OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 11, 2012) - Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser is extremely satisfied with the decision handed down on Tuesday, May 29, by the Federal Court of Canada in Commissioner of Official Languages and Amellal v. CBC/Radio-Canada.
"This decision puts an end to a dispute between my office and CBC/Radio-Canada that has gone on for far too long. The Federal Court has acknowledged my authority to investigate complaints about CBC/Radio-Canada, including those regarding its national and regional programming. I expect that CBC/Radio-Canada will co-operate fully in investigations from this point forward," said Commissioner Fraser.
The Commissioner is pleased to see that, under the Federal Court's ruling, the CRTC will have to take into account the impact of the Corporation's 2009 budget cuts on the regional Francophone community when it reviews the application to renew the broadcasting licence for CBC/Radio-Canada and its French-language radio station in Windsor, Ontario. The CRTC will be holding public hearings on the issue in November 2012, and the Commissioner will consider whether to appear before the CRTC.
"As the country's only public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada performs a vital function for the Francophone community in southwestern Ontario," noted Commissioner Fraser.
The suit against CBC/Radio-Canada was filed in Federal Court in August 2010 following an investigation by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The investigation concluded that CBC/Radio-Canada had failed to fulfil its obligations under Part VII of the Official Languages Act by not consulting the Francophone community in southwestern Ontario or considering the repercussions that the radio station's closure would have on the community. CBC/Radio-Canada did not participate in the investigation.
For a copy of the decision, please contact the Registry of the Federal Court at 613-947-3177 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.