The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is renewing CBC’s licensing for another five years, with tweaks to its mandate that will require it to spend money on programming produced by people with disabilities, Indigenous and racialized people and the LGBTQ community.
“We’re pleased that the CRTC has, for the first time ever, recognized the significant contribution of our digital streaming services … to the Canadian content ecosystem,” CBC President and CEO Catherine Tait said in a statement. “We’re equally heartened that the Commission’s decision recognizes diversity and representation of contemporary Canada in our content as critical to the future of the national public broadcaster.”
The CRTC is dropping the requirement for CBC to maintain minimum thresholds of local programming in urban markets where Canadians have multiple options, but it’s maintaining those thresholds in rural parts of the country.
In its decision, the CRTC says there has been a great deal of change in the media landscape since 2013, the last time the license was renewed, and it’s making changes to the CBC mandate to align with that.
It’s setting out new rules to ensure the difference between news and information programming and “branded content” or advertising is clearly distinguished.
CBC will need to submit new reports to the CRTC on a range of topics including workforce diversity, privacy issues and perception and consultation.
The changes will come into effect on Sept. 1, 2022, and licenses for radio, TV and multiplatform content in both English and French are valid until August 2027.