CRTC To Allow Misleading News, Just In Time For Fox News North To Launch

A Canadian regulation that bans the broadcast of false or misleading news appears to be the subject of fast-tracked revisions - just in time for SunTV, the Canadian version of Fox News, to launch.

The regulation dealing with false or misleading news has been on the books for years. The wording of the regulation itself is at odds with a 1992 court ruling that stated that that the “right to freedom of expression” meant that a person could not be charged for disseminating false information. Committees have been asking the CRTC about this conflict since 2000, but the CRTC has appeared to have little interest in making any changes.
All that changed just over a month ago, when the commission suddenly and quietly announced it was proposing a change the wording of the regulation to say that it applied “only in cases in which broadcasters knew the information was false or misleading and that reporting it was likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.” The public had one month to provide feedback.  That month expired last week.  
Under the new regulations, any complainant would have to prove that the reporters knew that the information they were spreading was false or misleading, putting the responsibility on the viewer rather than the news media organization.

Why now? Rewarded with a big job?The timing of the proposed change is certainly suspect. Sun TV, the extreme right-wing cable TV channel claiming to bring “hard news and straight talk” will launch in the spring of 2011. Sun TV’s major champion is Prime Minister Harper’s former Director of Communications, Kory Teneyke, who will also be (re-)assuming the top job at the network shortly.  So while the timing may be innocent, it is more likely that it’s blatantly obvious cronyism.

It’s dangerous to change this regulation so it will allow broadcasters to relay false information as long as they pinky swear they didn’t know it was false.  It’s a dangerous path and will not only erode public trust in Canadian news media, but also may put the public at risk through the deterioration of news standards. The reporting of rumour, accusation and innuendo is not responsible journalism, nor is it fair and balanced. Do not allow the Canadian news media to lie to Canadians.

Do you oppose the changes to the regulation preventing the news media from outright lying to the Canadian public? Sign the Care2 petition here. We have less than 48 hours before the CRTC adopts this change – make your voice heard now!

By Jactkwn (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

171 comments

W. C
W. C2 months ago

Not surprising, thanks.

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William C
William C2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Janice Dignum
Janice Dignum6 years ago

To Martha from Canadian - no and no. Our real leader in Canada is unregulated capitalism, just as in yours and so many other countries.

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Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

Poor Canada -- I thought they were more prone to tell the truth in public than we are in the States. Can the world stand yet another fox in the henhouse?

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lyn L.
l L6 years ago

well what ever is the truth: take a lesson from us about the devilish workings of fixed news. Better get you some watch dog groups to monitor and tell the truth they distort. better yet they are right wing and look at the hatred and divisions they sow in The States and how they are prominent in destroying our freedoms here. Wish you well.

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Karen F.
karen Friedman6 years ago

I feel so sorry for Canada, they now have a wacko broadcasting company just like their neighbor, us. Lets hope they have better sense and don't watch it and its ratings will go down, and it will cease to exist for the betterment of the Canadian people.

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Dorothy Ferguson
Dorothy Ferguson6 years ago

Just because Faux News is going to be aired in Canada, regulations notwithstanding, no one turning it on will send a better message than any other method. Vote with your REMOTE!!!!

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Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M6 years ago

It blows my mind that there are only 4886 people who signed the petition!!!!! I don't understand people's mentality at all.

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Carrie Janis
Carrie Janis6 years ago

awww canada i had hoped everything was perfect there guess not!!!

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Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila6 years ago

That's why we need PBS, everyone hates the other guy, but PBS can at least provide balanced news with two sides that try not to do the fear/hate mongering.. But it is rather dry for those who like craziness like Fox's Glen Beck. At least Rachel admits when she makes a mistake...

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