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2022 Allocation of Paid Time

Seal of the Broadcast Arbitrator

The Broadcasting Arbitrator

99 Bank Street
Suite 1420
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 1H4

Tel.: 613-783-9698
email: monica.song@dentons.com

Ottawa, August 25, 2022


Reasons for Decision

  1. I was reappointed as the Broadcasting Arbitrator on March 21, 2022.

Meeting of Registered Parties

  1. In accordance with subsection 336(1) of the Canada Elections Act (the "Act"), a meeting of the registered parties was convened on June 20, 2022. The meeting also constituted the annual meeting required to be held under section 343 of the Act to review the allocation and entitlement to paid broadcasting time under sections 337, 338 and 339.
  2. The meeting was held at the Double Tree by Hilton hotel in Gatineau, Quebec and was attended by representatives of 13 of the 21 registered parties.
  3. The number of registered parties can vary significantly from year to year. Since the federal general election in 2015, the Broadcasting Arbitrator's annual allocation decisions have allocated the paid broadcasting time made available under section 337 of the Act between as few as 14 registered parties and as many as 23 registered parties:
    • (a) July 13, 2016: 23 registered parties;
    • (b) October 21, 2016: 19 registered parties;
    • (c) April 13, 2017: 16 registered parties;
    • (d) April 30, 2018: 14 registered parties;
    • (e) June 28, 2019: 16 registered parties;
    • (f) January 8, 2021: 21 registered parties;
    • (g) March 31, 2021: 20 registered parties; and
    • (h) July 12, 2021: 22 registered parties.
  4. The last federal general election was held on September 20, 2021. Just prior to the dropping of the writ, there were 19 registered parties.
  5. In the intervening period between my last reallocation decision pursuant to subsection 340(2) dated July 12, 2021 and the meeting of registered parties held on June 20, 2022, the following changes took place, such that at the time of the meeting held on June 20, 2022, the total number of registered parties was 21:
    • (a) three parties were registered:
      • (i) the Maverick Party was registered on August 19, 2021;
      • (ii) the Centrist Party was registered on August 25, 2021;
      • (iii) the Patriot Party was registered on August 25, 2021; and
    • (b) the Canadian Nationalist Party was de-registered on March 31, 2022.
  6. In addition, the True North Party of Canada became an eligible party on February 14, 2022, and has requested that paid broadcasting time be made available to it in the next general election pursuant to subsection 338(6) of the Act. Section 343 of the Act requires that at an annual meeting of registered parties, I consider any requests made by eligible parties in allocating paid broadcasting time to registered parties. In particular, subsection 343(2) of the Act directs that if the total broadcasting time allocated or requested exceeds 390 minutes, the Broadcasting Arbitrator shall reduce the allocated or requested time to 390 minutes "on a proportionate basis and that reduction shall be final and binding on all registered parties and eligible parties."
  7. In light of the foregoing, the within allocation decision is made on the basis that there were 21 registered parties and one (1) eligible party.
  8. At the meeting held on June 20, 2022, I presented an allocation scenario to the registered parties that assumed that six (6) minutes would be reserved for the eligible party, leaving 384 minutes to be allocated between 21 registered parties on the basis of the one-half modified approach. Under this approach, one-half of the available time is allocated equally among the registered parties and the remaining one-half of the available time is allocated based on the statutory factors set out in section 338 of the Act. The one-half modified approach was first instituted by my predecessor in 2016 and has been in use since.
  9. At the meeting, a clear lack of consensus was apparent from the interventions of representatives of the registered parties. A number of the parties not currently represented in the House of Commons urged me to abandon the statutory factors and distribute the available broadcasting time equally between registered parties. Assuming that there are 21 registered parties, this methodology would result in each registered party being allocated approximately 18 and a half minutes of paid broadcasting time. At the same time, the parties currently holding the largest number of seats in the House of Commons took the position that the application of the 50-50 formula remained appropriate.

Decision

  1. As the parties have not been able to come to an agreement regarding the allocation of paid broadcasting time made available to registered parties under the Act, pursuant to subsection 337(3), it falls on me as the Broadcasting Arbitrator to make this determination pursuant to the framework set out at sections 338 and 343 of the Act.
  2. The statutory factors for the allocation of paid broadcasting time privilege success in the immediately preceding general election, as measured in seats in the House of Commons and in the percentage of the popular vote, as well as the activity level of each party in the previous general election, as measured by the number of candidates endorsed by the party as a percentage of all candidates endorsed by all registered parties at that election.
  3. In the Chief Electoral Officer's recommendations dated November 27, 2001, following the 37th general election held on November 27, 2000, the CEO noted that even the largest parties represented in the House of Commons did not fully utilise their allocations of paid broadcasting time (p. 68). However, the free time allocation is linked to the paid time allocation, so all parties must participate in the latter in order to secure access to free broadcasting time.
  4. Application of the statutory factors would result in the parties that are not currently represented in Parliament and that endorsed candidates in fewer than 10 percent of ridings being allocated less than three minutes of paid broadcasting time and practically no free time.
  5. Having considered the matter, I have decided to exercise my discretion to modify the statutory factors by staying with the one-half modified allocation approach first introduced by my predecessor in 2016. This approach represents an appropriate middle ground that provides a higher minimum amount for all parties with due regard to the statutory factors.
  6. Accordingly, I make the attached Order allocating 384 minutes between the 21 parties that were registered as of June 20, 2022 with proportionate reductions to take into account the fact that six (6) minutes of this total are reserved for the True North Party of Canada, being the eligible party that has requested that paid advertising time be made available to it in the next general election.
  7. I wish to thank all of the parties for their cooperation at the meeting.

Original signed by

Y. Monica Song
The Broadcasting Arbitrator

Seal of the Broadcast Arbitrator

The Broadcasting Arbitrator

99 Bank Street
Suite 1420
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 1H4

Tel.: 613-783-9698
email: monica.song@dentons.com

Ottawa, August 25, 2022

2022 Allocation of paid time

Order

Following a meeting of the registered parties held on June 20, 2022, and pursuant to subsections 337(3) and 343(2) of the Canada Elections Act, I hereby allocate the broadcasting time to be made available under section 335 of the Act on the basis set forth in the Appendix.

August 25, 2022

Original signed by

Y. Monica Song
The Broadcasting Arbitrator


August 25, 2022

Political Parties Min:Sec
1. Liberal Party of Canada 77:00
2. Conservative Party of Canada 69:30
3. Bloc Québécois 24:00
4. New Democratic Party 35:30
5. Green Party of Canada 16:30
6. People's Party of Canada 19:00
7. Free Party 10:30
8. Maverick Party 10:00
9. Christian Heritage Party of Canada 9:30
10. Rhinoceros Party 9:30
11. Libertarian Party of Canada 9:30
12. Communist Party of Canada 9:30
13. Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada 10:00
14. Parti pour l'Indépendance du Québec 9:30
15. Animal Protection Party of Canada 9:30
16. Marijuana Party 9:30
17. Veterans Coalition Party of Canada 9:30
18. Centrist Party of Canada 9:00
19. National Citizens Alliance of Canada 9:00
20. Patriot Party 9:00
21. Direct Democracy Party of Canada 9:00
22. True North Party of Canada 6:00
Total 390:00