SCC Case Information
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists, et al. v. Bell Aliant Regional Communications, LP, et al.
(Federal Court) (Civil) (By Leave)
Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch) for information purposes only.
Communications law – Broadcasting – Reference – Whether Court of Appeal erred in determining jurisdiction of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in holding that retail Internet service providers do not carry on “broadcasting undertakings” pursuant to the Broadcasting Act, S.C. 1991, c. 11 when, in their role as Internet service providers, they provide access through the Internet to “broadcasting requested by end users.” – Whether Court of Appeal erred in law in failing to apply the ordinary meaning of the word “transmission” when interpreting the definitions in section 2 of the Broadcasting Act.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission applied to the Federal Court of Appeal for a reference to determine the status of Internet service providers (“ISPs”.) The question was: Do retail ISPs carry on, in whole or in part, “broadcasting undertakings” subject to the Broadcasting Act, S.C. 1991,c. 11 when, in their role as ISPs, they provide access through the Internet to “broadcasting” requested by end-users? The Applicants took the position that the answer should be in the affirmative while the Respondents submitted that it should be answered in the negative.