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Who decides what? Transparency in CRTC decision-making

12 June 2018

“In brief, transparency at the CRTC is at best, superficial – in that the people of Canada are able to learn who has been appointed to the CRTC, but not how the CRTC’s decision-making process works, who is making or has made decisions on behalf of the CRTC, what is or is not a decision and what is or is not subject to appellate review. (Note that in the case of hearings, and while this research note has analyzed CRTC transcripts from 1998 to 2017, the transcripts from the previous 30 years of CRTC hearings cannot be analyzed through the CRTC website because they are not posted.)

Superficial transparency threatens procedural fairness in administrative decision-making. As the Supreme Court of Canada explained in 1999 in Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration),

… that the purpose of the participatory rights contained within the duty of procedural fairness is to ensure that administrative decisions are made using a fair and open procedure, appropriate to the decision being made and its statutory, institutional, and social context, with an opportunity for those affected by the decision to put forward their views and evidence fully and have them considered by the decision-maker.

Anonymous CRTC decision-makers’ ability to set the CRTC’s agenda and make its determinations, renders it impossible for those affected by the CRTC’s decisions (whether to act, or not to act) to know who is considering their views and evidence. (The related question, of whether views and evidence are in fact, considered fully, is not the subject of this research.)”

Read the FRPC’s research paper for the FRPC’s 6 recommendations for decision-making transparency by decision-making authorities responsible for implementing these laws.