Monday, January 25, 2016

A Vital Debate: The Public and Community TV in Canada

Vital for Public to Weigh in on Community TV


January 25, 2016

The CRTC has opened a forum for Canadians to share their views as it begins a review of its policy framework for both local and community TV on Monday, January 25th in Gatineau.

Click here: CRTC online forum about community TV

The review will last for 10 days and can be viewed live on CPAC's web site at

Since CACTUS was tied up organizing the Community Media Convergence in the fall of 2015 when the CRTC posted its original notice of consultation for its review of community and local TV and was unable to publicize the review widely, it's important that the public weigh in. The CRTC has reopened this portal at until February 3rd, the last day of the hearings.

The CRTC has also begun its review of complaints of non-compliance with the CRTC's community TV policy against Canada's five largest telecommunications companies. The complaints have been submitted by community groups and the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS).

Almost 70 such complaints have now been filed against Shaw, Rogers, Cogeco, Eastlink, and Videotron community channels, accounting for more than 80% of licensed cable systems. Cable operators are expected to air 60% local content and 50% content produced by community members during any given week, but the majority of them fail to meet these minima. The public will have 30 days to 'weigh in' regarding the complaints, which are being posted here:

Complaints against BDU community channels.

It's important for members of the public living in these communties to share their experiences with their community channel. Is it airing relevant local content? Have they been offered media training and accessed the facilities to promote community events? Does the cable operator tell them these opportunities are available?

CACTUS' submission to the CRTC's review of local and community TV policy details how the vast majority of the over 300 cable community channels that once served Canadian communities large and small have been shuttered, following the process of technical interconnection and ownership consolidation in the cable industry. Cable companies don't have a presence in small communities anymore, except for the cables themselves. Communities need to be in the driver's seat in managing community channel budgets, so that they can reopen media centres that serve their need for digital media training and local coverage, on whatever platform and whatever media. The legacy model of cable-only traditional TV is something from the last century.

CACTUS proposes that the $151 million currently spent by cable companies on the relatively few big-city 'community channels' that remain could be better deployed by communities themselves from coast to coast to coast, and respond to the need for digital multilplatform content and for citizens to have a voice in broadcasting.

CACTUS will make an oral presentation to the CRTC on Tuesday morning, January 26th. Other community media organizations present each day over the 8 days of the hearing, along with other public-interest groups and industry stakeholders.

Here's the agenda:

Monday, 25 January 2016
Eastlink (int. #1482)
Télévision communautaire Frontenac (int. #1466)
Channel Zero Inc. (int. #1319)
Allan Sayegh (int. #242)
BCE (int. #1321)
Community Media Advocacy Centre (int. #1468) (int. #1470)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Groupe V Média, on behalf of its affiliate V Interactions inc. (int. #1274)
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting (int. #1283)
Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (int. #1472)
English Language Arts Network (int. #1445)
Tri-Cities Community Television (int. #1383)
Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia and Public Interest Advocacy Centre (int. #1258)
Kirk LaPointe
Conseil provincial du secteur des communications du Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (int. #1457)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Cogeco Cable Inc. (int. #1478)
Small Market Independent Television Stations Coalition (int. #1476)
The Chetwynd Communications Society (int. #1487)
Independent Community Television (ICTV-MTL) (int. #1432)
Healthy Fam (int. #606)
Quebec English-Language Production Council (int. #1384)

Thursday, 28 January 2016
St. Andrews Community Channel Inc. (int. #1469)
Rogers Communications Inc. (int. #1318)
Unifor (int. #1288)
RNC MEDIA INC. and Télé Inter-Rives ltée (int. #1307)
Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada (int. #1529)
Stephen Hawkins (int. #1089)
Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (int. #1365)
NAC TV (int. #1174)
On Screen Manitoba (int. #1467)

Friday, 29 January 2016
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (int. #1343)
CSUR LA TÉLÉ (int. #1380)
Hay River Community Service Society (int. #1531)
Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of Groupe TVA inc. and Vidéotron s.e.n.c. (int. #1525)
Urban Alliance on Race Relations (int. #1502)
Canadian Media Guild (int. #1391)
Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc. (int. #1474)

Monday, 1 February 2016
Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec (int. #1399)
Toronto Community Network/Independent Community Television Toronto (int. #1522)
MTS Allstream (int. #1479)
Fédération nationale des communications (int. #1486)
The Community Media Policy Working Group (int. #1464)
Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre (int. #1461)
Ontario Library Association (int. #1237)
Les Productions 4 Éléments (int. #604)
Wawatay Native Communications Society (int. #1462)
Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (int. #1473)

Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Shaw Communications Inc. (int. #1350)
CIMC TV - Telile (int. #1164)
Le Regroupement des TCA de la couronne de Montréal (int. #1159)
TELUS (int. #1345)
Southshore Broadcasting Inc. (int. #520)
Sid Chow Tan (int. #1235)
Community Media Education Society (int. #1334)
Metro Vancouver (int. #1423)
The Media Co-op (int. #1109)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Independent Web Series Creators of Canada (int. #1415)
Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (int. #1265)
Canadian Olympic Committee (int. #1349)
The National Campus and Community Radio Association (int. #1238)
Access Communications Co-operative (int. #1290)
FirstTel Communications Corporation (int. #1207)
Making Media Public and the Communications Policy Working Group (int. #1441)
The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (int. #1458)
Paul Gallien (int. #106)

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