FACT CHECK: Viral Post Claims Fox News Isn’t Available In Canada
A viral Facebook post shared over 13,000 times claims Fox News isn’t available in Canada because the Radio Act “makes it a crime to lie to the public via airwaves.”
Fox News received approval for distribution in Canada in 2004. It is currently available in the country.
The claim that Fox News is not available in Canada due to the supposed Radio Act’s restrictions related to false information has been circulating online since at least 2011. This particular post reads, “No FOX news in Canada. The Radio Act makes it a crime to lie to the public via airwaves. Wish we had that.”
Fox News is, in fact, aired in Canada. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) – the federal entity that regulates television and other forms of broadcast in Canada – includes Fox News, as well as Fox Business Network and FOX Sports Racing, on its list of non-Canadian channels “authorized for distribution in Canada.”
The CRTC approved Fox News for distribution in Canada in 2004, according to CBC News. The commission initially denied Fox News’s bid to be distributed in Canada in 2003, but it was due to the possibility of a Fox News Canada channel being created, not because Fox News broke any regulations related to truthfulness, per CBC’s report. (RELATED: Did Fox News Change Its Accreditation From ‘News’ To ‘Entertainment’?)
While some sections of CRTC regulations do prohibit licensees from broadcasting “false or misleading news,” these regulations are not part of Canada’s criminal code, according to the Library of Congress. Additionally, these regulations only apply to Canadian broadcasters using Canadian airwaves, according to Snopes. Fox News appears to broadcast in Canada via satellite and cable.
Canada does not actually have a law specifically called Radio Act. It’s possible that the post is referencing the Radiocommunication Act, which covers radio communication in Canada, including licensing radio operators. That act, however, makes no mention of rules regarding televising false information.