CRTC dismisses call to ban state-run Chinese propaganda


The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) adamantly consulted the public in barring Fox News yet refused to ban state-run Chinese propaganda when asked by public representatives.

On Monday, the regulatory body dismissed a request from MPs to censure TV shows financed by “authoritarian state-controlled broadcasters.”

The CRTC banned state-run Russia Today yet state-run China Central Television, Beijing TV, Charming China Entertainment and China Yellow River TV remain on its approved distribution list, according to Blacklock’s Reporter

The report A Threat To Canadian Sovereignty urged the CRTC to adopt a policy that barred authoritarian state-controlled broadcasters from the List Of Non-Canadian Programming Services And Stations Authorized For Distribution.

Ottawa has yet to respond and the CRTC has failed to make do on a promise to investigate foreign services operating in Canada. 

The promise of a CRTC hearing, announced by CEO Vicky Eatrides on November 23, collapsed in the wake of complaints filed by Egale Canada, a Toronto-based LGBTQ advocacy group.

As of writing, both Fox News cable programming and Chinese state media remain accessible to Canadians, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

In May, the CRTC contemplated a ban on Fox cable packages after Canada’s LGBTQ lobby filed a complaint against their coverage of sexual minorities. 

Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada, accused then-host Tucker Carlson of propagating falsehoods about transgenders, such as painting them as “violent” and “dangerous.”

The allegations stem from March coverage of a transgender shooter who killed six staff and students at a Christian academy in Nashville, Tennessee.

Eagle Canada argued the non-Canadian broadcaster should be fined or lose their license for broadcasting ‘abusive content.’

Through last June 2, the regulatory body received thousands of public submissions with 70% favouring a ban on the channel.

Those who opposed the censure expressed concerns about freedom of expression. “Denying access to Fox News because some find it objectionable is a very dangerous step towards government censorship,” said one comment.

“People had very different perspectives on the complaint,” said Eatrides before the Commons Heritage Committee. “What became very clear is that there was concern about issues around content and freedom of expression.”

Speaking to the complaint against Fox, Eatrides said the CRTC received over 7,000 submissions in response to that complaint. She denied any political interference in the Commission’s work. 

“We are an independent quasi-judicial tribunal,” said the CRTC head. “I can tell you with full certainty we are independent.”

However, its barring of Russia Today two weeks after the Commons voted unanimously for a ban raises suspicion on that claim. Russia Today is propaganda,” then-Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said at the time. “Russia Today is disinformation. Russia Today is misinformation.”

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