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September 22, 2020 6:50 pm  #1


Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

I’m trying to keep this non-political and I’m sure it won’t be easy. But I can’t ever remember a Canadian Prime Minister asking for a slice of TV time to make an address to the nation, although I’m sure it’s happened.
 
Justin Trudeau will talk to Canadians in a major address Wednesday night, just hours after his much anticipated Throne Speech is finally laid out. He’s supposedly going to talk about the increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, although critics are already accusing him of simply carving out more airtime for himself in advance of a possible Fall election call.
 
Politics aside, here’s my question: do Canadian stations have to broadcast the speech? I believe in the U.S. there are rules that when an American president asks to speak to the nation, the major networks are obliged to provide the time. Are there any rules on this in Canada?
 
Most stations appear ready to give up the 6:30-7:30 time slot, which isn’t a major sacrifice. But what would stations here do if he asked for “The P.M. in Prime Time?” Would CTV and CBC be justified (Justin-fied?) in shunting it over to their all news networks and carrying on programming as normal? What would the CBC have done if he wanted an 8 PM time slot, on a night when Game 3 of The Stanley Cup Final is supposed to be on their airwaves?
 
What are the rules? Are there any? And what would the backlash be if they refused? I know all the talk and news radio stations have already committed to carry it. I would be absolutely flabbergasted if any of the music formats do.

 

September 22, 2020 8:09 pm  #2


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

Good question, and I don't really know.  I remember during the October Crisis in 1970 Pierre went on TV I believe in prime time to announce the War Measures Act and all of the networks covered this.  At the time  it was unprecedented.

I guess in a national emergency, which you could argue that the October Crisis was, the government may  request the time. If the request came, CBC and Radio Canada would be obligated to cover the message I would think, but private networks, don't know.  If it was of high national importance or an emergency, they would be kind of crazy not to cover it however.  CTV2 usually takes a pass on things like this however, I don't think they broadcast any of Trudeau's daily updates.

Is this going to be a COVID update?  The numbers of new cases have been going the wrong way of late.  Will the message be sort of a national pep talk to keep up the good fight?   Or is Justin going to resign??? 

Always remember when Dalton McGuinty called a last minute late afternoon/evening press conference and announced he was stepping down, and nobody saw it coming...

Looks like both Harper and Chretein also went to the people on TV as well... Both of these were also considered to be of national importance.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-covid-address-country-update-1.5734388

Last edited by paterson1 (September 22, 2020 8:46 pm)

 

September 22, 2020 8:53 pm  #3


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

Paul Martin attempted a PM TV announcement, but Brent Butt snuck on the set and successfully persuaded him to postpone it so Corner Gas could proceed.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0546111/characters/nm0552883.

Last edited by Hamiltonboy (September 22, 2020 9:37 pm)

 

September 22, 2020 9:00 pm  #4


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

GNR640 is carrying the speech live. What I want to know is, if he starts late and goes on for a while, what does that mean for The Employment Hour? I'd laugh hysterically if they cut him off so they could go to the paid programming. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 23, 2020 7:21 am  #5


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

CFRB appeared to answer my question on Wednesday morning's John Moore Show. Frequent guest pundit Scott Reid - a former assistant to Prime Minister Paul Martin - recalled trying to secure prime time TV for his boss and says he was given a hard time by the networks here, which balked at handing over part of their precious evening schedule.

They eventually said yes, but he noted it wasn't easy. So that would seem to indicate there's no rule that forces broadcasters to agree to any political speech - and that it's ultimately up to each station to decide.

     Thread Starter
 

September 23, 2020 8:15 am  #6


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

CFRB pundits remind us that if J.T gets to talk, so does the Opposition. Which means the networks will not only have to carry his blather, but the predictable responses from the BQ, The Conservatives and the NDP. Must See TV or a tune-out? Let your remote decide.

(To be honest, I'll be watching, but I'm a news junkie. The average guy or gal? Who knows? I wonder if there will be a rating for this broadcast and whether it will show major interest - or the exact opposite.) 

     Thread Starter
 

September 23, 2020 8:40 am  #7


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

If the Prime Minister had requested to speak to Canadians at 8pm, CTV would be extremely reluctant to give up the simsub of The Masked Singer, Love Island and Law & Order:SVU.

 

September 23, 2020 8:47 am  #8


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

Who was the first Prime Minister to make an appearance on television? 

 

September 23, 2020 9:48 am  #9


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

mace wrote:

If the Prime Minister had requested to speak to Canadians at 8pm, CTV would be extremely reluctant to give up the simsub of The Masked Singer, Love Island and Law & Order:SVU.

And as noted, CBC is committed to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, which, if anything, is more of a Canadian symbol than even the Prime Minister's office! I can't help but wonder what they might have done had it been on at 8 PM.

     Thread Starter
 

September 23, 2020 11:11 am  #10


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

RadioActive wrote:

CFRB pundits remind us that if J.T gets to talk, so does the Opposition ... 

Yet we have to listen over & over again to that obnoxious Grain Farmers of Ontario anti-Trudeau advert.

The Grain Farmers of Ontario sure must have a lot of money to buy all that advert time?  Wonder who's really funding them?
 

 

September 23, 2020 2:16 pm  #11


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

grilled.cheese wrote:

Who was the first Prime Minister to make an appearance on television? 

Answer may be William Lyon Mackenzie King, who could have appeared on US television in the forties (before the CBC signed on)

Where the hell is grilled.cheese?
 

 

September 23, 2020 5:01 pm  #12


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

Wonder if Justin will come out with a mask on tonight and then take it off to reveal he has shaved!? https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/wassat.png

 

September 23, 2020 6:43 pm  #13


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

Wow. THAT was what he requested TV time for? I believe we've all heard that message over and over and over again from provincial politicians and health officials. If I were the TV stations that gave up ad time for this "emergency broadcast" I'd be pretty pissed right now. 

I did some channel surfing during the address. It was, indeed, on nearly every Canadian station I could get OTA, including the OMNIs, one of which had a non-French/English translation. Global, City, CTV and CHCH all had it. CBC and Radio-Canada, of course, did, too.
 
The only ones missing? TVO and YesTV.
 
By the way, GNR640 and CKTB took the Opposition responses from the Conservatives, the BQ and the NDP. (640 came back for Jagmeet Singh for some reason.) CFRB and 680 were long gone by the time the statements that followed the P.M. went on.

     Thread Starter
 

September 23, 2020 7:04 pm  #14


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

RadioActive wrote:

Wow. THAT was what he requested TV time for? I believe we've all heard that message over and over and over again from provincial politicians and health officials. If I were the TV stations that gave up ad time for this "emergency broadcast" I'd be pretty pissed right now. 

Oh calm down! It was a slow news day anyway. By 7pm everyone was back to regular programming.
I switched over to City Pulse 24 @ 7PM to see what else there was to say about all of this. 
 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

September 23, 2020 7:08 pm  #15


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

I'm not angry. I just think if the leader of a country wants to command time on every broadcast outlet across the country, he might have something urgent to say. 

And by the way, just to correct the record, I thought I heard 640 cut out of the Opposition coverage, but now I'm not so sure. When I turned them back on, they had the NDP leader, so perhaps they didn't cut away after all. Just in the interest of fairness. 

CFRB replayed O'Toole's comments a half an hour later. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 23, 2020 8:19 pm  #16


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

One more thing - kudos to 640 for NOT going to The Employment Hour in its Wednesday night slot at 7 PM. They skipped the paid time broadcast (and presumably the money it brings) to present Alex Pierson with analysis of the Speech from the Throne and the Trudeau pep talk and reaction. I wasn't expecting that to be honest, but it was the right thing to do. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 26, 2020 2:35 am  #17


Re: Do Canadian TV Stations Legally Have To Carry This?

The US networks aren't obliged to carry a president's address.
When Obama was first elected he wanted to deliver his inaugural address on a Thursday night at 8, and the 4 major networks stuck with their prime time lineup. Univision was the biggest over the air channel to show it.
It did air on all of the news outlets.