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“Community Element” All But Invisible in “Canada's communications future: Time to act”

CACTUS was disappointed to find almost no mention of the community element in the Canadian broadcasting system in the recently released report “Canada's communications future: Time to act” (aka the Yale Report). While Recommendation 52 maintains the existing definition of the Canadian broadcasting system as consisting of “public, private, and community elements”, there is no mention of the sector throughout the remaining 235 pages of the report, despite a full section devoted to the role and funding of public-sector media (the CBC), and considerable granularity regarding new funding and regulatory models to facilitate production for private media.

Everyone acknowledges the crisis in local news and information, yet the huge potential of the community sector to fill this gap—due to its lower cost structure and involvement by local stakeholders—is neither understood nor acknowledged.

This oversight is part of a long-standing trend. Neither the 2017 Creative Canada Policy Framework and Shattered Mirror reports made more than passing mentions of the community element.

Aside from the issue of local news and information, the report highlights the need to better serve indigenous Canadians, yet no mention is made of community media as the most cost-effective choice to reach most First Nations, many of whom may have only a few 100 or 1000 members. Community media trains community members in media production and gives them a voice and a platform, in the language of their choice. Via community media, indigenous communities can access the infrastructure and skills to participate in the digital economy.

The 1986 Report on the Task Force on Broadcasting which informed the 1991 Broadcasting Act recommended that community TV be separately licensed, to fulfill its potential as a platform for voices outside the mainstream, but the recommendation was never implemented, leaving the sector under the stewardship of the cable industry. That need is even stronger 34 years further on, in an environment of intense media-ownership concentration. The cable industry has shuttered the vast majority of the over 300 community stations that once existed. Canada is the ONLY nation in the world that put stewardship of the so-called “community element” in private hands.

The only reference in the Yale Report to the stranglehold that the CRTC has allowed cable companies to maintain on community TV is that half of the money (about $70 million) that was supposed to support communities to make their own audio-visual productions has already been siphoned off to support the Independent Local News Fund (the ILNF). Far from flagging this problem and the need for full funding for community media, the Yale report recommends at Recommendation 71 that more of this “levy” should be diverted to support local private news. The report doesn't acknowledge where the “levy” is coming from. The community element is just a black hole to be raided to support failing legacy news infrastructure. There is no vision to build more cost-effective, accountable and dynamic local institutions.

To read CACTUS' submission to the review process that preceded the Yale report, see

CACTUS Submission to the Broadcasting Review 2019

To hear an interview with Catherine Edwards, CACTUS' Executive Director, about the Yale report, as well as with Barry Rooke, the Executive Director of the National Community Radio Association, see:

Rabble Podcast with CACTUS and NCRA Executive Directors


Apply for TV Journalist Positions under Local Journalism Initiative

(français en bas)

Applications are invited for the position of: Civic and Community Video Journalist in the following locations and languages:

Valemount, BC – English
Hay River, NWT – English; Dene an asset
Neepawa, Manitoba – English; Filipino an asset

Term: These are time-limited positions starting December 2, 2019 and ending on March 26, 2021, with the possibility of renewal.


The Canadian Association of Community Television Stations and Users (CACTUS) is looking for Civic and Community Video Journalists in the above listed communities.

These positions are funded by The Local Journalism Initiative and have been made possible by the Government of Canada.

The journalists will be hired by community TV organizations to produce civic journalism, about the activities of the country’s civic institutions (for example, courthouses, city halls, band councils, school boards, federal Parliament or provincial legislatures) or subjects of public importance to society.

Ideal candidates will have a strong understanding of video journalism, an understanding of how local issues impact residents, a passion for storytelling and solid video production skills. It is equally important that candidates understand community-based media and their role in facilitating dialog by involving members of the community directly in the production process.  Candidates will function as the leader of a team of volunteer community media makers who will collaboratively create professional content delivered through video, web, podcasts and social media.


  • Self motivation and proven ability to generate story ideas
  • Ability to identify, research and produce engaging video stories, and to convene public events and programming that engage the community in dialog.
  • Strong digital video production skills.
  • Willingness to work with members of the community and local organizations to create high quality productions.  Core hours may include evenings and weekends when volunteers are available or public events are occurring.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills.
  • Keen interest in civic issues.
  • Valid driver’s licence.
  • (in three locations indicated above)Must be able to work in both of Canada’s official languages.


Preference will be given to candidates who:

  • Have experience with community-based media, including the ability to work with volunteers
  • Can produce audio-only content (e.g. podcasting), online text stories, and social media to complement video products
  • Data journalism skills
  • Indigenous language skills as per locations listed above or experience working in service roles with indigenous communities

Interested applicants should complete and send this application form, along with their CV and a cover letter indicating which position(s) they are interested in and why to lji@cactusmedia.ca. There is a rolling deadline, until the positions are filled.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted.

CACTUS is an advocate for equity and is committed to ensuring representation in its community. We welcome applications from members of visible minorities, women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. CACTUS seeks to maintain its commitment to excellence and recognizes that increasing the diversity of its own and its members' workplaces supports this objective.



Les candidatures sont sollicitées pour le pour le poste de :
Journaliste civique au sein de télévision communautaire dans les collectivités indiquées ci-dessous et dans les langues affichées:

Valemount, Colombie-Britannique – anglais
Hay River, Territoire du Nord-Ouest – anglais; dene un atout
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – anglais; crie, dene and michif un atout
Neepawa, Manitoba – anglais; philipin un atout
Rockland, Ontario – français, anglais
Cheticamp, Nouvelle-Écosse – français, anglais

Durée : Du 25 novembre 2019 au 26 mars 2021, avec possibilité de renouvellement


L’Association canadienne des télévisions communautaires et leurs usagés (CACTUS) est à la recherche de journalistes télé prêt à s’impliquer dans le domaine des nouvelles « civiques » et communautaires dans les collectivités susmentionnées.

Ces postes sont financés par « L’initiative de journalisme local » et sont rendus possibles grâce à l’implication du gouvernement du Canada.

Les journalistes seront embauchés directement par les organismes de télévision communautaire pour de produire des capsules / reportages à caractère civique, sur les activités des institutions du pays (palais de justice, hôtels de ville, conseils de bande, commissions scolaires, parlement fédéral ou assemblées législatives provinciales) ou des sujets d’importance publique pour la société.

Les candidats-tes idéaux-les auront une bonne compréhension du journalisme télé, de l’impact des enjeux locaux sur les résidents, prendront un engagement envers l’éthique journalistique. Ils-Elles doivent également avoir de solides compétences en production vidéo. Il est aussi important que les candidats-tes comprennent les médias communautaires et leur rôle dans la facilitation du dialogue en faisant participer directement, tel que l’exige la Loi de la radiotélédiffusion du Canada, les membres de la collectivité au processus de production. Les personnes retenues dirigeront une équipe de journalistes bénévoles qui créeront en collaboration du contenu professionnel diffusé par la télé conventionnelle, sur le Web, les balados et les médias sociaux.


  • Motivation personnelle et capacité à générer des idées d’articles / reportages
  • Capacité d’identifier, de rechercher et de produire des vidéos sur des sujets intéressants, et d’organiser une programmation qui assurent un dialogue avec la communauté ;
  • Compétences en production vidéo numérique ;
  • Volonté de travailler avec les membres de la collectivité et les organismes locaux pour créer des productions de grande qualité ;
  • Heures flexibles, pouvant comprendre les soirées et les fins de semaine, au gré de l’actualité, des événements et de la disponibilité des bénévoles ;
  • Solides compétences d’organisation et de gestion du temps ;
  • Vif intérêt pour les questions civiques de la région desservie par la télé communautaire ;
  • Permis de conduire valide ;
  • (Pour trois endroits mentionnés ci-dessus) Doit être en mesure de travailler dans les deux langues officielles du Canada.


La préférence sera accordée aux candidats-tes avec :

  • Expérience des médias communautaires, y compris la capacité de travailler avec des bénévoles ;
  • Capacité de produire du contenu audio seulement (p. ex., baladodiffusion), des textes en ligne et pour les médias sociaux pour compléter les produits vidéo ;
  • Formation en journalisme de données ;
  • Compétences linguistiques autochtones selon les endroits susmentionnés ou expérience de travail auprès des communautés autochtones.

Les candidats-tes intéressés-es doivent remplir et envoyer le formulaire de demande, ainsi que leur CV et une lettre de présentation indiquant l’endroit qui les intéressent et pourquoi ils sont intéressés à : lji@cactusmedia.ca.

Seules les personnes sélectionnées pour une entrevue seront contactés.

CACTUS est un organisme sans but lucratif qui défend l’équité en matière de radiodiffusion et est déterminé à assurer la représentation dans les diverses collectivités du pays. Nous accueillons favorablement les candidatures des membres des minorités visibles, des femmes, des peuples autochtones, des personnes handicapées, des personnes d’orientation sexuelle minoritaire et des identités de genre, ou autres qui possèdent les compétences et les connaissances nécessaires pour interagir de façon productive avec nos diverses collectivités.

CACTUS maintient son engagement envers l’excellence et reconnaît que l’accroissement de la diversité, autant dans son son milieu de travail que dans celui de ses membres, appuie cet objectif.


Application Process Open for “Local Journalism Initiative”

CACTUS and the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec (the Fédération) will take applications from community television organizations until September 6th to hire a journalist under Heritage Canada's Local Journalism Initiatve (the LJI). The Initiative will fund “civic journalism” in underserved communities, to address the gaps in local news coverage that have arisen in the wake of community newspaper closures, and the outflow of local ad dollars onto international platforms such as Google and Facebook.

According to the LJI web site “Civic journalism covers the activities of the country’s civic institutions (for example, courthouses, city halls, band councils, school boards, federal Parliament or provincial legislatures) or subjects of public importance to society.” Coverage of sports, arts, and entertainment will not be funded.

The content produced with LJI funding will be made available to media outlets across the country free of charge under a Creative Commons License.

CACTUS will disperse funds to not-for-profit community TV organizations that have the capacity to produce video and television content, and to distribute it to their local communities. Program participants must have a mandate and capacity to train and include citizens and local organizations in the production process. CACTUS' goal is that hosting LJI journalists will not only boost the news production of program participants for the 18 months of the pilot project, but build their capacity for the long haul.

To download an application form to hire a journalist, click here:

If you have questions about the program or the application process, contact:

  • lji@cactusmedia.ca or (819) 456-2237 or (705) 279-5729 in all provinces and territories except Quebec
  • fedetvc@fedetvc.qc.ca or (888) 739-1616 in Quebec

Besides CACTUS and the Fédération, six other “Administrative Organizations" will disperse funding under the Local Journalism Initiative to news organizations that specialize in radio, print, online and ethnic media. For more information, see click here.

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada.


Canadian Heritage Funds Community-Based TV News as Part of Local Journalism Initiative

Non-profit community-owned television will be part of the new Local Journalism Initiative for Underserved Communities, announced by the Department of Canadian Heritage on May 22nd, 2019 by the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.

Seven media organizations have been chosen to be Administrative Organizations which will disperse the funding, including CACTUS and the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec, which represents not-for-profit community TV in Quebec.

The funding is especially welcome news for the sector. After several years of meetings with the federal government regarding the continuing relevance of community media to Canadian democracy, the Local Journalism Initiative is the first federal funding program that reaffirms the sector's importance in the digital environment.

CACTUS has been championing a multimedia and multi-platform vision for community media for a decade, believing that community media is vital to ensure that there are robust, visible, accessible, and moderated platforms for community dialogue on all platforms. CACTUS and Fédération members include licensed organizations whose content is distributed free to air, on cable, on satellite, and on the Internet, as well as unlicensed not-for-profit corporations that distribute video content over the internet and on community channels run by cable companies such as Rogers, Shaw and Videotron.

Funding under the Local Journalism Initiative will enable CACTUS and the Fédération to place professional journalists in communities underserved by other media across Canada. The journalists will co-ordinate teams of citizens and local organizations to produce news and local information, building news production capacity in these undeserved communities for the long haul.

The content produced by the journalists under the Local Journalism Initiative will also be available to media outlets across the country free of charge under a Creative Commons License.

Details with be released in upcoming weeks. For more information about the Canadian Heritage Local Journalism Initiative, click here.


CACTUS Conducts Research into Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Video Game Applications for Civic Engagement

CACTUS founder and Executive Director Cathy Edwards is conducting research at Emerson College's "Engagement Lab" in Boston into civic appications for virtual reality, augmented reality, and video games.

Edwards said "Newer, more immersive and interactive audio-visual technologies are becoming available and we want to find out how they can be leveraged for civic engagement... Put another way, how effective are these technologies as community media?"

Community media has historically pushed the boundaries of community engagement through media, whether through interactive formats such as call-in shows, involvement of studio audience, on-site presence at community events with mobile production units, or just because community members can directly participate in production. Edwards thinks the time has come to see what the new technologies can do: "Video games engage viewer agency. You can't just watch something... you have to make choices to be part of the story. This opens up the possibility of developing empathy for others, experiencing different sorts of situations. Playing games is also a great way to learn how complex systems work, whether structural or engineering systems, electoral systems, or biological systems. Moving around within a game testing the boundary helps you learn in a way you can't watching a linear video."

Virtual reality enables viewers to immerse themselves in an alternate reality. Edwards says that VR, like games, can create more empathy than traditional video. "When you really seem to be in a place, and you can move within the space, it's harder to distance yourself from something. You see what it's really like."

CACTUS hopes to have tutorials available for its members and other not-for-profit institutions to learn to leverage the potential of the new technologies. Former community TV stations in the US, and some community media centres in Canada--such as CACTUS member Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre in Toronto--are already teaching and using these new tools.


Heritage Committee Recommends Policy and Financial Support for Community Media

On June 5th, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage concluded its study on "Media and Local Communities" with the publication of a report entitled "Disruption, Change and Churning in Canada's Media Landscape".

Section 2.6.1 deals with community TV. After discussing the data presented by CACTUS and the Fedetvc, this section concludes by endorsing the call by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre form "greater recognition of all independent, not-for-profit community media “from both a policy and a funding perspective. The PIAC also believes that a study should be conducted to develop a national community media strategy. This strategy would include resources for training and financial support for community media."

In the section about the CRTC, Recommendation 9 states:

"The Committee recommends that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission review its policy framework for local and community television to determine its impact on funding for the community television sector."

Click here for the full report.


CACTUS Partners with Public Libraries in Submission to ISED's "Innovation Agenda" Consultation

In parallel to the DigiCanCon consultation conducted by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Department of Industry, Science and Economic Development (ISED, formerly Industry Canada) conducted an "Innovation Agenda" consultation in late 2016 and early 2017.

CACTUS partnered with the Ontario Library Association, The British Columbia Library Association, and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations in making a submission requesting support for community media organizations and public library maker spaces to teach digital skills, and in particular coding and video game production as a form of community media. This means that in the same way that community members have been able to learn traditional media production such as TV and radio while creating locally expressive content, they will be able to learn to design and create video games that explore local issues, express local culture and foster dialogue about community issues.

Video games are well positioned to foster dialogue because they can model complex systems and encourage players to consider issues from multiple points of view. Games require players to exercise agency and make choices within games, engaging their empathy in a way that other media including TV and radio cannot, except in directly interactive formats such as studio programs or call-ins.

The initial ISED consultation was open-ended, encouraging comments on a broad range of issues. CACTUS' submission with its public library partners was re-submitted in July as a formal funding proposal under ISED's CanCode program.

Click here to read our submission.


Petition Supporting Community Media Presented by Over 20 MPs

A petition supporting community media that was first presented and endorsed at the World Forum on Free Media in Montreal in August of 2016, gathered steam and was presented by over 20 members of parliament either in the House before it broke for the Christmas break, when it reconvened in early February, or directly to the Heritage Minister.

The petition was supported by MPs from all parties, including Liberals, the NDP, the Bloc, and the Conservatives.

Here is the text of the petition:

"We, the undersigned Canadian residents, acknowledge:

That the Broadcasting Act stipulates that the community, private and public elements of the Canadian broadcasting system should complement one another to ensure that a range of local, regional and national programming is available to Canadians.
That it is the policy of the CRTC that “the community channel should be primarily of a public service nature, facilitating self-expression through free and open access by
members of the community”.
That community media can effectively serve small communities, neighbourhoods and alternative voices not served by public and private media.
That digital convergence places new challenges on individuals, organizations, and communities to express themselves, to be heard, and to be visible.
Therefore we ask the government to enable a network of community-operated media centres to ensure

the survival of community TV
the availability of local media in towns and neighbourhoods not served by public or private media
all Canadian residents have access to multi-platform media skills training and content distribution in the digital economy."


"The Shattered Mirror" and "Canadian Content in a Digital World" Ignore Community Media

Two reports were recently published concerning Canadian media: "The Shattered Mirror" by the Public Policy Forum regarding news and "Canadian Content in the Digital World" by Ipsos Reid, under contract from Canadian Heritage. The latter report deals more generally with Canadian content production in the dynamic digital environment. Canadian Heritage also provided some of the funding for "The Shattered Mirror".

The Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) and the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec (la Fédération) agree with the reports' main observations: increasing media concentration among ownership groups, falling revenues from traditional news resulting in less regional content, and the rise of social media as sources of news and information of questionable credibility.

However, if 'Information is as vital to democracy as pure air, safe streets, good schools and public health', as states The Shattered Mirror' (CACTUS cited the same 2009 Knight Foundation report in our submission to DigiCanCon), we are surprised and disappointed to find no mention of community TV and media and their long-understood contribution to democratic local expression and civic journalism.

For 50 years, community TV and media have ensured a participative and democratic media landscape, and a local information offering that has all but disappeared from the big media groups, not to mention our role in enabling emerging and established journalists and creators to learn new skills and test ideas on low-risk local platforms. Community media are the 'farm teams' that drive our creative industries.

If civic journalism is marching rapidly 'to the precipice' as The Shattered Mirror states, it is a disservice to the reports' readers that the alternative offered by our members goes unmentioned. Our members, along with those of the National Community Radio Association, the Association des radios communautaires du Québec and the Association des radios communautaires du Canada include almost 200 CRTC-licensed entities, in addition to 50 incorporated but unlicensed production groups that contribute what little civic journalism remains on the community stations of cable companies, such as Rogers TV, Shaw TV and TVCogeco.

Community media are stated in the Broadcasting Act as constituting one of three pillars of our system. Canada is widely credited with having invented the institution. As a nation we figured out 50 years ago that our geography is too vast and our population too dispersed to serve everyone with public- and private-sector news bureaux. We have TV stations in Valemount, British Columbia (population 1400) and in Wikwemikong First Nation in Ontario, and a newly launched radio station in Baie Verte, Newfoundland. It's a lesson we seem to have forgotten. Canada has always had a small and fragile media economy, dependent on government support. Community media are our secret weapon.

In any process of taking stock of our media resouces moving forward, how was it possible therefore to ignore a whole sector? The public- and private-sector broadcasters that everyone agrees are not filling the gaps were certainly mentioned.

Unlike online-only platforms that are the subject of 'fake news' concerns captured in the two reports, community broadcasters are licensed, and directed by trained journalists who catalyze, guide and curate content in communities that would otherwise have no voice. And we do this for 1/10th the cost of the public and private sectors. Put another way, for every federal dollar spent on the public or private sector, we can produce 10 times as much or serve 10 times as many communities, while fulfilling civic engagement and creative incubation roles for our media industries to boot.

We note that the Ipsos Reid report captures ideas from roundtables held across the country to which our members were not invited, overseen by an 'expert advisory panel' from which our sector was excluded.

If the report-writers had considered our written submissions, they would have seen that we proposed an Option C (community), alongside the Options A and B proposed in "The Shattered Mirror". It's a system that's already in place, functional, but under-funded and in jeopardy of losing the remainder of its financing if the disastrous recommendations of CRTC 2016-224 go into effect in September (a danger mentioned only in passing in "The Shattered Mirror"). Option C for COMMUNITY is efficient, realistic, and sustainable, compared to propping up the broken private system that is front and centre in the reports. Bandaids, like the CRTC's redirection of almost the entire national budget for community media to private news, are not the answer. Reinforcing community media—rather than destroying it—would fulfill many of the objectives identified in these reports.


CACTUS Submission to "Canadian Content in a Digital World" Consultation

CACTUS has flagged to both the Heritage department and to the Heritage Minister its concern that neither the national association itself nor any one of its members was invited to any of the roundtables in the "Canadian Content in a Digital World" consultation.

CACTUS was also concerned that the 12-member "expert advisory committee" identified on the DigiCanCon web site at www.CanadianContentConsultations.ca are drawn from community media organizations.

Given that community media comprises over 200 entities licensed by the CRTC and constitute one of three sectors comprising the Broadcasting system as defined under the 1990 Broadcasting Act, this exclusion is disconcerting.

All Canadians and organization are however welcome to upload files as part of the consultation. To read CACTUS' submission, click here.


CACTUS was also concerned that the 12-member "expert advisory committee" identified on the DigiCanCon web site at www.CanadianC

The Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) and partners are hosting four events to help Canadians participate in the “Canadian Content in a Digital World” consultation being conducted by the Minister of Heritage, culminating with a live TV and web program called “Medi@cracy” on November 20th.

The first event was offered in partnership with Regent Park Focus, a youth multimedia arts centre in Toronto on November 2nd as part of Media Literacy Day. The event solicited answers to the Heritage Minister's questions from the point of view of digital media literacy.

On Thursday November 17th, CACTUS member TriCitiesTV will host a second opportunity for the public to weigh in at the Vancouver Public Library, in the context of Media Democracy Day.

On Sunday November 20th, CACTUS, in association with the Association des journalistes indépendants du Québec, Ricochet, and St. Andrews Community TV will present a live stream and broadcast in which viewers can answer the Heritage Minister's questions by phone and Twitter. The program will be broadcast on Bell ExpressVu and streamed.

Finally, on Tuesday, November 22nd, CACTUS' Executive Director Cathy Edwards will help moderate a focus group being presented by Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) to answer the same questions. The focus group will be held over lunch at the Department of Canadian Heritage in Ottawa, and will enable WCT member and non-members to consider the questions as women working in telecommunications.

CACTUS believes the Heritage Minister's consultation is timely. Other groups are considering how Canadians access content in the digital world as well: the need for digital media literacy to make the most of the content available, to what extent digital platforms are democratizing media, and whether there are equal opportunities in digital media industries.


CACTUS Participates in "Media Math" Consultation by the Public Policy Forum

CACTUS and its members participated in two of the roundtable discussions held by the Public Policy forum in connection with the study it conducted entitled "Media Math:
Democracy, News & Public Policy in Canada", instigated and in part commissioned by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

In addition to participating in the roundtables, CACTUS submitted written answers to the questions posed by the Public Policy Forum in its "Media Math" discussion paper.

To see what we submitted, click here:

CACTUS Written Submission to "Media Math" study


CACTUS Asks CRTC to Reconsider Community and Local TV Decision

CACTUS has written to ask the CRTC to reconsider its community and local TV decision, based on the number of erroneous statements in the decision and its setting aside of the testimony by the very communities the policy is meant to serve.

Click here to read the request.

The policy will go into effect in September of 2017 unless enough Canadians complain to the CRTC, federal MPs, and to the Heritage Minister.

To support the request, fax the CRTC Secretary General at (819) 994-0218. The policy goes into effect in September of 2017.

To e-mail to your federal MP, most MP e-mails have the form firstname.lastname@parl.gc.ca. You can check here.

To e-mail the Heritage Minister, use Melanie.Joly@parl.gc.ca.



Ottawa (August 3, 2016) According to a letter received by the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS), the CRTC has deferred consideration of almost 60 complaints against community TV channels operated by Eastlink, Cogeco, Shaw and Rogers until their cable license renewals this fall. The complaints were filed by CACTUS in partnership with community groups in March and April, 2016. Data regarding local and community-access programming produced by cable community channels was also placed on the public record of the CRTC's recent community and local TV hearing, and can be viewed online at www.comtv.org. The channels either fail to air adequate local content (generally 60% of the program schedule) or adequate citizen-generated content (generally 50% of the schedule)—or both. The deferral is the latest in a series of CRTC failures to enforce community channel policy:

Under Access to Information requests, CACTUS discovered that CRTC audits of community channels from 2002 to 2005 revealed that the majority of cable companies did not air enough local and access content. No remedial action was taken.

CACTUS filed data during the 2010 community TV policy review showing that only 19 of more than 100 cable community channels met the 60% local threshold. The rest shared programming across multiple cable systems.

After inviting CACTUS to produce an 170-page analysis of cable community channels logs in 2011, revealing widespread non-compliance with CRTC policy, the Commission itself refused to consider the data. CACTUS received a 4-page letter from CRTC staff stating “In most cases, BDUs meet the minimum requirements regarding the broadcast of access and local programming.” Staff refused to share the basis for this conclusion.


New "Community and Local TV" Policy Deals Death Blow to Community TV