Lying is Illegal in Canada('s news broadcasts)

Friday, March 04, 2011


Canadian television regulators announced that rules forbidding Canadian newscasters from broadcasting lies on air will not be changed. The proposal to soften anti-lying rules outraged Canadian citizens, some of whom drew a parallel between the proposed law and the impending launch of a controversial new cable news channel. University of Ottawa law Professor Michael Geist discusses the controversy.

Comments [11]

Michael Ellsworth from Concepcion, Chile

This law seems like a no brainer - if you knowingly lie (presumably with numerical information which can be unquestionably tested), you shouldn't be on the air. Using public airwaves is a prilivilege, not a right.

Mar. 11 2011 12:46 PM
Ben Millstein from Kodiak, AK

I've been wondering for a long time if it was possible to have such a law. If it's not used I guess that's still an open question. I was thinking it should apply to both media persons, and politicians, but it seems like the vagueness factor may be very high.

Mar. 10 2011 02:19 PM
Dominique Pierce

i personally think you shouldnt lie anyways to begin with, what is the point of lying, evently their going to find out the truth so if you lie then people are never going to believe anything you say on the air anymore. so this is a good law so people will know the truth and the truth will always be told

Mar. 10 2011 01:17 PM

I like this law. It prevents the Canadians from getting any misinformation and prevents rumors from spreading. If we could have this in the United States I would be ecstatic. Many people trust their local news stations and if what they are telling you is all fabricated then it makes you look like an idiot if you decide to bring it up in normal conversation.

Mar. 09 2011 12:20 PM
KadeKo from suburban Northeast

JAT, is one of those "uncomfortable truths" the $7 million (sic) it's going to take to clean up the capitol in Madison?

Mar. 08 2011 12:45 PM
Quentin Hammonds from Raleigh North Carolina

In canada you cant lie on the air can we have that in other parts of the world. I mean yeah some people lie and some people give false information but their not the same. These days people lie to protect themselfs or for what they stand for. If the law did change in other parts of the world then maybe there would be less chaos in the world. But is it me or if canada a good place to live based on government.

Mar. 08 2011 12:35 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

Just a Thought 2 has it backward. Control of the definition of a 'lie' is the way a plutocracy controls the population. When the Left loses an election, its believers start to mutter darkly about emigrating, or else about extra-parliamentary measures. Those who obsess about Fox News seem to think that no other news organization has been caught mis-reporting or 'lying'. I'd be happy to begin their education if it weren't for the fact that such posters are upset about the right-leaning slant of Fox News, not about 'lying'.

Just a Thought 2 unintentionally illustrates the rising sentiment on the American far Left in favor of censorship of the politically-incorrect. Do they think Dan Rather and CBS should be prosecuted for presenting fake documents as authentic in the Bush/National Guard scandal, to take one example? And would Just be OK with a right-wing Republican administration defining what is and is not a 'lie' and censoring accordingly? Canada is a consensus society with a relatively docile population, so the elites can get by with a lot. The US is a staggeringly diverse population with no consensus of what constitutes a 'lie' in journalism.

Mar. 07 2011 12:43 PM
Just a Thought 2 from Los Angeles, CA

Good job Canada. Lies as news is one way a plutocracy controls the population.

Mar. 07 2011 01:10 AM
Mike from Washington

Hey Just a Thought -- Are you implying that FOX doesn't lie? Maybe that idea is one of the 'uncomfortable truths' you refer to. When a recent poll showed that 61% of respondents supported labor unions, FOX reported that 61% of respondents opposed labor unions. That's either an outright lie, or damned sloppy reporting. Take your pick.

Mar. 06 2011 06:33 PM
Just a Thought

Steve - Good thing that was not said on Canadian TV because FOX has been available in Canada for years and so far no one has turned into a pillar of salt...or whatever the prevailing superstition is at the moment. It also shows FOX has been approved by the Canadian "truth" authorities. Orwell anyone?

This Canadian concern may be less about liable lies and more about uncomfortable truths.
Why do some staunchly demand to have only the "progressive" media narrative spoon fed to the public and are intolerant of competition and a different perspective?

Since Canada does not have the same free speech protections we enjoy in the United States, the SUN Network may present some interesting freedom of the press challenges to be debated....and that's a good thing... isn't it? The belief that progressives are always tolerant of a diverse media and the offering a broad spectrum of political views and ideas may be the first falsehood that is challenged. Thanks

Mar. 05 2011 04:21 PM
Steve from Austin, TX

Good luck Canada with keeping the Murdoch-Ailes Lie Machine out of your nation! Faux News certainly has lowered the quality of discourse in America with its hate-riddled programming.

Mar. 05 2011 11:13 AM

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