The changes are currently open for public comment, but only for two more days. Here is my brief submission.
1. I am writing to express my strong opposition to the proposed amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986; Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987; Pay Television Regulations, 1990; Specialty Services Regulations, 1990; and the Broadcasting Information Regulations, 1993, that would relax the existing prohibition on broadcasting false or misleading news.
2. I am a citizen who is greatly concerned about the quality of news and information in the public sphere, and I fear that the proposed changes would constitute a giant step backward on that front.
3. The new requirement that false or misleading news "endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public" is unduly narrow, failing to account for other important societal harm that such reporting can cause. The existing prohibition without qualification is certainly more appropriate. If there are particular exceptions that require special consideration, such as satire, those should be enumerated specifically.
4. I am appalled that these changes have been proposed without any apparent justification and without a significant public consultation. They have the potential to damage Canadian society and our democratic institutions, and as such warrant significantly more attention and input than they have received.
***End of document***I'd encourage you to submit your comments using the online form. Note that you must number your paragraphs and end your submission with the line ***End of document*** (to indicate that the document has not been truncated).
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