The CRTC mandate according to its own website:
The CRTC’s mandate is to ensure that both the broadcasting and telecommunications systems serve the Canadian public. The CRTC uses the objectives in the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act to guide its policy decisions.
Then why is the CRTC behaving more like protector of broadcasting conglomerate rather than the public? The CRTC recent plan to change the law and allow lying in the news just might be pushed ahead despite about 3,000 public comments submitted overwhelmingly opposing the change. So much for democracy. If they do push through without addressing the public concerns, then their public consultation is nothing more than just a sham.
Let’s address some of the lies being used to justify allowing lying in the news:
Lie #1: There are other recourse the public can take. Such as libel law.
Will it be a fair playing field if an individual have to resort to suing a multi-billion dollar company because the government fail to do its job? An average individual will not have the time nor the money to go up against a big corporation.
Lie #2: Zundel case decision by Supreme Court shows that dissemination of false information is ok.
Zundel case is against an individual expression which the government don’t get to regulate. Regulating the broadcaster on the other hand are fully under the mandate of CRTC. There is a reason government regulate publicly listed companies and broadcaster. To make sure they don’t lie to and defraud the public. By allowing false news, a business news can spread false stock or business news causing private citizen to lose money. They can spread false news during election to influence outcome of voting. This infringe on fair elections and would undermine our democracy. I am sure Supreme Court will not say it is OK for CRTC to let the broadcaster they are suppose to regulate go ahead and lie to undermine our democracy. I am sure they are precedent cases where Supreme Court side with protecting our democratic institution.
Lie #3: Preventing false news impinges on charter-based freedom.
If that is the case then maybe we should start allowing corporations to falsify their financial releases. It is their right to disseminate false information. It is their “charter-based freedom”. Public have other recourse like suing a multi-billion dollar company.
Feel free to dispute my points if you disagree.
Update: February 15, 2011 6:00 PM EST
Avaaz.org has an online petition for people to sign.