CRTC may ease ban on broadcasting false news

Cut-off for public input is February 9


On January 10, the CRTC announced it was seeking comments on a proposal to alter the wording of a regulation that prohibits the broadcasting of false or misleading news. The alteration would make the regulation apply only in cases in which broadcasters knew the information was false or misleading, and that reporting it may endanger the lives, health or safety of the public. This proposal came by way of a little-watched committee of Parliament—the joint committee for the scrutiny of regulations—who have pressed for changes to the ban for over a decade. According to government officials, problems with the ban began with a 1992 ruling in the case of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, which said the right to freedom of expression meant a person could not be charged for disseminating false information. In 2000, the regulations committee pointed out to the CRTC that its regulation seemed to contradict the ruling. Following the CRTC’s January announcement, the proposal has been met with confusion and criticism. Peter Murdoch, vice-president for the Communication, Energy, and Paperworkers Union called the proposal “totally bizarre,” noting that no one in the industry has called for it. NDP MP Charlie Angus noted to reporters that the proposed change precedes the start of Sun TV. The deadline for public input is February 9.

Globe and Mail

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CRTC may ease ban on broadcasting false news

  1. Well.. looks like we're finally going to be getting some balance in the media.

    • How does allowing the broadcast of false news correspond to a balance in the media? Unless of course you are inferring that one side of the debate relies on an underlying current of uncorroborated idealogical claims? — actually worse, not just uncorroborated but in fact, patently false!

      • That's exactly what I've been thinking. If you require falsehoods to get your side of the story across, it's not really your side of the story…it's just a lie.

      • Man. Glad somebody got it.

    • This seems to be the standard response by people who really have no idea what they're talking about.

    • I’m thinking you’re being sarcastic?

  2. How is "easing the ban on broadcasting false news" a good thing. How can anyone support this? I am actually horrified.

    • D.D.S., did you send your comments in to the CRTC? I had mine all set to go, but was waiting for the last minute in case I heard back from Senator Harb or anyone else on that joint committee as to what in blazes they were up to. Now I see I have to read Supreme Court rulings. The media is obviously in favour of this idea since this is the first day the media has deigned to report on this, as far as I've been able to see, and the deadline is tomorrow.

      I don't see how you can compare a private citizen (like Zundel or like a citizen blogger) with a licensed broadcaster supposedly reporting the news. I know I'm not a Supreme Court justice, but they're not generally that stupid. So I still think there's more to this that has yet to come out.

      • Yes I did send a comment to the CRTC. The globe and mail had this story out way before Maclean's did. One thing that comes to mind is those appointments Harper has made to the CRTC. I am getting mighty tired of the stupid decisions that seems to be coming from Ottawa! But this is beyond stupid…

    • I agree fully with you. Leave the wording as it is.

      There is to much propoganda being put on our news that anyone who pays attention would know is a lie.

      The World has put up with obvious propoganda from the USA since 911. Acually this has been going on all my life; 67 years

  3. Incredible, just incredible.

    Again freedom of expression advocates take things to far. Liberty is responsibility, some liberterians don't seem to get that.

  4. One common definition of fascism focuses on three groups of ideas: the Fascist Negations of anti-liberalism, anti-communism and anti-conservatism; nationalist, authoritarian goals for the creation of a regulated economic structure to transform social relations within a modern, self-determined culture; a political aesthetic using romantic symbolism, mass mobilisation, a positive view of violence, promotion of masculinity and youth and charismatic leadership

    • Wait, are you saying that allowing lies to happen in the media, PREVENTS fascism?

  5. False news is a Bad idea. We need regulation against lies and media rigging. This new stance will mean that the vulnerable consumer will be further stupified compared to market makers. Freedom isn’t free. People need to stand up for their rights, and condemn the CRTC. After the Internet rules were mangled earlier this year, they are now going up against our other media. Mr. Harper: fix this or you can kiss my vote goodbye.

    • Fat chance El-Harpo will fix this — the directive came from his office.

      • I think this is a perfect example of false news Have you proof of what you wrote?I see lots of reports of what some "think" has been said but not what was said.Some truth in these blogs would be appreciated.

        • I think this is a perfect example of someone's opinion….you aren't getting your news from these comments…are you?

  6. Just setting the stage for Fox News North. Now they actually may have something to report.

  7. You mean so the media can broadcast the big lie?

  8. Do newspapers already have the go ahead to publish false news?
    ie: April fool's joke stories

    • No

  9. I think we've answered the question on how a government regulatory body can make Ezra Levant very very happy.

    • Great comment

  10. Harper and Fox News North must be climaxing at such breaking 'news.'

  11. The mainstream media lost my confidence long ago, so this doesn't really mean much to me. They routinely ignore 90% of the real news in geopolitics, science and pretty much everything else except entertainment, which all of you appalled folks would know if you consulted any independent media outside of the corporate sphere of influence.

    • the news is bad so who cares if it gets worse……….seriously?

      • Oh, don't get me wrong, I think this is a bad decision, but since I already take the MSM with a grain of salt it doesn't change much of anything. No amount of policy tweaking can save the MSM, its a lost cause.

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