The Canadian government is waving as much as $30M in licence fees payable to the CRTC by broadcasters for the 2020-21 fiscal year to provide relief and free up cash in the sector.
Canadians rely on radio and television to stay up to date on matters related to COVID-19, Heritage Canada stated in a media release Tuesday. “The government knows that our Canadian broadcasters have been working around the clock to deliver news and information programming, while facing operational challenges and significant declines in advertising revenue.
“This is why, after discussions with the Government of Canada, the CRTC will not issue letters requesting payment for Part I licence fees by broadcasters for the 2020–21 fiscal year. The government will transfer the necessary funds to the CRTC to support its operations.”
Accompanying the above, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault offered the following quote: "Canadian broadcasters are working hard to fulfill the mission of sharing credible and verified information with Canadians. This task is even more difficult since they also face significant drops in advertising revenue. The decision to waive the regulatory charges is one we could make quickly and we are working on more measures to support the industry. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on all sectors, ensuring we remain well-positioned to respond to this rapidly changing environment."