Canada’s independent producers reject CRTC’s CBC decision

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) submitted a petition to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, asking him to set aside, or refer back, the CRTC’s Licence Renewal decision for the CBC, released in June.

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The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) submitted a petition to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, asking him to set aside, or refer back, the CRTC’s Licence Renewal decision for the CBC, released in June. In the petition, the CMPA expresses 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.

“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. The decision undermines federal broadcasting policy objectives, and is fundamentally dangerous to the future of Canada’s independent media production sector,”  said Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO of CMPA.

In its appeal to the Minister, the CMPA asserts that the CRTC decision removes pivotal protections responsible for the recognized 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 organization is aligned with the dissenting decisions issued by Commissioners Lafontaine and 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.

“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,”  Mastin added.

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” Reynolds Mastin President and CEO of CMPA