OTTAWA, Oct. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) announced that it has reached an agreement with the federal government on the Part II Licence Fee issue. The agreement has resulted in the CAB and other named parties discontinuing their appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada challenging the validity of the fees that had been scheduled to be heard on October 19, 2009.
The parties have reached a settlement agreement with the federal government that includes waiving Part II Licence Fees that were not collected due to the ongoing legal dispute for the broadcast years 2006, 2007 and 2008.
"The agreement represents a reasonable compromise for both sides. It resolves treatment of contested fees and reflects a fair fee regime going forward," said Charlotte Bell, Chair of the CAB. "In addition, the Government's recommendation that the CRTC launch a process to revise the Part II Licence Fee and introduce a capped regime going forward is a positive approach. The industry's objective is to move forward to a Part II Licence Fee regime that is more predictable," concluded Ms. Bell.
The Part II Licence Fees are assessed under the CRTC's Broadcasting Licence Fee Regulations, 1997 under section 11 of the Broadcasting Act. Since 1997/98, Part II Licence Fees totaling about $910 million were paid into the federal government's Consolidated Revenue Fund by private broadcasters, cable and satellite companies.
The payment of Part II Licence Fees has been litigated by the CAB and other stakeholders since 2003. On December 18, 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to the CAB to hear its appeal. Since the CAB and other parties have reached an agreement, they have discontinued their appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada.
The CAB is the national voice of Canada's private broadcasters, representing the vast majority of Canadian programming services, including private radio and television stations, networks, specialty, pay and pay-per-view services.
SOURCE Canadian Association of Broadcasters
For further information: For further information: Margot Patterson, General Counsel and Vice President, Legal Affairs, Canadian Association of Broadcasters, (613) 233-4035 ext. 314, firstname.lastname@example.org