CRTC ditches bid to allow fake news - The Globe and Mail
(No "Fake Fox News" in Canada - so far)
Canada's broadcasting regulator has abandoned its attempt to change a regulation that prohibits the dissemination of false or misleading news.
The decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission followed a meeting last week of Parliament’s joint committee for the scrutiny of regulations, which ended its 10-year bid to get the regulation to comply with the law. More related to this story
The committee was concerned that the regulation violated a 1992 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, which found that the Charter of Rights provision protecting freedom of expression meant a person could not be charged for spreading false information.
After ignoring the committee's letters for years, CRTC finally relented and said in December it would consider changing the regulation to apply only in cases when broadcasters know the information they are sharing is untrue and when it “endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.”
But the CRTC's call for public input on the proposal resulted in a tidal wave of angry responses from Canadians who said they feared such a move would open the door to Fox TV-style news and reduce their ability to determine what is true and what is false.
In the face of the outcry, the regulations committee, which is composed of both MPs and senators, met last Thursday and decided it would no longer pursue the matter with the CRTC. Some of the MPs on that committee, including Liberal chairman Andrew Kania, were not in politics when the issue was first discussed and said they did not agree with the decision of the committee 10 years ago to press the CRTC for the change.
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