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Federal government giving broadcasters $30 million relief from CRTC fees


OTTAWA — The federal government says it will help broadcasters deal with the fallout from COVID-19 by waiving $30 million usually paid by the industry to support the operations of Canada's telecommunications regulator.

As a result, the government will provide funding to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission so it won't request payment for Part I licence fees for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The move helps more than 100 broadcasters that are facing significant declines in advertising revenue.

The department is examining other measures that can be implemented quickly to support the beneficiaries of all of its programs.

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault says the task of broadcasters to inform Canadians about the novel coronavirus is made more difficult because of the significant drops in ad revenue.

Waiving the charges is a decision that could be made quickly while it works 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,” he said in a statement. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press