Regulations Amending the Radiocommunication Regulations: SOR/2020-278
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 26
SOR/2020-278 December 16, 2020
P.C. 2020-1058 December 14, 2020
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry, pursuant to section 6 footnote a of the Radiocommunication Act footnote b, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Radiocommunication Regulations.
Regulations Amending the Radiocommunication Regulations
1 Section 15 of the Radiocommunication Regulations footnote 1 is replaced by the following:
15 Radio apparatus that is set out in and meets a standard set out in the Licence-exempt Radio Apparatus Standards List, April 2020 is exempt from the application of subsection 4(1) of the Act in respect of a radio licence.
2 (1) Paragraph 26(1)(a) of the Regulations is amended by adding “and” at the end of subparagraph (i) and by repealing subparagraph (ii).
(2) Subsection 26(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding “and” at the end of paragraph (b) and by repealing paragraphs (c) and (d).
(3) Subparagraph 26(1)(e)(iii) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
- (iii) Basic Qualification with Honours, and
(4) Section 26 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
(3) For the purposes of this Part, an Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with a Morse Code (12 w.p.m.) Qualification is equivalent to an Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with a Basic Qualification with Honours.
3 The portion of section 28 of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
28 If a radio operator certificate set out in paragraph 26(1)(b) or items 4 and 5 of Schedule I in column I has expired or is about to expire, the holder may apply to the Minister for the reissuance of the radio operator certificate or the issuance of an equivalent certificate, and the Minister shall reissue or issue the certificate if the holder
4 (1) Paragraphs 42(b) to (d) of the Regulations are repealed.
(2) Paragraph 42(h) of the Regulations is repealed.
5 Subsection 52(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
52 (1) If the Minister, taking into account the factors referred to in subsection (2), determines that a radio apparatus causes or suffers from interference other than harmful interference or adverse effects of electromagnetic energy, the Minister shall, if it is necessary for the purpose of ensuring the orderly development and efficient operation of radiocommunication in Canada, order the persons in possession or control of the radio apparatus to cease or modify operation of the radio apparatus until it can be operated without causing or being affected by that interference or those adverse effects.
6 The heading before section 80 and sections 80 and 81 of the Regulations are repealed.
7 Items 1 to 3, 6 and 8 of Schedule I to the Regulations are repealed.
8 Schedule I to the Regulations is amended by replacing “Morse Code (12 w.p.m.) Qualification” with “Basic Qualification with Honours” in the following provisions:
- (a) paragraph 9(b);
- (b) paragraph 10(b); and
- (c) paragraph 12(c).
9 Items 2 and 6 of Schedule II to the Regulations are repealed.
Coming into Force
10 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has identified a number of provisions in the Radiocommunication Regulations (the Regulations) that are outdated, unclear or inaccurate. In addition, a review of the Regulations by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR) identified that the Regulations in its current wording allow undue Ministerial discretion to issue orders in cases of interference other than harmful interference, because they do not identify the circumstances under which an order would or would not be made.
The Radiocommunication Act (the Act) and the Regulations, provide the mechanisms for the orderly establishment or modification of radio stations and the orderly development and efficient operation of radiocommunication in Canada. The Regulations primarily set out rules and conditions for radio authorizations as well as exemptions from authorizations and rule for the operation of radio apparatus for various services. The Regulations also set out certification requirements for radio operators and radio equipment as well as requirements for designated certification bodies, and standards for various forms of radio apparatus and equipment. Additionally, the Regulations set out a range of fees related to radio authorizations as well as rules with respect to interference orders, broadcasting, and other areas.
The Regulations were last updated in February 2014 and are being amended as part of ISED’s ongoing initiative to modernize its regulations. The Regulations have primarily become outdated with respect to licence exemptions and certification provisions. The Licence-exempt Radio Apparatus Standards List was last updated in October 2013 and has fallen out of alignment with ISED’s current equipment standards. Furthermore, certain radio operator certificates referenced in the Regulations are no longer required, recognized, or issued, so there is no need to maintain their associated provisions in our regulations. As well, in July 2014, the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR) raised an issue related to undue Ministerial discretion under the Regulations, to issue an order in cases of interference other than harmful interference.
The objectives of these regulatory amendments are to address an issue identified by the SJCSR, improve the clarity of the Regulations, and update obsolete and unnecessary references contained within.
The amendments update or remove a number of provisions in the Regulations in order to achieve the above-stated objectives. In summary, the amendments:
- Update the static reference to the Licence-exempt Radio Apparatus Standards List, October 2013 to April 2020 to include more recent radio standards specifications (the most up-to-date List is available online on the ISED website).
- Remove all references to the Restricted Operator Certificate – Land Qualification, as this certificate no longer exists.
- Remove all references to the Radiocommunication Operator General Certificate (Maritime), as this certificate is no longer issued or recognized in Canada or internationally.
- Remove certain references that relate to the First-Class Radioelectronic Certificate to reflect that this certificate is no longer issued, but still recognized, by the Department.
- Update provisions that relate to Amateur Radio Operator Certificates, to reflect recent operational changes. As ISED no longer issues the Morse Code (12 w.p.m.) certificate, reference would be added to the Basic Qualification with Honours, which is considered an equivalent certificate. The Regulations would retain a reference to Morse Code (12 w.p.m.) so that individuals with this qualification can continue to operate.
- Reflect the types of certificates that will be subject to reissuance or the issuance of an equivalent certificate.
- Remove all references to the Radio Operator’s First-Class Certificate, as the Department no longer issues this certificate.
- Remove all references to the Radio Operator’s Second-Class Certificate, as the Department no longer issues this certificate.
- Remove the word “may” and indicate that the Minister will issue orders if it is necessary to ensure the orderly development and efficient operation of radiocommunication in Canada. This amendment addresses the concern raised by the SJCSR.
- Remove the fee payable for individuals taking the examination for the Radiocommunication Operator General Certificate (Maritime) and the First-Class Radioelectronic Certificate. These examinations are no longer administered, as they are no longer recognized as valid certificates for the operation of radiocommunication equipment on board compulsorily fitted Canadian ships (full details about current certificates and their requirements can be found on the ISED website).
- Remove the fee payable for individuals taking the examination for an amateur radio operator certificate, as these examinations are provided through other designated authorities (a list of accredited examiners can be found on the ISED website), and only offered by ISED in exceptional circumstances.
ISED consulted with stakeholders, including the Radio Advisory Board of Canada, throughout 2013 to April 2020 to establish appropriate licence-exempt technical standards to be added to the Licence-exempt Radio Apparatus Standards List. Consultations on new and amended licence-exempt technical standards were for a minimum of 70 days, consistent with Canada’s obligations under the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. No issues related to the licence exemption aspects of those standards were raised by stakeholders during the consultations. The few comments received by stakeholders on other aspects of those standards were addressed during those consultation periods, prior to the adoption of the standards.
The remaining housekeeping amendments were not included in stakeholder consultations as they are housekeeping, non-controversial in nature and will have no negative impact on Canadians or businesses.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
As the amendments are national in scope, they will apply in modern treaty areas; however, no modern treaty impacts have been identified.
The amendments address an issue identified by the SJCSR, modernize references and improve the clarity of the Regulations. Using a regulatory instrument is the only appropriate option to address the identified issues.
Benefits and costs
The amendments address the issue identified by the SJCSR and improve the clarity of the Regulations by providing more accurate information and removing outdated references to certificates no longer issued. The amendments are mainly housekeeping in nature, and have no negative impact on stakeholders. The benefit of clarifying the Minister’s discretion to issue orders in cases of interference other than harmful interference is that the Regulations will be less ambiguous and provide greater certainty in this regard.
Updating the static reference to the Licence-exempt Radio Apparatus Standards List ensures that the Regulations are up to date with respect to current equipment standards, as the Minister has, in consultation with the public and industry, updated a number of standards since the list was established in October 2013.
While there will be a minor revenue loss for the Department by eliminating the fee it administers for individuals taking the examination for an amateur radio operator certificate, it will have a negligible impact on the overall departmental resources.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply, as there are no costs on small business.
The one-for-one rule does not apply, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
The changes are not related to a work plan or commitment under a formal regulatory cooperation forum.
Strategic environmental assessment
In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.
Gender-based analysis plus
No gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) impacts have been identified.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
The amendments will come into force upon registration. Limited activities, such as updating relevant webpages and documentation on ISED’s website, will be undertaken to make stakeholders aware of these changes.
Compliance and enforcement
As these amendments are administrative in nature, undertaking compliance and enforcement activities is not necessary. The proposed amendments will not alter the manner in which the Act and regulations made under it are enforced. Please refer to ISED’s website for further information on compliance and enforcement.
Broadcast, Coordination and Planning
Spectrum Management Operations Branch
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
235 Queen Street