Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), Ontario Regional Council releases decision

OTTAWA, April 22, 1991 - The Ontario Regional Council of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council today released its decision concerning a CFTO-TV live phone-in production entitled “Brian Mulroney On the Line” aired on November 5, 1990.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council was recently established by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), who represent the vast majority of private local-serving radio and television stations. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) formally endorsed this initiative in 1988. The purpose of the Council is to provide a mechanism for self-regulation by broadcasters in accordance with specific industry codes and standards. As well as providing a means of recourse for members of the public, the Council's objective is to assist in the application of CAB standards.

The CAB has developed several codes over the years, including a Code of Ethics and codes on violence in television and sex-role portrayal, all of which are now being administered by the CBSC.

The Council consists of five regional councils, Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Western and British Columbia, a national executive and a secretariat. The National Chair is Mimi Fullerton. Each Council is comprised of public and industry representatives who deal with public complaints, administer industry codes, and help broadcasters deal with social issues.

Although listeners and viewers are urged to continue dealing directly with stations on programming matters, unresolved problems can be dealt with by the appropriate regional Standards Council.

On December 20, 1990, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Ontario Regional Council was approached by Baton Broadcasting Incorporated to review a matter concerning CFTO-TV's phone-in program “Brian Mulroney On the Line”. Baton stated that “the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council usually operates on the basis of individual complaints. However, given the large number of written complaints received from the public and the importance of the issue to the public and the broadcasting system alike, we believe that this would be an appropriate matter for the Ontario Council of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to review against the standards set in the CAB's Code of Ethics.” Within the spirit of the CBSC objectives, the Council accepted to review the matter.

The six-member Ontario Regional Council met January 18, 1991 in Toronto to review this case. The members currently serving on the Ontario Regional Council are: John Radford, Regional chair, Marianne Barrie, Susan Fish, Robert Stanbury, Paul Fockler and Don Luzzi. See CBSC Decision attached.

– 30 –

For more information please contact Mimi Fullerton, CBSC National Chair at (###) ###-####.