Federal Appeal


Communications Law

Regulation of radio and television

Broadcasting licence

Broadcasting licences of aboriginal broadcaster were revoked

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) revoked broadcasting licences of aboriginal broadcaster because of lack of financial viability. Broadcaster appealed from CRTC order. Appeal dismissed. CRTC adequately considered extent to which CRTC’s Native Radio Policy affected broadcaster. While acknowledging broadcaster had to act as not-for-profit organization under Policy, CRTC found broadcaster was not allocating sufficient resources to vital elements such as programming, sales and marketing. CRTC adequately considered broadcaster’s proposed business plan but found it did not contained type and level of detail necessary to establish viability. CRTC properly found broadcaster failed to report sufficient number of news stories of direct and particular relevance to aboriginal community. Doctrine of legitimate expectations could not act to fetter or restrict power conferred on CRTC to revoke broadcasting licence. Each radio station was found to be non-compliant with conditions of licence.

Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2016), 2016 CarswellNat 5793, 2016 FCA 275, Eleanor R. Dawson J.A., D.G. Near J.A., and Judith M. Woods J.A. (F.C.A.).

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