Intervention, observation ou réponse de l'intimé / Intervention, comment or answer by respondent
Date reçu / Date Arrived: 2020-09-29
Numéro de processus public / Public Process Number: 2020-336
Numéro d'intervention / Intervention Number: 1
Demande(s) / Application(s):
Cas / Case: 295874
Demande à comparaître à l'audience publique / Request to appear at the public hearing: Non/No
Intimé / Respondent: Non/No
Commentaire / Comment
Concerning notice 2020-336, I oppose the CAB proposition "that the Commission deem broadcasting licensees, absent any bad faith on their part, to have met their conditions of licence and the regulations relating to spending for the 2019-2020 broadcast year (i.e., 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020)" insofar as it creates a presumption a licensee such as CHOI-FM Quebec (RNC MÉDIA Inc.; 2020-145, 2019-0667-9) has "met its conditions of license" including the Appendix 2 requirements and expectations from the recent license renewal decision (2020-145) and continuing compliance for full duration of the license.
I might have not have opposed the proposition if CHOI-FM, controlled by RNC MÉDIA Inc., had not been a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. But the fact is CHOI-FM is a member of the CAB and I want to make sure similar licensees don't get a "free pass", especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and misinformation.
The CHOI-FM (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHOI-FM#Conflit_avec_le_CRTC) licensee and one of its star host, namely Jeff Fillion (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Fillion), have a history of compliance issues with the CRTC. Such a troubled history with the CRTC shouldn't warrant any presumption that the licensee has met their obligations, quite the opposite actually in my opinion.
Now, the Commission is right that it "must also give due consideration to the effects that the requests could have on other elements of the broadcasting system. This includes groups that benefit from the various requirements, financial or otherwise, for which the CAB is seeking flexibility". The public benefits from licensees operating within the letter and the spirit of the Broadcasting Act, including its Broadcasting Policy, in particular as it relates to the "high standard" and the idea that "all persons who are licensed to carry on broadcasting undertakings have a responsibility for the programs they broadcast" since the broadcasting system is "a public service essential to the maintenance and enhancement of national identity and cultural sovereignty". A radio broadcasting license is no joke.
Furthermore, the Commission is right to remind us that "the distribution of critical and potentially life-saving public alerting messages through the broadcasting sector contributes to the reduction of risk and the continued safety of all Canadians" in the context of COVID-19...
But is a licensee such as CHOI-FM sharing those concerns, as they should? Consider what Quebec City thinks about that:
"La Ville de Québec annonce qu’elle n'investira plus en placements publicitaires sur les ondes de la station CHOI Radio X. Elle estime que le comportement des propriétaires de cette station de radio constitue un danger pour la santé publique et le bien-être des citoyens de Québec, car CHOI fait la promotion de l’opposition aux mesures sanitaires durant cette période de grave pandémie."
[Quebec City is announcing it will no longer be buying advertisement time on CHOI Radio X. The City believes the behavior of the station owners creates a public health hazard and is detrimental to the well-being of the residents of Quebec City, because CHOI promotes opposition to public health guidelines during the pandemic.] [My translation from: https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/apropos/espace-presse/actualites/fiche_autres_actualites.aspx?id=21648]
A member of parliament in Quebec even thinks the provincial government should do the same and pull out their advertising from the CHOI-FM station owned by RNC MÉDIA Inc. (https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/medias/2020-09-28/la-ville-de-quebec-cesse-toute-publicite-a-radio-x.php); the station had refused to air an ad concerning public health guidelines to their target audience, doing in fact the exact opposite of a "distribution of critical and potentially life-saving public alerting messages".
And what about Hydro-Québec, Desjardins, Industrielle Alliance, Pizza Royale and Mercedes-Benz de Québec deciding to do that too(https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/medias/2020-09-28/plusieurs-annonceurs-larguent-radio-x.php)?
Does something like that often happen with compliant licensees who are about quality, responsibility and accountability, who maintain and enhance the national identity and cultural sovereignty of our nations with their essential public service and who reduce risk and promote the well-being of Canadians, including from Quebec? During a pandemic, misinformation kills.
For all these reasons I strongly oppose the proposition of any relaxing of any regulation which would tip the scales in favour of one stakeholder over the rights of the public under the Act; and even more strenuously to a "free pass" presumption, especially for freshly re-licensed licensees with such a history as CHOI-FM owned by RNC-MÉDIA inc., a member of the CAB.
It seems that under the current compliance regulations scheme, even without the presumption suggested by the CAB, a freshly re-licensed licensee such as CHOI-FM Québec can still make a talk show which, despite the owners good faith and best intentions no doubt, enables conspiracy theorists/QAnon guests with deep pockets (https://www.lapresse.ca/covid-19/2020-09-26/les-differents-visages-des-antimasques.php) to attack the very spirit of the Broadcasting Act and public health guidelines, thereby making a total farce out of it and undermining the right of the public to quality content and important public health information. All that in the context of a (world) pandemic and great political uncertainty from the USA because of the upcoming presidential election, and rising threats against elected members of parliament and others (https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/parliament-hill-security-increased-after-reports-of-harassment-1.5122233). Please understand many people with similar ideas consider people like you, who are holding office for the Commission, to be part of a deep state pedophile ring. No seriously. How do you think those guests’ followers value minority rights (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/qanon-quebec-anti-mask-conspiracy-theory-violence-1.5726891) or any other value dear to this nation for that matter? Sadly the owners chose to broadcast such “content” (I consider it selfish privilege false skeptic trash which borders on insanity cloaked in a presumption of freedom to slander and reject the rule of law and body politic of our nations) but not public health guidelines from the government. An example like that perfectly underscores the need for full accountability and responsibility of such licensees, and my opposing the CAB’s proposition in that respect.
Thank you for your time.
Copie envoyée au demandeur et à tout autre intimé si applicable / Copy sent to applicant and to any respondent if applicable: Non/No
Information du client / Client information
Nom / Name: Ban Kpanic
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Adresse courriel / E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adresse postale / Address: Montreal, QC, Canada
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