Capital Cities Communications Inc v Canadian Radio-Television Commission

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Capital Cities Communications v. CRTC
Supreme Court of Canada
Hearing: January 26, 27, 28, 1977
Judgment: November 30, 1977
Citations [1978] 2 S.C.R. 141
Prior history Appeal from Federal Court of Appeal
Ruling cable television as well as broadcast television, are the jurisdiction of the federal government
Court Membership
Chief Justice: Bora Laskin
Puisne Justices: Ronald Martland, Roland Ritchie, Wishart Spence, Louis-Philippe Pigeon, Brian Dickson, Jean Beetz, Willard Estey, Yves Pratte
Reasons given
Majority Laskin C.J., joined by Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence and Dickson JJ.
Dissent Pigeon J., joined by Beetz and de Grandpré JJ.

Capital Cities Communications v. CRTC (1977), [1978] 2 S.C.R. 141 is a Supreme Court of Canada decision on the legislative jurisdiction of cable television. Chief Justice Laskin, writing for the majority of the Court, held that all television, even where exclusively produced and distributed within the province, fell within the definition of a federal undertaking under section 92(10)(a) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

Rogers Cable provided a subscription service for American television programs. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), a federal regulatory agency, required television broadcasters such as Rogers to remove the commercials from American television feeds and replace them with Canadian ads.

The issue before the Court was whether the federal government had legislative jurisdiction over the content of cable television.

Laskin held that both cable and broadcast television were both within the jurisdiction of the federal government.

This decision was released along with the accompanying case Dionne v. Quebec (Public Service Board) [1978] 2 S.C.R. 191.

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