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2013 Allocation of Paid Time

Seal of the Broadcast Arbitrator

The Broadcasting Arbitrator
Suite 5300
Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower
Toronto, Ontario
M5K 1E6

Tel.: 416-601-7620
Fax: 416-868-0673
Cell: 647-588-7620

Reasons for Decision

Introduction

On April 19, 2012, in my capacity as Broadcasting Arbitrator, and pursuant to subsection 337(3) of the Canada Elections Act, I issued a decision allocating 390 minutes of time that broadcasters are required to make available for purchase by registered political parties in the next federal general election. The time was allocated using what I have referred to as a "modified statutory approach," which replicates the general approach I have taken in the allocation decisions that have governed all federal general elections since 1993. Under that approach, one-third of the 390 minutes is allocated equally to the registered parties and two-thirds of the time is allocated according to the statutory formula in subsection 338(1) of the Act.

Under section 343 of the Act, I was required to hold a meeting in 2013 to review that allocation. For that purpose, I convened a meeting of the political parties on June 14, 2013. Fourteen parties sent representatives to the meeting.

During the meeting, I noted that since my previous allocation decision, one new eligible party, the Online Party of Canada, had applied for registration and had requested time. Later, on November 5, 2012, that party became registered by virtue of the fact that it fielded a candidate in a federal by-election. Under section 339 of the Act, each new eligible party receives six minutes of paid time upon request; this increased the amount of time that broadcasters must make available for purchase from 390 minutes to 396 minutes. However, by virtue of subsection 343(2) of the Act, the total allocated or requested time is required to be rolled back to 390 minutes on a proportionate basis.

Approach to Allocation

At the meeting on June 14, 2013, I presented a proposal to roll back the time by six minutes by taking a pro rata amount (rounded to the nearest half-minute) from the time allocated to all the registered parties. This would have reduced the time allocated to the five largest registered parties; it would not have reduced the time for the 14 smaller registered parties.

During the meeting, eight of the fourteen parties supported this approach, including all those present from whom the six minutes would be taken. A number of parties, however, asked me to revisit the allocation approach taken in my 2012 decision, seeking an equal-time approach rather than the modified statutory approach used in that decision. I found the discussion informative, though most of the points made by the parties reiterated positions they have taken in the past. The equal time-approach was supported by ten of the parties but opposed by four. A variation where half the time would be allocated equally to each party was supported by nine parties but opposed by five.

Conclusion

As noted above, the June meeting saw no unanimity among the parties as to whether and to what extent the allocation should be modified. Accordingly, I am now required to make a binding allocation of the paid time, which will supplant my earlier decision.

In the result, I was not persuaded that I should depart from the modified statutory approach I have used in the past. Accordingly, I have adopted the rollback proposal that I presented at the June meeting. The resulting allocation is set out in the appendix to the attached order.

I wish to conclude, as I have done before, by thanking the parties for their participation in this exercise, which was useful and constructive.

Toronto, June 21, 2013.

Original signed by

Peter S. Grant
The Broadcasting Arbitrator



Seal of the Broadcast Arbitrator

The Broadcasting Arbitrator
Suite 5300
Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower
Toronto, Ontario
M5K 1E6

Tel.: 416-601-7620
Fax: 416-868-0673
Cell: 647-588-7620

2013 Allocation of Paid Time

Order

Following a meeting of the registered parties held on June 14, 2013, and pursuant to subsection 343(2) of the Canada Elections Act, I hereby allocate the broadcasting time to be made available under sections 335 and 339 of the Act on the basis set forth in the Appendix.

June 21, 2013

Original signed by

Peter S. Grant
The Broadcasting Arbitrator

Appendix

Allocation of Broadcasting Time to Be Made Available by Every Broadcaster Under the Canada Elections Act for Purchase by Registered Parties and Newly Eligible Parties, as Determined by the Broadcasting Arbitrator under Subsection 343(2) of the Act

Toronto, June 21, 2013

Political Party Minutes:Seconds
Conservative Party of Canada 114:00
New Democratic Party 84:00
Liberal Party of Canada 48:30
Green Party of Canada 21:30
Bloc Québécois 17:00
Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada 9:30
Christian Heritage Party of Canada 8:30
Communist Party of Canada 8:00
Libertarian Party of Canada 8:00
Canadian Action Party 7:30
Pirate Party of Canada 7:30
Progressive Canadian Party 7:30
Rhinoceros Party 7:30
Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada 7:00
First Peoples National Party of Canada 7:00
Marijuana Party 7:00
United Party of Canada 7:00
Western Block Party 7:00
Online Party of Canada 6:00
Total 390:00