Several pressure groups have called on the government to rescind or reconsider the Canadian Radio, Television and Communications Commission (CRTC) decision on renewing the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (SRC) license, issued last June.
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On Friday, the National Federation of Retired Persons (FPN), the Center for the Defense of the Public Interest (CDIP-PIAC) and the Association of Quebec Media Productions (AQPM) submitted a petition to the CRTC, while the Association of Media Producers (ACPM) submitted one to the Canadian Heritage Minister, Pablo Rodriguez.
“The CRTC allows CBC/SRC to shift its money from its linear services to its online services by removing virtually all presentation requirements on traditional television when none of its stakeholders, not even the public broadcaster, applies to it. FPN and CDIP-PIAC in their joint application .
“The CRTC’s sudden and massive removal of exhibition requirements, expenses, and related licensing requirements will result in a decrease in the delivery of Canadian content by CBC/SRC to Canadians who rely on linear and live television broadcasts. […]. This shift in policy in protecting access for essentially all Canadians to premium Canadian programs is unexpected, shocking, painful and devastating.”
The problem of access and independent production
Both the FPN and the PIAC-PIAC believe that the CRTC’s decision is an additional problem for older Canadians due to access and cost. “Removing programming from linear television directly harms seniors by reducing accessible programming. It also means that seniors who want to continue receiving local news and programs may soon need to subscribe to Internet service, which is a financial and technical challenge for many seniors Age “.
For its part, the CMPA denounced the repeal of an important licensing requirement, which obliges the SRC to work with independent media producers during the production of Canadian programmes.
“Frankly, this CRTC’s decision came out of nowhere and will negatively impact the Canadian media production sector in a number of worrisome ways,” said Reynolds Mastin, CMPA President and CEO. The decision undermines federal broadcast policy goals and is fundamentally dangerous to the future of Canada’s independent media production sector.”
The CRTC’s decision, taken without warning, was not even requested by Radio Société Canada, CMPA confirmed.
“The CBC requires the most independent programming in Canada, and removing this requirement will have unprecedented negative repercussions for the future of Canadian programming,” Mr. Masten added.
Like other organizations, al-Qaeda in the Maghreb considers the June 22 decision to constitute a “voluntary response in relation to its previous decisions, which is detrimental to the balance of the broadcasting system.”
“As a public broadcaster, CBC must meet the highest standards of programming in order to ensure that the objectives of Canadian broadcasting policy are achieved. It is up to the Radio and Television Commission to create the conditions that ensure that public broadcasting fulfills its mandate. […] Helen Messier, President and CEO of AQPM, said in a press release on Monday that the CRTC’s majority decision sets a dangerous and wholly unjustified precedent.
For these organizations, giving CBC/SRC “flexibility” also opens an “irresistible path” for other private broadcasters to demand the same treatment. Viewers can experience the “rapid impoverishment of live and live TV services,” concerned in particular with FPN and CDIP-PIAC.
According to them, the CRTC’s decision “sets a bad example” for private Canadian broadcasters based in Canada, but also for foreign digital broadcasters. “The commission’s decision means that Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Disney+, YouTube and any other foreign online audiovisual service can claim non-regulatory treatment similar to that offered by CBC/SRC, regardless of whether it is.”