ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1998-135

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

Public Notice

Ottawa, 22 December 1998
Public Notice CRTC 1998-135
Review of the Broadcasting Policy Reflecting Canada's Linguistic and Cultural Diversity - Call for Comments
1.  This public notice invites Canadians to participate in a review of the ethnic broadcasting policy established in 1985. Among other things, the policy has allowed for an array of radio and television services in languages relevant to numerous ethnocultural communities. This notice outlines the key issues to be addressed and describes the process, which includes a request for written submissions and an invitation to public consultations to be held in various locations across Canada in early February 1999. The deadline for the submission of written comments is 4 March 1999.
2.  In April 1998, the Commission announced that, among the initiatives it would pursue as part of its Vision strategy, would be a review, in 1998/99, of its ethnic radio and television policy. The principal components of the Commission's policy on ethnic broadcasting are set out in Public Notice CRTC 1985-139, entitled A Broadcasting Policy Reflecting Canada's Linguistic and Cultural Diversity.
3.  The terms linguistic and cultural, as they appear in the title of the 1985 policy notice, and other terms such as ethnic, ethnocultural and third language, have been used in the past, largely interchangeably, both by the Commission and by others. They appear in this document generally with reference to the programming diversity that is provided under the 1985 policy, and to the programs that are directed to groups and communities other than those composed of Aboriginal Canadians or of Canadians whose ancestral origins lie either in France or in the British Isles.
4.  Impetus for a review of the Commission's ethnic broadcasting policy stems in part from the shifts that have occurred within Canada's demographic makeup over the 14 years that the policy has been in effect. Canada has become a more culturally and linguistically diverse country in that time. Almost 80% of the one million immigrants who arrived in this country between 1991 and 1996 reported a mother tongue other than English or French. The corresponding percentage among Canada's immigrants during the period from 1961 to 1970 was 54%.
5.  According to Statistics Canada, Toronto has the most ethnically diverse population of any city in Canada. Approximately 33% of Toronto residents report the exclusive use in the home of a language other than French or English. In the case of Vancouver and Montréal, Canada's next two largest cities, this percentage is smaller, but still very significant. The proportion of Canadians who count themselves among Canada's visible minorities has also expanded, from 9.6% of the total population in 1961 to 11.7% in 1996. Statistics Canada projects that the figure will rise to 16.3% by 2006.
6.  In this public notice, the Commission provides an outline of the current policy, its origins and objectives, and sets out the scope of its proposed review. By conducting this review, the Commission wishes to develop a stronger understanding of the audiences for ethnocultural programming across Canada and their views on how well they are served. The Commission notes in this regard that the availability of ethnic programming in the Canadian broadcasting system has never been greater. Although not a typical example, Toronto's ethnocultural communities are now served by six ethnic radio stations, two closed circuit audio services, one ethnic television station, three ethnic specialty services, and six subsidiary communications multiplex operation (SCMO) channels. An SCMO channel is ancillary spectrum capacity available to FM broadcasters. This capacity is frequently used for the distribution of special services such as ethnic programming; the services are accessible through the use of special receiving equipment. In addition, four other non-ethnic radio stations (two campus and two conventional) and two "mainstream" television stations provide some ethnic programming in their schedules. The number of ethnic services available in other communities is smaller, but is also expanding to match the growing diversity of their populations.
7.  The Commission's review will include an examination of the relevance of its ethnic broadcasting policy in light of the increasing availability of ethnocultural services from sources other than ethnic stations, such as campus and community stations, "mainstream" stations that provide some ethnic programming, specialty services, SCMO carriers, community channel operators, the Internet and third-language foreign services included in the Lists of Eligible Satellite Services.
8.  The Commission also wishes to develop a clearer grasp of the ethnic broadcasting industry's economic underpinnings. These form the basis of its ability, and that of its components, to contribute to the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
9.  By reviewing these matters, the Commission seeks to determine whether the goals of its current policy remain valid and whether the policy continues to be effective in attaining these goals. It is the Commission's objective to ensure that its policy, as modified by whatever changes it may determine are necessary, continues to provide an adequate framework within which the Canadian broadcasting system may serve the needs and interests of all Canadians by reflecting their ethnocultural diversity in an effective manner.
10.  This notice puts forward for public comment a number of questions related to various aspects of the current policy. The Commission asks that written responses to these questions be submitted no later than 4 March 1999. In early February 1999, the Commission also intends to conduct a series of public consultations, in various communities across Canada, on the matters that are the subject of this notice. The tentative dates and locations for these public meetings, and other details concerning public participation, are set out in a later section of this notice. To assist interested parties in formulating their written submissions and oral presentations, the Commission intends to place a number of relevant documents and data on the public file for this proceeding and, to the extent possible, on its website as well.
11.  The Commission expects that it will be able to announce its policy determinations no later than June 1999.
Scope of the policy review
12.  Section 3(1)(d)(iii) of the Broadcasting Act states that:
 ...the Canadian broadcasting system should... serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and children, including equal rights, the linguistic duality and multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society...
13.  The Commission has employed a number of approaches to realize this particular objective of the Act. In the course of implementing its 1985 ethnic broadcasting policy, the Commission has licensed several over-the-air radio and television stations whose specific mandate is to serve the ethnocultural communities in their respective markets. This policy also defines various ethnic programming categories and establishes a framework for the delivery of ethnocultural programming by all over-the-air broadcasters.
14.  The Commission has also authorized the delivery of ethnocultural programming by a number of other vehicles such as specialty services, and the community channels and special programming services of cable companies. This is in addition to the Commission's encouragement to all over-the-air broadcasters that they reflect the communities they serve, including their ethnocultural diversity.
15.  While the Commission expects that aspects of all of the above approaches may arise in discussion as part of this review, it expects that the review will focus principally on the existing ethnic broadcasting policy and its influence on the quantity, calibre and effectiveness of programming directed specifically to ethnocultural groups. The Commission notes in this regard that issues associated with the reflection of ethnocultural diversity, in television generally, is under consideration as part of the current television policy review initiated by Public Notice CRTC 1998-44.
16.  This policy review may also serve as a timely and appropriate opportunity to weigh the implications for the ethnic broadcasting industry of emerging technologies. Persons with access to the Internet are already able to obtain a wide array of foreign language services. The Internet's impact in this regard can only be expected to grow in coming years. Digitization of distribution systems and the increased channel capacity it creates will permit even further specialization among television services, but may challenge the ability of the broadcasting system to absorb and support increasing numbers of new services. These technological developments may also affect the ways in which the ethnic broadcasting industry serves its audiences.
Overview of the ethnic broadcasting policy and the existing regulatory regime
17.  The Commission's current policy is intended to encourage the growth and development of ethnic programming in Canada, to assist in ensuring that culturally and racially distinct groups receive broadcasting services, and to enhance the variety and broaden the scope of the Canadian broadcasting system.
18.  The policy distinguishes between five types of ethnic programming, as follows:
Type A: A program in a language or languages other than French, English or native Canadian.
Type B: A program in French or in English that is directed specifically at racially or culturally distinct groups whose first or common bond language (in the country of their national origin) is French or English (such as Africans from Algeria, Mauritania and Morocco; Caribbean Blacks; and groups from India).
Type C: A program in French or in English that is directed specifically to any culturally or racially distinct group whose heritage language is already included in Type A (such as those groups who have not retained the use of a third-language).
Type D: A program using a bilingual mix (French or English plus a third-language from Type A) that is directed specifically to any culturally or racially distinct group (such as French and Arabic, English and Italian, English and Punjabi).
Type E: A program in French or in English that is directed to any ethnic group or to a mainstream audience and that depicts Canada's cultural diversity through services that are multicultural, educational, informational, cross-cultural or inter-cultural in nature.
19.  Under the Commission's policy, an ethnic radio or television undertaking is defined and licensed as one that devotes at least 60% of its schedule during the broadcast week to programming of Types A, B, C or D. The remainder of the station's schedule may be devoted, without restriction, to any of the five types of ethnic programming or to any form of "mainstream" programming. In the case of each such undertaking, the Commission imposes a condition of licence establishing, as a further minimum weekly requirement, the amount of programming that must be devoted to Types A and B.
20.  Ethnic radio and television undertakings, by conditions of licence that are based on the demographics of the markets they serve, are also required to provide programming to a specified minimum number of ethnocultural groups, and in a minimum number of languages other than English or French.
21.  In practice, most ethnic radio stations devote their entire schedules to ethnic programming. The ethnic television station serving Toronto and certain other Ontario communities broadcasts only the minimum required level of 60% ethnic programming during the broadcast week. The remainder of its schedule consists primarily of non-Canadian, non-ethnic programming, which accounts for the bulk of its revenues. In contrast, the Montréal ethnic television station is currently committed to broadcast 100% ethnic programming, but has applied for conditions of licence that would bring the station into line with the model followed by its Toronto counterpart.
22.  The licensees of conventional television and radio stations are both generally permitted to devote up to 15% of their weekly schedules to programming in Types A to D, without prior Commission approval. However, in order to provide a measure of protection to licensees of ethnic television stations, conventional television broadcasters in markets also served by an ethnic television station may devote no more than 10% of their weekly schedules to programming in Types A to D, without prior Commission approval.
23.  Radio and television stations that are not licensed as ethnic stations may apply to the Commission for conditions of licence authorizing them to increase to 40% the amount of programming of Types A to D that they air in each broadcast week. The Commission establishes, by condition of licence, the amount of such programming that must be devoted to Types A and B.
24.  As a means of encouraging broadcasters to reflect Canada's diversity in their programming, the Commission places no restrictions on the amount of Type E programming that any television or radio station may broadcast. When provided by ethnic radio and television broadcasters, however, Type E programming does not count towards meeting their ethnic broadcasting requirements.
25.  In applying its policy, the Commission has generally set Canadian content requirements for ethnic broadcasting undertakings that are lower than those established under the regulations for conventional broadcasters. For radio, the measurement of Canadian content is calculated on the basis of the musical selections broadcast. In the case of ethnic radio stations, licensees are generally required to include a minimum of 7% of Canadian content in the musical selections broadcast during ethnic program periods, and to meet the higher minimum levels for Canadian content in music generally required by regulation during other periods of the broadcast week (35% as of 3 January 1999). Alternatively, ethnic radio stations may choose to meet the higher minimum regulated requirements over the entire broadcast week, including ethnic program periods.
26.  The Canadian content requirements imposed on the ethnic television station in Toronto have been set by condition of licence at 50% for the broadcast day and 40% for the evening broadcast period (as compared to the corresponding requirements of 60% and 50% for these periods generally imposed on other television stations). The ethnic television station serving Montréal is currently required to adhere to the existing regulations, but has applied for conditions of licence that would reduce its Canadian content obligations to the same levels as those established by the Commission for the Toronto station. This application has been announced for public comment in Public Notices CRTC 1998-112 and 1998-112-1.
27.  In the case of ethnic specialty services, licensees adhere to conditions of licence regarding Canadian content that take into account a number of factors, including the nature of service, the licensees' commitments and business plans, and the size of their respective markets.
Matters for consideration
Examination of the policy framework
28.  As noted earlier, fewer immigrants to Canada in recent years have English or French as a first language. The increasing size of ethnocultural communities within Canada raises the question of whether, in future, the needs and interests of these diverse groups could be served by the broadcasting system, even in the absence of a specific policy designed for this purpose. For some ethnocultural communities, market forces may be sufficient to ensure that their interests are adequately served. At the same time, some policy framework may still be necessary to provide for other ethnocultural communities.
29.  With these things in mind, the Commission asks the following questions:
(1) To what extent does the present broadcasting system adequately serve Canada's ethnocultural communities?
(2) Given the increasingly multicultural and multilingual nature of Canada's population, as well as the increasing number of broadcasting undertakings targeting ethnocultural audiences, to what extent can the needs and interests of these diverse groups continue to be served by the broadcasting system in the absence of a specific policy designed for this purpose? Can market forces alone be relied upon to ensure that the needs of these audiences are met?
(3) What is the importance of the following programming areas in view of Canada's increasing ethnocultural diversity?
a)  programming directed specifically to ethnocultural groups that serves as a link to the origin nations of the viewer or listener;
b)  programming directed specifically to ethnocultural groups that reflects the national, regional and local experience and that informs about Canada;
c)  programming that promotes cross-cultural understanding;
d)  programming that strengthens and units an ethnocultural community, such as information about community events and association or club activities;
e)  programming that informs listeners about the larger community they are part of, including information about government, schools and institutions; and
f) other (please specify)?
(4) With respect to the above programming areas, what specific changes, if any, would be required to the Commission's policy framework?
(5) What is the importance of third-language ethnic programming, relative to the importance of ethnic programming in French or English?
(6) Conventional radio and television stations, campus and community stations, specialty services, special programming services, community channels, SCMO services, and foreign services authorized for distribution via the lists of authorized satellite services, all play different roles in providing ethnic programming. What are these different roles? How should they mesh in forming a complementary framework for producing and distributing programming serving the needs of ethnocultural groups in Canada? To what extent does the existing policy framework allow the different elements to play the roles for which they are best suited?
(7) How should the policy framework for ethnic broadcasting be adapted to account for, and respond to, future demographic and technological changes? How will the availability of foreign services over the Internet, and the increased capacity that digitization will give distribution undertakings to provide more services, affect the production and distribution of ethnic programming?
(8) As the availability of ethnic services from foreign sources increases, is there a special role for ethnic broadcasters to provide programming that reflects the national, regional and local experience in Canada?
Examination of the licensing framework
Ethnic programming on ethnic stations
30.  As mentioned earlier, ethnic radio and television stations are generally required to provide a minimum of 60% ethnic programming over the broadcast week. Most ethnic radio stations have chosen to devote their schedules almost exclusively to such programming. In television, however, the strong financial performance of the Toronto station appears largely attributable to the revenues it earns through the broadcast, during approximately 40% of the broadcast week, of "mainstream" programming. Although the Toronto station is able to satisfy its Canadian content obligations largely through the broadcast of the ethnic programming in its schedule, it appears that the revenues earned by the Toronto station from its other, "mainstream" programming effectively subsidize the station's ethnic program component. It might be argued that this model works effectively in providing television service to ethnocultural communities.
(9) Does the current general requirement for the broadcast on ethnic radio and television stations of a minimum of 60% programming of Types A to D remain appropriate for all such stations in all markets? Should the Commission permit departures from this general rule, by condition of licence?
(10) Should the Commission impose any requirements with respect to the 40% of the weekly schedule that, in the case of most ethnic radio and television licensees, currently need not contain any ethnic programming? If so, what requirements would be appropriate, and how should they be imposed?
31.  Most of the programming provided by ethnic radio and television stations falls into Type A (foreign language programming). There is also a smaller amount of Type D programming (foreign language and official language programming - mixed). There are, however, no significant amounts being offered of Type B programming (official language programming aimed at an ethnocultural community whose first language is English or French, such as the Jamaican or Algerian community), or of Type C programming (official language programming directed to communities whose mother tongue is other than French or English). This suggests that there may be a limited demand for these latter two types of programming.
32.  Moreover, although the minimum amount of Type A and Type B programming required of each ethnic television and radio station is set by condition of licence, it is unclear whether maintaining these minimum requirements continues to be necessary, particularly in light of the increased availability of foreign language programming from other sources.
(11) Is there a need for the Commission to continue to distinguish between ethnic programming falling into Types A, B, C and D?
(12) If so, is there any need to modify the current definitions of these program types?
(13) Should the Commission continue to set minimum quantitative requirements for the broadcast of Type A and Type B programming by ethnic radio and television stations? Would removal of these requirements allow such stations to better adjust their programming in response to the needs of their audiences?
33.  As noted earlier, a Type E program is defined as one that is in French or in English, is directed to any ethnocultural group or to a "mainstream" audience, and depicts Canada's cultural diversity through services that are multicultural, educational, informational, cross-cultural or inter-cultural in nature. In its 1985 policy statement, the Commission expected all broadcasters to increase their efforts to provide adequate levels of ethnic programming in their schedules. Accordingly, the Commission has set no restrictions on the amount of Type E programming that "mainstream" radio or television stations may broadcast.
34.  Nor does the Commission count Type E programming in calculating the compliance of ethnic broadcasters with their quantitative requirements for the broadcast of ethnic programming. It may be argued that this serves as a disincentive to ethnic radio and television stations to include such programming in their schedules.
(14) The Commission's objectives in promoting the provision of Type E programming by all broadcasters have been to increase the availability of English- and French-language programs designed to facilitate communication between ethnocultural groups and Canadian society as a whole, and to reflect such groups to Canada's population at large. Are these objectives being achieved?
(15) Should the definition of Type E programming be eliminated or modified? If it should be modified, how?
(16) If the definition of Type E programming is retained,
a)  Should ethnic broadcasters be asked to commit to minimum amounts of Type E programming?
b)  Should the licensees of ethnic radio and television stations be permitted to count Type E programming towards meeting their requirements for the broadcast of ethnic programming?
c)  How might "mainstream" radio and television stations best be encouraged to broadcast Type E programming?
Delivery of broadly-based ethnic radio and television services
35.  As a matter of policy, the Commission has not licensed single-language, over-the-air programming undertakings other than those operating in English, French or in an Aboriginal language. Ethnic broadcasters have been required, by condition of licence, to offer broadly-based services composed of programming in different languages and directed to different ethnocultural groups. The specific numbers of different languages and groups is set by the Commission, taking into account, in each case, the level of cultural and linguistic diversity present in the market that the station serves. Part of the rationale underlying this approach is that the availability of radio and television frequencies is too scarce to permit the licensing of single language services directed to individual ethnocultural groups in a given market.
36.  One consequence of this policy may be that a significant portion of the revenues generated by programming directed to larger ethnocultural groups in a market is used to subsidize the delivery of less profitable programming to smaller groups. It could be argued that this cross-subsidization impinges upon the development of varied, high-quality services to the larger groups and inhibits the emergence of new services. A further argument might be that, if the size of a particular community is too small to attract sufficient advertising to support the production of programming directed to that community, a policy that nonetheless obliges commercial ethnic stations to deliver such programming may be unrealistic. A different view might be that all broadcasters, including non-ethnic broadcasters, have a responsibility under the Act to contribute to the costs of providing services to smaller ethnocultural groups.
37.  Matters having a bearing on this discussion include the effect that digitization will have on expanding the channel capacity available to the operators of broadcasting distribution undertakings. Expanded cable capacity resulting from digitization may allow the introduction of additional domestic or foreign specialty services directed to one or a small number of ethnocultural groups. This could transform the role of existing over-the-air ethnic broadcasting undertakings, in that they may find it necessary to focus more closely on reflecting the local experience. This, in turn, would seem likely to create a greater reliance on Canadian programming, the costs of which may only become affordable by reducing the requirements for ethnic stations to provide broadly-based services. With this as background, the Commission asks the following questions:
(17) Should the Commission's policy continue to require over-the-air ethnic radio and television stations to provide service to a broad range of linguistic and cultural groups within their coverage areas? If not, should alternative measures be adopted to ensure that smaller linguistic and cultural groups continue to be served by the broadcasting system?
(18) One consequence of the current policy is that revenues generated by programming aimed at larger communities may be used to subsidize programming for smaller groups. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such cross-subsidization of programming? How does this aspect of the current policy affect the economic viability of ethnic stations?
(19) Should licensees other than ethnic broadcasters be required to make a contribution to the provision of service to smaller linguistic and cultural communities? If so, what form should this contribution take?
(20) To what extent does the availability of ethnic programming from Canadian specialty services and foreign services, as delivered by cable and other distribution undertakings, affect the role of over-the-air ethnic stations?
Ethnic programming provided by non-ethnic stations
38.  As noted above, the current policy places maximum limits on the amount of ethnic programming (of Types A to D) that "mainstream" radio and television stations may broadcast without prior Commission approval. In addition to these limits, an FM radio licensee who operates in a market that overlaps the market served by an existing ethnic station, and who wishes to provide an SCMO service containing more than 15% of ethnic programming, must also obtain the Commission's prior approval.
39.  The purpose of these limits has been to provide ethnic broadcasters with a measure of protection. This recognizes the commitments made by them to serve a range of ethnocultural groups resident in their service areas. In the absence of any limits on the amount of ethnic programming that "mainstream" stations are permitted to offer, these stations could target the largest and most profitable ethnocultural audiences.
40.  The Commission wishes to examine whether the current limits continue to be effective. For example, in markets too small to support a local ethnic station, and in the interests of increased diversity, it may be inappropriate to require a licensee to obtain prior approval before it expands the amount of ethnic programming it provides. Moreover, an argument in support of relaxing the current restrictions could well be made in the case of campus and community stations. Their mandate is to provide an alternative to programming offered by commercial stations.
(21) Is there a continued need to ensure a measure of protection for ethnic broadcasting licensees?
(22) Is there a need to retain a distinction between ethnic and non-ethnic stations? Are there other alternatives to simplify and integrate the regulatory regime that would continue to ensure service to a variety of ethnocultural groups?
(23) Should the maximum amount of ethnic programming that a non-ethnic station may now broadcast with the Commission's prior approval be raised from 40% to 60%?
(24) Should there be an adjustment made to the maximum amount of ethnic programming that non-ethnic stations may now broadcast without the Commission's prior approval? Should it matter whether there is an existing ethnic station in the relevant market?
(25) Do campus and community radio stations have a significant role to play in providing programming targeted to distinct cultural and linguistic groups? If so, should campus and community stations be authorized to provide more ethnic programming without the Commission's prior approval?
(26) Is it still necessary to require an FM radio licensee to seek prior Commission approval to transmit an SCMO service containing more than 15 % of programming from Types A to D, where the area served would overlap the market of an existing ethnic station?
The need for a national ethnic television network
41.  It has been suggested that there would be significant economies of scale available to a national, over-the-air, ethnic television network. Further, it has been suggested that licensing such a network would promote the introduction of viable ethnic, over-the-air television stations to markets not currently served by such stations.
42.  In Public Notice CRTC 1998-8 entitled Additional National Television Networks - A Report to the Government of Canada Pursuant to Order in Council P.C. 1997-592, the Commission addressed the possibility of licensing a national ethnic television network service. A request that the Commission call for applications for a licence to provide such a service had been presented at the time of the third national network review, which the Commission held prior to preparing its report to the Government. In this report, the Commission stated that its consideration of any applications proposing such a service would await the results of the policy review that is the subject of this notice. Accordingly, the Commission invites comments on the following questions:
(27) Should the licensing of a national ethnic network be a priority?
(28) What types of programming, production and other commitments should the Commission expect from applicants proposing a national ethnic television network?
Canadian content and production
43.  Throughout the Canadian television industry, it is generally more expensive for broadcasters to produce or acquire Canadian programs than to acquire comparable programming from foreign sources. For ethnic television broadcasters, however, the implications of this cost differential are heightened by the fact that individual ethnic programs, whether Canadian produced or acquired off shore, are targeted to smaller audiences than those that exist for "mainstream" programming.
44.  The Commission, in its 1985 policy, acknowledged the difficulties that ethnic television stations may have in broadcasting the same weekly levels of Canadian content during their ethnic programming periods as those required of other television broadcasters in their conventional English- or French-language programming periods. Nevertheless, given the amount of third-language, non-Canadian programming provided by increasingly-available foreign services, it may be argued that the priority for television stations is the provision of Canadian programming reflecting the national, regional and local Canadian experience.
(29) Is it important that ethnic television stations provide a balance between foreign and Canadian television content during ethnic programming periods? Should any measures be adopted to promote more domestic programming during those periods? To what extent does foreign programming satisfy the needs of ethnocultural audiences?
(30) Are there particular types of Canadian programs that ethnic television broadcasters should be encouraged to provide in order to meet the needs of their ethnocultural audiences more effectively?
(31) Is there a continuing need for the Commission to allow ethnic television stations to commit to lower Canadian content levels than those that are required of other over-the-air television broadcasters?
45.  It would appear that ethnic radio stations face a considerable challenge in obtaining recordings of Canadian musical selections suitable for broadcast during ethnic programming periods. The current policy recognizes this challenge by allowing ethnic radio licensees to provide a minimum level of 7% Canadian content in selections broadcast during their ethnic programming periods. This level is considerably lower than the minimum regulated requirements for Canadian content in musical selections aired during other periods of the broadcast week.
46.  In Public Notice CRTC 1998-41 entitled Commercial Radio Policy 1998, the Commission noted a suggestion that the minimum required level of Canadian content in musical selections broadcast during ethnic programming periods be raised from 7% to 12%. The Commission stated that this matter would appropriately be considered as part of its review of the ethnic broadcasting policy.
47.  The Commission notes that most ethnic music production and promotion in Canada remains very local. It also notes the high costs of identifying the musical talent present in ethnocultural communities across Canada, and of developing this talent evenly and simultaneously, given the large number of different groups, ethnic backgrounds and languages involved. It would appear that, due to limited resources, no single ethnic radio licensee is able to develop Canadian talent reflecting all of the significant ethnocultural groups in its service area. Thus, a pooling of resources, coupled with external support, could be a useful approach if the available supply of Canadian ethnic music is to increase by a meaningful degree. If the Commission determines that it would be appropriate to increase the regulatory requirements for Canadian content during ethnic programming periods, effective tools for the promotion of Canadian ethnic musical talent may become especially important. The creation of a national music database that could be used to identify new sources of ethnic music could be of significant assistance to ethnic radio programmers.
(32) What is the current availability of Canadian ethnic musical selections? Has the availability of such recordings increased over the period that the current ethnic broadcasting policy has been in place?
(33) Should the minimum required level of Canadian content in musical selections aired during ethnic programming periods be adjusted? If so, how?
(34) What existing funding mechanisms (such as FACTOR and Musicaction) could be better utilized, or what new activities could be established, to support the development and promotion of Canadian ethnocultural musical talent and record production?
(35) Should a catalogue of Canadian ethnocultural and multilingual music recordings be compiled and maintained? If so, by whom, and how should this project be financed?
Contribution by other services
48.  The Commission encourages all participants in the Canadian broadcasting system to reflect Canada's ethnocultural diversity and to contribute to the production of Canadian ethnic programming. In order to examine more precisely what these contributions should be, the Commission seeks the views of interested parties on the following questions:
(36) What is the role of ethnic specialty services in contributing to the production and broadcast of Canadian ethnic programming?
(37) What, if any, should be the role and responsibility of special programming services, community channels, and closed-circuit audio services, in producing and broadcasting Canadian ethnic programming and musical selections?
Public proceeding
49.  In order to permit increased participation by a broad cross-section of the Canadian public, the Commission will hold a series of public consultations in the regions to hear individuals and groups who wish to discuss the issues and questions raised in this notice. The consultations are tentatively scheduled to commence at 4:00 p.m., local time, on the dates and at the locations listed below:
Halifax Regional Office
Bank of Commerce Building
1809 Barrington Street
Suite 1007
Dunsmuir Seniors Centre
411 Dunsmuir St.
Video Link with:
Prince George: Cranbrook South Room, Ramada Inn, 444 George St.
Prince Rupert: Rooms 109-110, Anchor Inn, 1600 Park Avenue
Université du Québec à Montréal
Pavillon Sherbrooke
200 Sherbrooke West
5th Floor
2180 Yonge Street
The Barclay Square
2nd Floor, NEB Hearing Room
444 - 7th Avenue S.W.
Manitoba Hall - Room 270
University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
50.  Teleconferencing facilities may be available to accommodate those unable to travel to the sites where the consultations will be held. Parties wishing to participate in the public consultations, either in person or through teleconferencing arrangements, must phone the Commission to register their attendance, specifying at which session they wish to participate.
51.  The telephone numbers to use when registering are as follows:
 Dialing locally from/ Appels locaux de: Phone/Numéro:
 The National Capital Region/ (819) 997-0313
  Région de la Capitale nationale
 Halifax (902) 426-7997
 Winnipeg (204) 983-6306
 Vancouver (604) 666-2111
 All other locations/Tout autre endroit 1-877-249-2782
52.  The Commission also invites written comments addressed to the issues and questions set out in this notice or to any other matter pertaining to the Commission's ethnic broadcasting policy. The deadline for filing written comments is 4 March 1999. The Commission will only accept submissions that it receives on or before that date. While submissions will not otherwise be acknowledged, they will be considered by the Commission and will form part of the public record of the proceeding, provided the procedures set out herein have been followed.
53.  Parties filing submissions that are over five pages in length are asked to include a summary.
54.  Submissions filed in response to this notice must be addressed to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, K1A 0N2.
55.  All submissions must be filed in hard copy format. The Commission, however, also encourages parties to file electronic versions of their submissions (email and/or diskette). Such submissions should be in the HTML format; as an alternate choice, "Microsoft Word" may be used for text and "Microsoft Excel" for spreadsheets. Each paragraph of the document should be numbered. In addition, as an indication that the document has not been damaged during electronic transmission, the line ***End of Document*** should be entered following the last paragraph of each document. The Commission's Internet e-mail address for electronically filed documents is culture@crtc.gc.c
56.  In order to facilitate access by the public, relevant Commission documents and data will, to the extent possible, be made available on the Commission's website at Submissions filed in electronic form (email and/or diskette) will also be available on that site, in the format and official language in which they are submitted.
Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room G-5
Hull, Quebec K1A ON2
Tel: (819) 997-2429 - TDD: 994-0423
Telecopier: (819) 994-0218
Bank of Commerce Building
Suite 1007
1809 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K8
Tel: (902) 426-7997 - TDD: 426-6997
Telecopier: (902) 426-2721
Place Montréal Trust
1800 McGill College Avenue
Suite 1920
Montréal, Quebec H3A 3J6
Tel: (514) 283-6607 - TDD: 283-8316
Telecopier: (514) 283-3689
CRTC Documentation Centre
55 St. Clair Avenue East
Suite 624
Toronto, Ontario
Telephone: (416) 952-9096
Kensington Building
Suite 1810
275 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2B3
Tel: (204) 983-6306 - TDD: 983-8274
Telecopier: (204) 983-6317
530-580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Tel: (604) 666-2111 - TDD: 666-0778
Telecopier: (604) 666-8322
Secretary General
This document is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be viewed at the following Internet site:

Date modified: