More than 3,000 Canadians Endorse Community Ownership of Community TV

Campbell River Community TV, Vancouver Island
Ottawa (April 23/2010) New analysis done by the Community Media Education Society (CMES) of the thousands of submissions filed in the CRTC’s review of its community TV policy shows that more than three thousand Canadians support community ownership and control of community TV, said the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS). The submissions are a key part of the evidence before the CRTC as it assesses its policy in this area, along with the testimony at a hearing beginning Monday
“Canadians are passionate about their right to access their own broadcasting system,” said CACTUS spokesperson, Cathy Edwards, “Even letters that support the old status quo of cable company control strongly support the existence of a community channel and the importance of local content.”  The CMES analysis found that the majority of letters appearing to support continued cable authority over communities’ TV channels may not have understood that cable companies have virtually eliminated Canadians’ ability to create and produce their own programs on community channels.  “Cable companies have so thoroughly eroded the access concept by replacing community-produced programs with their own productions, that many of those who wrote the CRTC were  grateful simply to have been guests on programs made by cable companies.”
"Transferring control of the community TV channel to communities themselves means that access will no longer be a whimsy of a few large companies,” said Edwards. "At the CRTC’s first community TV hearing in 1971, intervenor after intervenor asked that community TV be run by communities themselves. We need to listen to Canadians.”  Community control is standard in Canada’s community radio sector, and in every other country with community TV. 
CACTUS will answer questions about the details of the Community Media Access Fund plan for community ownership and control of community TV on Day One of the CRTC hearing beginning April 26th The CMES analysis of the submissions to the CRTC is available on the CACTUS website at
CACTUS Contact: Catherine Edwards, (819) 772-2862
CMES Contact:  Richard Ward (403) 613-0869