Participate in CRTC's "Let's Talk TV" Conversation with Canadians

The CRTC is hosting a public consultation called "Let's Talk TV", to consult the general public about how it thinks the broadcasting system should evolve in the digital and multi-platform environment.

The consultation will have several stages. Before Christmas, it was very free form. Canadians were encouraged to post informal comments on the CRTC's web site, in response to questions in three categories, including programming content as well as technological access to services.

Groups and organizations were also encouraged to host "Flash Conferences" examining the same questions. These conferences could be informal get-togethers in people's houses, coffee shops, a townhall, a teleconference or web consultation. CACTUS held a "Flash Conference" in January. Our report can be found on the CRTC web site, along with the reports of other groups and organizations. (Click the link below, and then click "Flash Conference Reports" in the middle column where it says "Get Up to Speed on the Conversation.)

Flash Conference Reports

Here's what the CRTC's report on stage I had to say about community and local programming:

"Support for community programming also varies. Some call into question the relevance of community channels as well as the quality of the programming they broadcast and whether the Community channel has become nothing more than a promotional tool for BDUs. Others openly support their raison d’être as well as the support they give to volunteers and members of the community in terms of a professional environment to develop and produce their programming.In certain regions of Quebec (such as Trois-Rivières and Chandler) and Ontario (such as North Bay), the need for a strong and well-funded community channel providing locally reflective and relevant programming receives much support. This support comes from individuals, the creative community and other institutions such as parish churches. Some participants argue that local commercial network rebroadcasting transmitters provide little news or information relevant to their communities – a gap that is filled by community television. Others identify cultural, democratic and economic need for a strong community television sector."

The CRTC has now moved into stage 2. It is posing a specific series of questions asking you to make choices about price versus value. To complete the CRTC's "Let's Talk TV Choicebook", click here and complete the questionnaire by March 14th:

Let's Talk TV Choicebook

We encourage you to participate, especially if you missed the first round. It's important for community channel to be kept front and centre in the CRTC's agenda, as well as for thoughtful TV-viewing Canadians such as yourselves to weigh in on the full spectrum of questions regarding the future of our broadcasting system.

The CRTC says there will be an oral hearing in the fall of 2014.