An 'Ecology of Games' Approach to Understanding Canadian Community Channel Policy

In 1997, the CRTC de-regulated community access television in Canada, suggesting in its policy that access television, or the project of access television, had been a “success” and that it had “matured” past the point of regulation. In 2002, the CRTC proposed new regulations for community television and called for comments. They received interventions and comments from well over 100 stakeholders. In 2003, the CRTC proposed amendments to the regulations, and in 2004, the proposed regulations were made put into effect.

Using an ‘ecology of games’ approach to policy formation, this paper focuses on the de-regulation, public policy process and re-regulation of community access television in Canada circa 1997 to 2004. The paper explores why access television was de-regulated and how strategies within stakeholder "games" unfolded into the current policy regime.