Please wait...
Please wait...

Canadian indies dismayed at removal of ‘key’ condition in CBC licence renewal

Canada’s independent producers have called on the country’s minister of Canadian heritage to reject the recent renewal of pubcaster CBC’s broadcast licence.

Reynolds Mastin

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has submitted a petition to Minister Rodriguez asking him to set aside, or refer back, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)’s licence renewal decision for the CBC.

Released in June and hailed as a “landmark” regulatory decision by the pubcaster, it has angered the CMPA, which describes it as “fundamentally dangerous to the future of Canada’s independent media production sector.”

In the petition, the CMPA has expressed its deep concerns about the damaging impact that will result from the elimination of a key licence condition, which required the CBC to work with independent media producers in the production of Canadian programming.

In its appeal to the minister, the CMPA asserts that the CRTC decision removes pivotal protections responsible for the recognised success of the Canadian broadcasting system.

It further notes that the CRTC’s removal of the broadcasting obligation in question was taken without prior warning, without evidence supporting the need for such a shift, and was not requested by the CBC or by any other stakeholder that participated in the licence renewal process.

The CMPA petition also notes the organisation is aligned with the dissenting decisions issued by Commissioner Lafontaine and Commissioner Simard, which noted that, in line with historical CRTC practices, such a fundamental shift should only take place following a full-scale policy review with input from experts and impacted industry stakeholders.

“This is a decision from the CRTC that frankly came out of left field and will negatively alter the Canadian media production landscape in a number of troubling ways,” said Reynolds Mastin, president and CEO of the CMPA.

“The decision undermines federal broadcasting policy objectives and is fundamentally dangerous to the future of Canada’s independent media production sector.

“The CBC is the most significant commissioner of independent programming in Canada and the removal of this condition will have a precedent-setting negative impact on the future of Canadian programming.”


Please wait...