Canada's broadcasters challenging fees

Going to high court over $98 mil in annual license fees

TORONTO -- Canadian broadcasters said Wednesday that they will ask the Supreme Court of Canada to decide whether CAN$100 million ($98 million) in annual license fees paid to the federal government represent a legitimate administration fee or an illegal tax.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters said they filed an application to the country's highest court to rule on whether Ottawa can collect the CAN$100 million from domestic broadcasters and cablecasters, or should return the money.

The case follows an October 2006 ruling from the Federal Court Trial Division that concluded the government fees were an illegal tax, a move that was countered last year by the Federal Court of Appeal, which ruled that the CAN$100 million was a valid charge to regulate the broadcast industry.
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