Based upon the documented facts addressed in the report One Media Law, a public inquiry is warranted into the regulatory capture of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, evidence of long-term systemic corruption and the failure of cabinet ministers in successive administrations to address the identified wealth redistribution scheme, including former prime minister Stephen Harper.

The terms of reference for such a public inquiry should be designed to hold individuals and corporations accountable for their actions and, more importantly, identify democratic reforms required to decrease the undue influence by special interests, increase transparency and accountability, and improve the process used to enact subordinate legislation in Canada.

The unorthodox wealth redistribution scheme raises civil law, criminal law and administrative law issues that Canadian citizens deserve to be fully and publicly addressed, including but not limited to the following:

  • Are millions of Canadians legally entitled to retroactive rate refunds by cable television companies?
  • Did the behaviour of any government official violate the law, including Section 122 of the Criminal Code (Breach of trust by public officer)?
  • Did the manner in which cable television companies collected fees from their subscribers in relation to subsection 18(6.3) of the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 violate any criminal law, including Section 380 of the Criminal Code (Fraud)?
  • Did the cable television companies that reported to Revenue Canada that their voluntary donations to the production funds were operating expenses in the cost of sales and service violate any legislation, including Section 239(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act (False or deceptive statements in a return)?
  • Did Parliament grant the CRTC the legal authority to enact subsection 18(6.3) of the Cable Television Regulations, 1986?
  • Did Parliament grant the CRTC the legal authority to incorporate the identified unjust corporate enrichment scheme into the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations?
  • Were the statutory rights of Canadians violated by the processes used by the CRTC to enact subsection 18(6.3) of the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 and/or the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations?
  • Did the failure of the CRTC to effectively inform millions of cable television subscribers that they were being required to subsidize private corporations amount to a breach of fairness and natural justice?

Furthermore, if a public inquiry determines that no laws were violated in relation to the wealth redistribution scheme, existing Canadian laws are inadequate and require amendment in the public interest.

In any event, Canadian politicians owe citizens an explanation exactly how the wealth redistribution scheme was able to operate without public accountability for more than two decades and the CRTC needs significant structural reform.