Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 17, 2009 08:44 ET

Government of Canada Directs CRTC to Consider Consumer Interests With Regard to Fee-for-Carriage

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2009) - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced that the Government of Canada issued an Order-in-Council requesting the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to hold hearings and provide the government with a report on the implications of implementing a compensation regime for the value of local television signals, more commonly known as fee-for-carriage.

In undertaking this review, the CRTC is to consider the views of the general public regarding the impact of such a measure. By making this request of the CRTC, the Government is providing leadership to ensure that Canadians have access to programming at affordable rates.

"Our Government has a record of putting consumers first," said Minister Moore. "When it comes to the broadcasting system, our stance is no different. That is why we've directed the CRTC to consider what fee-for-carriage would mean for Canadians, because this is an issue that affects them directly."

Fee-for-carriage would be a new requirement that cable and satellite companies compensate over-the-air broadcasters for the distribution of their local signals.

In its consultation on fee-for-carriage, the CRTC must take into account:
- Its impact on consumers, and in particular, the impact on affordable access to a variety of local and regional news, information and public affairs programming; and

- How the application of such a regime would impact the various components of the communications industry as it adapts to the new digital environment, and in particular, the implications on current and emerging business models.

"It is clear that Canada's communications system is undergoing a period of unprecedented change. This is an opportunity for the CRTC and the broadcasting industry to look to the future, to find innovative solutions, always with the consumer in mind," concluded Minister Moore.

This request to the CRTC has been made pursuant to section 15 of the Broadcasting Act, under which the Governor-in-Council can request the CRTC hold hearings or make reports.

To see the Order-in-Council, visit the Privy Council Office website at www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/oic-ddc/

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of
    Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken
    Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    deirdra_mccracken@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155