New Hope for Community TV in Canada

By Carlito Pablo
A report tabled in Parliament by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has given some measure of hope to advocates of independent community television.

After more than a decade, community television producers again may be able to access public funds for programming purposes.

Richard Ward, a director of the Community Media Education Society, pointed out that the number one recommendation in the report entitled Issues and Challenges Related to Local Television is the inclusion of community television among groups that can access “any programs designed to assist local broadcasting” for both private and public broadcasters.

The report, which was submitted to the House of Commons on June 19, also called for an increase in the contributions of broadcasting and cable companies into the Local Programming Improvement Fund from the current rate of one percent to 2.5 percent of their broadcasting distribution revenues.

The committee proposed that of this 2.5 percent, a full percent will be dedicated to CBC/Radio-Canada, and the remaining 1.5 percent for “broadcasters in small- and medium-size markets, consistent with recommendation 1”. Link to complete article--