynamic and evolving communication environment, the CRTC collaborates with various domestic and international stakeholders to leverage capacity and intelligence on a host of interrelated policy issues and questions.

What does it mean to be an administrative tribunal?

The CRTC is a specialized government agency that was established under federal legislation to develop, implement and enforce regulatory policies on the Canadian communication system. The CRTC performs a wide range of functions, including rule making and policy development, but also has the quasi-judicial powers of a superior court with respect to the production and examination of evidence and the enforcement of its decisions.

Administrative tribunals operate at arm’s length from the federal government; however, the CRTC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The CRTC’s operations are subject to the Government of Canada’s policies and guidelines, which aim to ensure management excellence and accountability to Canadians.

Regulatory principles

The CRTC’s strategic framework

Graphic representing the CRTC’s overarching objective – Canadians have access to a world-class communications system.  This overarching objective is supported by three pillars – create, connect and protect and is rooted in a commitment to management excellence.

Guided by its legislative mandate, the CRTC seeks to ensure that Canadians have access to a world-class communication system. This overarching objective is supported by three pillars — create, connect, and protect — and is rooted in a commitment to management excellence.

Create

This pillar focuses on ensuring that a wealth of Canadian content is created and made available to all Canadians on a variety of platforms. Through its orders, decisions, licensing frameworks and other regulatory activities, the CRTC encourages the creation of diverse and compelling programming that reflects the ideas, perspectives and artistic creativity of Canadians. By enabling the creation of Canadian content in entertainment and news programming, the CRTC enhances Canadians’ ability to participate in Canada’s democratic and cultural life.

The following are the CRTC’s key objectives and outcomes for Canadians under this pillar:

Connect

This pillar focuses on ensuring that Canadians can connect to a choice of accessible, innovative and quality communication services at affordable prices. Through its regulatory frameworks, the CRTC ensures that Canadians have a choice of quality and affordable communication service providers for telephone, Internet access, wireless and broadcasting distribution services. The CRTC also monitors the practices of communication service providers to ensure that all Canadians, including those with disabilities, have the means and tools to participate fully in the digital economy.

The following are the CRTC’s key objectives and outcomes for Canadians under this pillar:

Protect

This pillar focuses on ensuring that Canadians have access to information and services that enhance their safety, including protection from unsolicited communications. Through its regulatory frameworks, the CRTC promotes compliance and enforcement of laws and regulations that help ensure that Canadians have access to emergency communication services such as 9-1-1 service and public alerting systems. The CRTC also seeks to enhance the privacy and protection of Canadians by promoting and enforcing its rules and regulations related to unsolicited commercial communications.

The following are the CRTC’s key objectives and outcomes for Canadians under this pillar:

Underlying the work related to each of the pillars is a commitment to management excellence. Through continuous improvement to various processes, mechanisms and structures, the CRTC strives for effective and efficient management practices that exemplify our commitment to strong values and ethics, public accountability, client service and value for money. It also works to create a healthy, motivating work environment that is innovative, respectful and inclusive.

Ongoing Work to Fulfill our Mandate

The CRTC’s ongoing operational responsibilities include the following:

Regulatory Policy, Legislative Implementation and Regulation

Outreach and Engagement with Stakeholders and Canadians

Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement

Management Excellence and Accountability

Canadians at the Centre of their Communication System in 2016-17

In 2012, the CRTC established a plan to put Canadians at the centre of their communication system. These are some highlights for 2016-17.

Modernizing the regulatory framework for the Canadian broadcasting system
Create

Trends and factsFootnote 1

Average number of hours Canadians consume electronic media

Average number of hours Canadians watch traditional television each week
Age 2014 2015 Change from 2014
12-17 20 hours 19 hours Decrease
18-34 21 hours 20 hours Decrease
35-49 24 hours 24 hours None
50-64 33 hours 33 hours None
65+ 42 hours 42 hours None

Popularity of Canadian music artistsNote de bas de page 2

Use of streaming services by Canadians in 2015
Age 2014 2015
YouTube music videos 52% 55%
AM/FM radio 22% 23%
Personalized music 18% 20%
Podcasts 21% 22%

Dollars spent on Canadian productions

In 2014-15, $4.1 billion was spent on Canadian productions.

Canadian programming production is supported by other funding sources, including the Canada Media Fund, certified independent production funds, contributions from broadcasters and BDUs, tangible benefits, and federal and provincial tax credits. These funding sources totalled $4.1 billion in 2014-15.

Highlights of 2016-17 Activities
CompletedFootnote 3

Discoverability of Canadian Programs

In collaboration with the National Film Board, the CRTC co-hosted the Discoverability Summit on May 10 and 11, 2016. Over 200 experts in the fields of digital communications and innovation, from Canada and abroad, participated.

The Discoverability Summit provided an opportunity to explore forward-looking approaches, strategies and mechanisms to help Canadian programs stand out and be discovered by audiences who are used to abundant content unhindered by borders. Sessions focused on diverse challenges, and participants investigated ways to better navigate the fast-paced and ever-changing world of digital media today.

The Summit was a unique opportunity to spark a discussion amongst various interveners from Canada and the world about the challenge of content discovery in an age of abundance. Videos from the event are available online.

A Youth Summit was organized leading up to the Discoverability Summit to discuss with millennials what type of audiovisual content they watch and how they consume it. They discussed digital media literacy and engaged in dynamic conversations on content discoverability. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, participated in both the Youth and Discoverability Summits.

Basic Television Packages and Pick-and-Pay Options that Work for You

Television service providers (TVSPs) were called to a public hearing to discuss how the new basic television package and flexible packaging options are being implemented across Canada. They are now required to follow best practices that keep their offers simple and transparent; offer deals and discounts regardless of the entry-level package selected; provide online tools allowing subscribers to easily add or remove channels; and offer different options to obtain a set-top box. The CRTC is also renewing the licences of most TVSPs for one year only, rather than the usual seven-year term, to enable close monitoring of their practices as they implement the new television choices.

Canadian Production Funds

In August 2016, the CRTC issued a decision revising the criteria for the Certified Independent Production Funds (CIPFs), with the primary objective of ensuring that these funds contribute to the development of a robust Canadian production sector that is better able to offer compelling, high-quality content to Canadians and global markets, and that there is the flexibility necessary to operate in an increasingly multi-platform environment.

Consultation on Community and Local Television

In June 2016, the CRTC issued a revised policy on local and community channel programming to ensure that appropriate policies and regulations are in place relating to locally relevant, locally reflective and community access programming. The revised policy will ensure that Canadians continue to have access to local programming that reflects their needs and interests. This includes high-quality local news Canadians rely on to stay informed of issues that matter to them, as well as community programming through which Canadians can express themselves.

The Public Service Award for Excellence 2016

The CRTC received an award for Excellence in Policy for the innovative approaches taken to engage and consult more than 13,000 Canadians during its review of the Canadian television system.

Create - Three-Year Outlook
2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
French-Language TV
The CRTC will issue decisions related to the renewal of the licences of the French-language television services owned by Quebecor Media Inc., Remstar Diffusion, Bell Media and Corus Entertainment.
The CRTC will monitor and assess the effectiveness of the licensees’ new obligations. The CRTC will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the licensees’ new obligations.
English-Language TV
The CRTC will issue decisions related to the renewal of the licences of the English-language television services owned by Bell Media, Corus Entertainment, Rogers Media and remaining Shaw Media assets.
The CRTC will monitor and assess the effectiveness of the licensees’ new obligations. The CRTC will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the licensees’ new obligations.
(NEW) English- and French-Language Television and Radio Services of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The CRTC will initiate a process to renew the licences of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)/Radio Canada and will determine if it is fulfilling its current regulatory obligations.
The CRTC will issue a decision with regards to the renewal of CBC/Radio-Canada’s licences and its regulatory obligations. The CRTC will monitor and assess the effectiveness of CBC/Radio-Canada’s new regulatory obligations.
Genre Protection
The CRTC will process applications to remove genre protections from the licences of programming services operated by the large English- and French-language ownership groups.
The CRTC will remove remaining genre protections from the licenses of independent programming services in the context of their licence renewals.  

Community and Local Television
The CRTC will continue the process to implement the renewed framework, which ensures that appropriate policies and regulations are in place relating to locally relevant, locally reflective, and community access programming.

The CRTC will closely examine licensees’ compliance on access for community programming in the context of the licence renewals for broadcasting distribution undertakings.

The CRTC will oversee the implementation of the Independent Local News Fund.

The CRTC will monitor and assess the effectiveness of the renewed framework. The CRTC will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the renewed framework.
Canadian Content Regulation
The CRTC will process certification requests from the production sector in accordance with the two pilot project exceptions to the standard certification process for content made by Canadians.
The CRTC will process certification requests from the production sector in accordance with the two pilot project exceptions to the standard certification process for content made by Canadians. The CRTC will process certification requests from the production sector in accordance with the two pilot project exceptions to the standard certification process for content made by Canadians.
Certified Independent Production FundsFootnote 4
The CRTC will monitor compliance with the new Certified Independent Production Funds (CIPF) criteria.
The CRTC will monitor compliance with the new CIPF criteria. The CRTC will monitor compliance with the new CIPF criteria.
Cultural Diversity PolicyFootnote 5
The CRTC will publish the results of its research and, if appropriate, initiate a public consultation to review its Cultural Diversity Policy, including identifying issues with respect to multicultural radio licensing.
If the CRTC initiates a review, the decision will be implemented and the results monitored. If the CRTC initiates a review, it will monitor the implementation of a CRTC decision.
Indigenous Radio Policy
The CRTC will hold a proceeding to consider the applications to serve Indigenous communities in Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. This process will provide the CRTC with information on urban Indigenous communities that contributes to establishing the scope of its review of its existing policy.
The CRTC will issue a notice of consultation to undertake a review of its Native Radio Policy to ensure that the regulatory framework is effective and reflects the realities of radio stations serving Indigenous peoples. Based upon the results of the review, the CRTC will issue a revised framework and initiate follow-up proceedings if required.
Obligations under Part VII of the Official Languages Act
The CRTC will hold two CRTC-official language minority communities (OLMC) discussion-group meetings as part of its ongoing commitment under the Official Languages Act. The discussion-group meetings represent an important forum to exchange information on the needs and priorities of the OLMCs.
The CRTC will hold two CRTC-OLMC discussion-group meetings.

The CRTC will hold two CRTC-OLMC discussion-group meetings.

The CRTC will prepare and present the Results-Based Action Plan for the Department of Canadian Heritage as part of the implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act.

French-Language Vocal Music
The CRTC will hold a public proceeding to review its regulatory framework for French-language vocal music (FVM) applicable to the French-language commercial radio sector to ensure that it is flexible and up-to-date, and takes into account the current and future environment.

The CRTC will consider, among other things, the possibility of implementing innovative measures to support the creation, discovery, promotion and consumption of FVM to enable this sector to better support French-speaking Canadian artists, and in turn enrich the broadcasting system.

The CRTC will implement and monitor the revised regulatory framework for French-language vocal music. The CRTC will implement and monitor the revised regulatory framework for French-language vocal music.

Audience Measurement
A broadcasting industry working group will continue to develop and implement a set-top box audience measurement system so that Canadian programming services can meet the needs and interests of viewers. The CRTC will participate as an observer to the working group.

If the CRTC does not see adequate progress being made, it may intervene to advance the establishment of this system.

A broadcasting industry working group will implement a set-top box audience measurement system so that Canadian programming services can meet the needs and interests of viewers.  

Improving access to advanced and competitive communication services
Connect

Trends and factsFootnote 6

Canadians’ subscriptions to television distribution services

Mobile services

Wireless vs. wireline services

Year Average Monthly Amount
of Data Downloaded
2011 18 GB
2012 28 GB
2013 45 GB
2014 67 GB
2015 93 GB

Internet services

In 2015, Canadian households spent on average $218 every month for their communication servicesFootnote 7.

2012 2013 2014 2015
Wireless $69 $79 $83 $87
Television $57 $57 $56 $54
Internet $37 $41 $43 $47
Home Phone $37 $36 $33 $30
Total $200 $212 $215 $218
Growth Year over Year 6.0% 1.4% 1.7%

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 203-0021- Survey of Household Spending (SHS), 2012 - 2015

Highlights of 2016-17 Activities
CompletedFootnote 8

Basic Telecommunications Services

After receiving comments from over 55,000 people from urban centres to the most remote corners of the country, the CRTC held a public hearing in April 2016 to review basic telecommunications services. The public process examined which telecommunications services are required by all Canadians to participate in the digital economy, as well as the CRTC’s role in ensuring the availability of affordable basic telecommunications services to all Canadians. In December 2016, the CRTC issued its determinations, which included the establishment of a new universal service objective: “Canadians, in urban areas as well as in rural and remote areas, have access to voice and broadband Internet access services, on both fixed and mobile wireless networks.” The CRTC also created a funding mechanism to support the achievement of this objective.

Wholesale High Speed Access Services (Aggregated)

Following an interim decision in October 2016, the CRTC set revised interim rates for certain wholesale high-speed access services, improving competition in the provision of retail services, including Internet access. Concurrently with this decision, the CRTC required more information, which was filed in February 2017. The CRTC plans to set final rates for the services in 2017.

Closed Captioning for English-Language Live Programming

In October 2016, the CRTC published the results of its targeted review of the quality standards for closed captioning of English-language live programming. The review led to the establishment of a working group, consisting of representatives of closed captioning user organizations, closed captioning companies, and broadcasters, to work together on a pilot project to improve the quality of closed captioning of live programming. The CRTC will monitor the pilot project to ensure that people who rely on closed captioning to access television programming have full access to it.

Video Relay Service

Video Relay Service (VRS) was launched in September 2016, and enhanced the ability of Canadians whose first language is American Sign Language (ASL) or Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) to participate fully in Canada’s communication system, and in Canadian society more broadly. The sign-language user connects to a VRS operator via Internet-based videoconferencing. The operator then places a voice telephone call to the other party and relays the conversation from sign language to voice.

This made-for-Canada service opens a new communication era in Canada that will simplify communications between Canadians with a hearing or speech disability and other Canadians, and vice versa.

Highlights of 2016-17 Activities
OngoingFootnote 9

Wholesale Mobile Wireless Services (Roaming)

Following a decision in which the CRTC determined that wholesale roaming services (voice, text and data) offered by Bell Mobility, Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers) and TELUS Communications Company (TELUS) must be provided to other wireless providers so that their customers can roam at reasonable rates on the national wireless networks, the CRTC established interim tariff rates and final terms and conditions for domestic wholesale wireless roaming services provided by these wireless carriers to other wireless carriers offering service in Canada.

Broadband Performance Measurement

Phase 1 of the broadband performance measurement initiative was completed and a final report was made public in September 2016. 4,500 Canadians participated in the study, which gathered data on actual Internet connection speeds and compared it against advertised speeds of major ISPs. It was found that Canadian ISPs that participated in the project largely met or exceeded their advertised download and upload speeds, which compares favourably to other countries, including the United States. The second phase of this initiative began in fall 2016 and includes an additional six ISPs.

You Have Choices

The CRTC launched an online tool that allows consumers to find television, Internet, mobile and home telephone service providers in their area. The CRTC also developed a checklist for consumers to use before shopping around for television services, along with suggestions for negotiating better television services with their provider. These are all accessible on the CRTC’s website.

Community of Federal Regulators Awards 2016

The CRTC received an award for its Contribution to Regulatory Openness and Transparency for its approach to the assessment of broadband Internet service performance, which measures actual broadband Internet connection speeds in Canadian homes.

Connect - Three-Year Outlook
2017-18 2018-19 2019-20

(NEW) Broadband Program Funding Framework
The CRTC announced in 2016 that it would create a funding mechanism for broadband Internet access services in Canada, and set out its determinations and preliminary views with respect to various aspects of the new mechanism.

The CRTC will have a proceeding to examine these preliminary views and other matters related to the establishment of the funding mechanism and issue a decision on the details of the new mechanism.

The CRTC will oversee the implementation of its decision with respect to the new broadband funding mechanism. The CRTC will continue to oversee the implementation of the new broadband funding mechanism and make decisions on applications for funding.

(NEW) Local Voice Subsidy
The subsidy regime ensures that residential local telephone service rates are kept just and reasonable in rural and remote areas of Canada.

In 2016, the CRTC determined that it is necessary to transition from a system based on the provision of wireline local service to a system based on the provision of broadband Internet service.

The CRTC launched a follow-up proceeding to consider phasing out the local service subsidy regime in regulated high-cost serving areas, and will issue a decision on the subject.

The CRTC will implement the decision on phasing out the local service subsidy regime. The CRTC will continue implement the decision on phasing out the local service subsidy regime.

Price Cap and Local Forbearance RegimesFootnote 10
Price cap regulation places upward constraints on rates that telephone companies can charge for telecommunications services, including local telephone service.

Local forbearance allows telephone companies to no longer seek approval of local telephone service rates if certain conditions are met.

In December 2016, the CRTC announced that it would transition its current regulatory frameworks centred on wireline voice service to frameworks centred on fixed and mobile broadband Internet access services.

The CRTC will initiate a proceeding to review its policies regarding the price cap and local forbearance regimes.

The CRTC will conclude its review and issue its decision. The CRTC will monitor the effectiveness of new regulatory measures, if any.

Broadband Performance Measurement
The CRTC will seek to continue the collaborative approach started in Year 1 of the project. The results from the previous year’s national testing will be published in the CRTC Communications Monitoring Report (CMR) and/or in a standalone report prepared by the testing vendor or the CRTC. In addition, the CRTC will expand the existing project to include more ISPs and testing parameters.

The CRTC will explore other mechanisms to enhance reporting and make data available to the public.

In collaboration with wireless carriers, and depending on results from feasibility testing, the CRTC may extend the measurement project to include wireless broadband providers.

The CRTC will continue to collect data from program participants. The CRTC will also conduct ongoing research on potential new tests to perform, aimed at enhancing the utility of the project. In addition, the CRTC will seek the participation of wireless broadband providers, and continue to publish testing results. The CRTC will continue to collect data from program participants. The CRTC will also conduct ongoing research on potential new tests to perform, aimed at enhancing the utility of the project. In addition, the CRTC will seek the participation of wireless broadband providers, and continue to publish testing results.

(NEW) Differential Pricing PracticesFootnote 11
In 2016-17 the CRTC examined, by means of a public process, differential pricing practices related to Internet data plans to establish a clear and transparent regulatory approach. Differential pricing for Internet services occurs when the ISP sets different prices for Internet access in different circumstances. Examples include specific applications that are exempted from monthly data allowances, a practice known as zero-rating, and sponsored data.

The CRTC will issue a decision and implement any new measures, if required.

The CRTC will monitor the effectiveness of new measures, if any. The CRTC will continue to monitor the effectiveness of new measures, if any.
Wholesale Mobile Wireless Services (Roaming)
The CRTC will publish its final determinations on wholesale roaming services’ rates.
   

Wholesale High-Speed Access Services Rates (Aggregated)
Following a public process, the CRTC set revised interim rates for aggregated wholesale high-speed access services, including the revised monthly capacity rate per 100 Mbps service, of Bell Canada, Cogeco Communications Inc. (Cogeco), MTS Inc. (MTS), Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers), Shaw Cablesystems G.P. (Shaw) and Videotron G.P. (Videotron); the capacity rate service charges proposed by Shaw; and the revised banded access rates of Shaw, TELUS Communications Company (TELUS) and Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel).

The CRTC will publish its final determinations on rates.

   

Wholesale High-speed Access Services (Disaggregated)
The CRTC will issue decisions approving final rates for disaggregated wholesale high-speed access services in Ontario and Quebec for Bell Canada, Cogeco, Rogers and Videotron.

The CRTC will also initiate a process regarding the configurations of disaggregated wholesale high-speed access services in other regions.

The CRTC will continue to require disaggregated wholesale high-speed access services in other regions and will issue decisions on configurations and rates as needed. The CRTC will monitor the implementation of disaggregated wholesale high-speed access services where available.
Wholesale Services Rate Setting Elements

The CRTC will initiate a process to review certain wholesale services rate-setting elements, including cost of equity ratio values, cost study expenses and compensation for risk associated with upfront investment.

The CRTC will initiate the review of other cost inputs that generally affect wholesale service rates.

The CRTC will implement new measures, if any, and monitor their effectiveness

Interconnection FrameworkFootnote 12
The CRTC will initiate a review of the framework for interconnection between carriers.

The purpose of the review is to ensure that service providers are able to interconnect their networks as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

The CRTC will conduct a proceeding and issue its regulatory policy on the interconnection framework. The CRTC will monitor the implementation of the interconnection framework.

Competitor Quality of Service
Following the review of the competitor quality of service indicators and the rate rebate plan for competitors, the CRTC will issue its decision and implement and monitor the effectiveness of new regulatory measures, if any are determined.

The purpose of the competitor quality of service regime is to ensure that competitors receive a high quality of service from the incumbent companies with respect to wholesale services.

The CRTC will monitor the effectiveness of new regulatory measures, if any. The CRTC will continue to monitor the effectiveness of new regulatory measures, if any.

Broadcasting Distribution Undertaking Licences
The CRTC will consider applications to renew the licences of Cogeco, Rogers, Shaw, TELUS, Videotron and eight other licensees.

The CRTC will monitor how BDUs implemented small basic service, pick-and-pay and small packaging options to ensure that they conform to the CRTC’s Best Practices.

The CRTC will monitor and assess the effectiveness of the licensees’ new obligations. The CRTC will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the licensees’ new obligations.
Targeted Review of Quality Standards for Accuracy of Closed Captioning for English Language Live Programming
The CRTC will the monitor the English Language Broadcasters’ working group, made up of broadcasters and accessibility groups, as it undertakes a two-year pilot of a new approach to measuring the accuracy of closed-captioning for live English-language programming.
The CRTC will initiate a public proceeding based on the final proposal of the 2016 working group which is scheduled to be submitted in November 2018. Following the public proceeding, the CRTC will publish its decision and monitor the implementation of the new standard.

(NEW) Empowering Canadians with DisabilitiesFootnote 13
The CRTC will work with stakeholders to improve Canadians with disabilities’ awareness and knowledge of available accessibility products and services, as well as their rights and responsibilities, thereby empowering them to make informed choices when selecting communication services.

The CRTC has directed Bell Canada, Bell Mobility Inc., Cogeco, Eastlink, MTS, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, TELUS and Videotron to each submit a detailed report concerning their respective plans to invest in the ongoing accessibility of their telecommunications services.

The CRTC will monitor the communication industry’s efforts to engage with Canadians with disabilities and inform them of the services and products available to them. The Commission will, where necessary, take regulatory action. The CRTC will continue to monitor the communication industry’s efforts to engage with Canadians with disabilities and inform them of the services and products available to them. The Commission will, where necessary, take regulatory action.
Video Relay Service
The CRTC will monitor the implementation of VRS in Canada through a review of the VRS administrator’s Annual Report, the VRS administrator’s budget proposal and complaints received from the public.

The CRTC will begin preparations for the review of the VRS regulatory framework.

The CRTC will continue to monitor the implementation of VRS in Canada through a review of the VRS administrator’s Annual Report, the VRS administrator’s budget proposal, and complaints received from the public.

The Commission will initiate a review of the VRS regulatory framework.

The CRTC will continue to monitor the implementation of VRS in Canada through a review of the VRS administrator’s Annual Report, the VRS administrator’s budget proposal, and complaints received from the public.

(NEW) Message Relay Service
The CRTC will publish the results of the review of the message relay service (MRS) regulatory framework.
The CRTC will monitor the MRS regulatory framework and the implementation of any revisions that follow from the process by reviewing complaints received from the public. The CRTC will continue to monitor the MRS regulatory framework by reviewing complaints received from the public.

Strengthening the security and safety of Canadians within the communication system
Protect

Trends and facts

9-1-1 services

Technology

Nuisance calls

Spam

Highlights of 2016-17 Activities
CompletedFootnote 18

Reliability and Resiliency of 9-1-1 Networks

The CRTC conducted a review of the 9-1-1 networks across Canada and determined they are reliable and resilient. Reliable and resilient 9-1-1 networks enhance the safety of Canadians in an evolving communication system.

Broadcast Emergency Alerting

The CRTC reviewed compliance for campus, community, Indigenous, and radio distribution undertakings, which were required to be compliant with the national emergency alerting system by March 31, 2016.

The CRTC launched an interactive map identifying which radio and television stations across Canada distribute emergency alert messages. These alerts are an efficient and effective way to inform Canadians in an emergency situation and, in some cases, potentially save lives or prevent serious injury.

Blocking Unsolicited Telecommunications

The CRTC urged telecommunications service providers to offer advanced telephone call screening services that will block blatantly illegitimate calls, ensuring that Canadians will benefit from a minimum level of protection from nuisance calls.

Highlights of 2016-17 Activities
OngoingFootnote 19

Television Service Provider Code for Consumers

The CRTC implemented the Television Service Provider (TVSP) Code via amendments to the conditions of licence for BDUs, and applied it as a condition of licence as part of the licence renewal hearing held in September 2016.

The CRTC will continue to monitor the implementation and compliance with the TVSP Code.

Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services Review

The CRTC monitored the effectiveness of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) in fulfilling its expanded mandate, including its new role as the ombudsman for complaints about TVSPs. The CRTC continues to engage in regular communication with CCTS staff.

In addition, the CRTC initiated a process to determine whether or not administrative monetary penalties should be imposed upon TVSPs that contravene the CRTC’s CCTS participation requirement.

Loudness of Television Commercial Messages

The CRTC reviewed and assessed industry responses to consumer complaints and will continue to do so.    

In early 2017, the CRTC conducted an analysis of technological developments to measure and control the loudness of TV commercial messages.

Community of Federal Regulators Awards 2016

The CRTC received an award in Service Excellence in Regulatory Program Delivery for its work on the VCR, which protects Canadians from rogue and misleading telephone calls during federal elections.

Protect - Three-Year Outlook
2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Next-Generation 9-1-1 Services
Following a proceeding launched in 2016-17, including a public hearing in January 2017, the CRTC will issue a decision, implement new measures, if required, and initiate follow-up proceedings, as necessary, to ensure that the provision of next-generation 9-1-1 will result in maximum benefits for Canadians, including the continued provision of reliable and effective 9‑1‑1 services.
The CRTC will continue to implement new measures, if required, and monitor their effectiveness. The CRTC will continue to implement new measures, if required, and monitor their effectiveness.
Unwanted, Unsolicited, and Illegitimate TelecommunicationsFootnote 20
The CRTC will further examine the development and implementation of technical solutions to prevent spoofing of caller identification information, and trace and identify the source of a call. The CRTC will also consider establishing associated regulatory measures as appropriate.
The CRTC will continue to monitor and report on technical solutions available to Canadians to help protect themselves from nuisance calls. The CRTC will continue to monitor and report on technical solutions available to Canadians to help protect themselves from nuisance calls.
National Do Not Call List
The CRTC will ensure the continuity of the operations of the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) operator as the current contract comes to an end.
The CRTC will ensure the continuity of the operations of the national DNCL operator, including the subscription rates and fees structure, as required.  

Broadcast Emergency Alerting
The CRTC will continue to monitor participation of all broadcasters in the broadcasting emergency alerting system.

The CRTC will monitor technology developments which may contribute to improvements in the distribution of alerts to Canadians.

In addition, the CRTC will consider the licensing renewal for the operator of the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System.

The CRTC will continue to monitor the participation of all broadcasters in the emergency alerting system on an annual basis, and monitor technological developments that may contribute to improvements in the distribution of alerts to Canadians. The CRTC will continue to monitor the participation of all broadcasters in the emergency alerting system on an annual basis, and monitor technological developments that may contribute to improvements in the distribution of alerts to Canadians.

Wireless Public Alerting SystemFootnote 21
The CRTC will monitor wireless carriers’ participation in the alerting system as determined by the newly published framework.

The CRTC will continue to monitor wireless industry developments with respect to the Wireless Public Alerting System as well as monitor technological developments in the area of alerting for future opportunities to expand and/or enhance the system.

The CRTC will continue to monitor wireless carriers’ participation in the alerting system. It will also continue to monitor technological developments in the area of alerting for future opportunities to expand and/or enhance the system. The CRTC will continue to monitor wireless carriers’ participation in the alerting system. It will also continue to monitor technological developments in the area of alerting for future opportunities to expand and/or enhance the system.
Wireless Code
The CRTC will issue a decision regarding the Wireless Code and the related regulatory policy framework.
The CRTC will monitor compliance with the Wireless Code. The CRTC will continue to monitor compliance with the Wireless Code.

Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services
The CRTC will monitor the effectiveness of the CCTS in fulfilling its mandate, improving the awareness and transparency of its services and processes, and ensuring communication service provider compliance with the CRTC’s requirement to participate in the CCTS.

The CRTC will take appropriate compliance and enforcement actions, which may include the imposition of administrative monetary penalties, against service providers that fail to comply with the requirement to participate in the CCTS.

The CRTC will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the CCTS in fulfilling its mandate, improving the awareness and transparency of its services and processes, and ensuring communication service provider compliance with the CRTC’s requirement to participate in the CCTS.

The CRTC will continue to take appropriate compliance and enforcement actions, which may include the imposition of administrative monetary penalties, against service providers that fail to comply with the requirement to participate in the CCTS.

The CRTC will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the CCTS in fulfilling its mandate, improving the awareness and transparency of its services and processes, and ensuring communication service provider compliance with the CRTC’s requirement to participate in the CCTS.

The CRTC will continue to take appropriate compliance and enforcement actions, which may include the imposition of administrative monetary penalties, against service providers that fail to comply with the requirement to participate in the CCTS.

Privacy
The CRTC will analyze research concerning the collection and use of wireless data users’ personal information, and the evolving regulatory context to determine if additional privacy protections should be considered.
The CRTC will continue to monitor privacy issues related to evolving communication networks and undertake regulatory action if necessary and appropriate. The CRTC will continue to monitor privacy issues related to evolving communication networks and undertake regulatory action if necessary and appropriate.

Building a high-performing organization

Highlights of 2016-2017 Activities
CompletedFootnote 22

CRTC Five-Year Investment Plan

The CRTC developed its Five-Year Investment Plan (the Plan) for the years 2016-17 to 2020-21. The Plan covers five years but is refreshed every three years; therefore, the next iteration will be completed in 2019-2020.

Canada 150

As part of Canada’s 150th celebrations, the CRTC paid tribute to people who played an important role in the Canadian communications industry, and in the Commission’s history, by naming meeting rooms in its Gatineau building after them.

Core Control Audit

The Comptroller General conducted a core control audit in 2016 to test the CRTC’s compliance with finance, procurement and human resource policies. The audit report states that the CRTC has established a sound financial management governance structure to ensure strong management of financial public resources. The CRTC has developed a Management Action Plan that explains the measures needed to address the audit findings on areas for improvement. Most of the measures were completed in 2016-17 and will continue in the future as permanent improvements to procedures and tools, such as training for all new managers at the CRTC.

Human Resources Management Transformation

The CRTC implemented a new human resource service model to better meet the resources and knowledge needs of the organization.

Highlights of 2016-2017 Activities
OngoingFootnote 23

CRTC’s Workplace Mental Health Strategy

In accordance with the Government of Canada’s Federal Public Service Workplace Mental Health Strategy, the CRTC took steps to build a healthy, respectful, and supportive work environment that strengthens the public service. Specifically, the CRTC held sessions to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, appointed a champion to promote positive mental health, provided training to managers to help them respond to issues and incidents related to mental health, and liaised with other federal departments to identify other best practices and tools.

Outreach and Collaboration

The CRTC continued to collaborate with Canadian and international government departments and agencies, including regulators in other jurisdictions, as well as non-government organizations, working groups and academia, on strategic research and forward-looking activities.

The CRTC is an active member of Unsolicited Communication Enforcement Network (UCENet) which includes agencies from around the globe working together to fight unlawful spam and unsolicited telecommunications. Currently, 49 law enforcement agencies, 27 industry participants and 6 non‑governmental organizations are participants.

In October 2016, in partnership with International Institute of Communications, the CRTC held an international workshop on communication security. Participants collaborated on ways to eliminate spam and nuisance communications. The Chairman of the CRTC spoke at this event to help ensure that the interests of Canadians are reflected at the international level.

CRTC Academic Prize for Excellence in Policy Research

As part of the CRTC’s civic engagement activities, it continues to conduct outreach to academia to encourage multiple perspectives in its decision-making processes. The first-ever CRTC Prize for Excellence in Policy Research were awarded in May 2016. The winning papers are available on the CRTC’s website.

Fostering an Innovation and Experimentation Culture

The CRTC continued to empower employees by giving them the opportunity to implement innovative ideas via the annual 7.5 hour challenge, where all employees can put forward and vote for a proposal.

The winning project for 2016 addressed the need to better enable collaboration amongst the various sectors of the CRTC through the deployment of an online collaboration platform.

Embracing Blueprint 2020

The CRTC continued to support the Blueprint 2020 vision by taking steps to build a workforce and a workplace agile enough to anticipate and respond to the evolving needs of Canadians. The CRTC, for example, continued to host discussions on multiple digital platforms to maximise participation opportunities for Canadians including, for one of the first times for a federal entity, on Reddit and through Facebook Live. You can find the full account of the CRTC`s 2020 initiatives in our Report.

Management excellence - Three-Year Outlook
2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Compliance and Enforcement Employee Training
Training materials for enforcement officers will continue to be added to the CRTC training portal to respond to the specific needs of the compliance and enforcement program.
Training materials for intelligence analysts will be developed and added to the portal. Training materials will continue to be reviewed and updated as required to ensure they remain current.
(NEW) Workplace Mental Health Strategy
The CRTC will build upon its endeavors to support the mental health of its employees by introducing a multi-year Workplace Mental Health Strategy. Employees will be given the opportunity to participate in the development of the strategy. The expected outcome of the strategy to support employee engagement and performance, and ultimately enabling them to better serve Canadians.
The CRTC will continue to implement the Workplace Mental Health Strategy while measuring its effectiveness, through the newly introduced annual employee survey, and will refine the strategy as required. The CRTC will continue to implement its Workplace Mental Health Strategy, while monitoring its effectiveness and refining the strategy as required.

(NEW) CRTC Succession Plan
The CRTC will continue to offer the Succession Planning for Busy Managers training, and develop and approve an organizational talent management program that will take into consideration the Public Service Commission’s new orientation in staffing flexibilities.

The CRTC will also review of the orientation program for new employees and develop an orientation program for new managers.

The CRTC will implement the Organizational Talent Management program, including an employee retention questionnaire. The CRTC will also offer orientation programs for new employees, and new managers. The CRTC will review and update the Talent Management program and both orientation programs.
Engage and Inform Canadians
The CRTC will implement the new Government of Canada Policy on Communications and Federal Identity and continue to use new digital communications approaches to engage and inform Canadians.
The CRTC will continue to use new digital communications approaches to engage and inform Canadians. The CRTC will continue to use new digital communications approaches to engage and inform Canadians.

Implementing the New Policy on Results
The CRTC will continue implementation of the new Government of Canada Policy on Results. In 2016, the CRTC established a Performance Measurement and Evaluation Committee (PMEC), and appointed a new Head of Performance Measurement and Evaluation.

The PMEC will meet regularly to discuss performance measurement and to conduct an annual evaluation exercise. The CRTC will continue to participate in various small department and agency working groups to ensure implementation of the policy.

By November 2017, the CRTC will have established a new Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory.

The CRTC will continue to implement the Policy on Results and will monitor the effectiveness of its new Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory. It will also conduct an annual evaluation exercise. The CRTC will continue to implement the Policy on Results and will monitor the effectiveness of its new Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory. It will also conduct an annual evaluation exercise.

Academic Outreach
The CRTC will continue to work with academia to leverage collaboration opportunities on innovative projects, to encourage evidence-based research and analysis in communication policy and to explore emerging methods in defining business problems.

The CRTC and the Canadian Communication Association will sponsor the second CRTC Prize for Excellence in Policy Research.

The CRTC will continue to work with academia to leverage collaboration opportunities on innovative projects, to encourage evidence-based research and analysis in communication policy and to explore emerging methods in defining business problems.

The CRTC and the Canadian Communication Association will sponsor the third CRTC Prize for Excellence in Policy Research.

The CRTC will continue to work with academia to leverage collaboration opportunities on innovative projects, to encourage evidence-based research and analysis in communication policy and to explore emerging methods in defining business problems.

The CRTC and the Canadian Communication Association will sponsor the fourth CRTC Prize for Excellence in Policy Research.

Industry Monitoring and Reporting
The CRTC will continue to collect relevant and reliable data from the communication industry, and publish and make this data available to be used by the CRTC, its partners and Canadians.

The CRTC will continue to improve the CMR. The CRTC will continue to publish the CMR, Broadcasting Financial Summaries and Aggregate returns. The Broadcasting Financial Summaries and their companion products will be improved to increase their usefulness to the public.

In addition, the CRTC will finalize the implementation of enhancements to simplify online data filing for external users, along with enhancing compliance with registration requirements for telecommunications service providers.

The CRTC will continue to collect relevant and reliable data from the communication industry, and publish and make available this data to be used by the CRTC, its partners and Canadians. The CRTC will continue to improve the CMR.

The CRTC will continue to publish the CMR, Broadcasting Financial Summaries and Aggregate returns.

The CRTC will continue to collect relevant and reliable data from the communication industry, and publish and make available this data to be used by the CRTC, its partners and Canadians. The CRTC will continue to improve the CMR.

The CRTC will continue to publish the CMR, Broadcasting Financial Summaries and Aggregate returns.

(NEW) Measurement of Digital Media in Canada
The CRTC will undertake research to deepen its understanding of the financial state of digital media in Canada, including a targeted survey of broadcasters’ digital media activities.
The CRTC will deepen its research and publish additional data related to digital media.   The CRTC will publish data on digital media.  
Web Renewal Initiative
The CRTC will continue to transition its website to the amalgamated Canada.ca platform in accordance with Treasury Board Secretariat guidelines.
 

Your Participation is Important

“The CRTC wants to put Canadians at the centre of their communication system. And that means making their voices heard and their opinions known.”

- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman, CRTC

When it comes to shaping Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications system, we depend on you to tell us what you want and need, and to let us know what is and isn’t working for you.

We encourage you to have your say. We invite you to join us in continuing to build a world-class communication system that meets your needs.

Why your participation matters

It is to your benefit to be aware of what we are doing and why. It is also to your benefit to play a role in determining the policies and regulations we develop and the actions we take. And that means making your voice heard and your opinions known to us.

We listen…and we act

Listening to you is critical for us. You point us in the right direction and, where we can, we address your concerns head-on.

Participate in a public proceeding

We regularly conduct public proceedings so that you can share your views on important issues in person, by videoconference, online, or in writing. To learn about upcoming proceedings and how you can participate, go to our website’s home page.

Join an online consultation

You can share your views by joining one of our online consultations that help us gather information on issues that directly affect you. Consult our website’s home page for upcoming consultations.

Stay connected!

Contact us

Contact us online - You’ll find a step-by-step online form for your questions and complaints.
Call us toll-free at 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
On a toll-free TTY line at 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
Fax us at 819-994-0218
Send us a letter at CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0N2

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