Content that Meets the Needs and Interests of Canadians

Broadcasting plays a critical role in helping build and support our Canadian identity. In recognition of this, Canada's Broadcasting Act sets out objectives to ensure that Canadian broadcasting content meets the needs and interests of Canadians. The CRTC then sets policies and rules to ensure that those objectives are put into practice in Canada's broadcasting system.

The Role of Canada's Broadcasting Act

Canada's Broadcasting Act declares that the Canadian broadcasting system should encourage the development of Canadian expression by:

The Act also recognizes differences within Canadian communities from region to region. To address this diversity, it declares that the Canadian broadcasting system should, through its programming and the employment opportunities arising out of its operations:

For more information, see Section 3(1) of the Act, Broadcasting Policy for Canada.

The Role of the CRTC

As part of our mandate at the CRTC, we are dedicated to achieving the policy objectives outlined in the Broadcasting Act.

We ensure that Canada's broadcasting system provides content that meets the needs and interests of Canadians by:

Engaging in Public Processes that generate policies

Through its public processes, the CRTC has established policies to ensure that Canadian values are reflected throughout the broadcasting system when it comes to such things as:

Review of the commercial radio policy

The CRTC initiated a proceeding on January 28, 2020, to review its commercial radio policy. The goal is to put flexible rules in place to support the radio industry in an ever-increasing digital environment. The review will help commercial radio stations to meet the current and future needs of Canadians in a more effective manner.

Find out more about the consultation on commercial radio policy.

Supporting Public Affairs Programming through CPAC

Access to the proceedings of the House of Commons and its various committees is important to Canadians. CRTC policies ensure that proceedings on CPAC are available in both official languages to most cable, IPTV, and satellite subscribers across the country.

For more, see Public Notice CRTC 2001-115 and Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-391.

Ensuring access to high-quality local news

On June 15, 2016, we published a new policy on local and community television that addresses such things as:

For more, see Policy framework for local and community television (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-224).

Encouraging Linguistic Duality

Policy objectives for broadcasting services in both official languages are clearly set out in the Broadcasting Act. The Act recognizes that English and French-language broadcasting, while sharing common aspects, operate under different conditions and may have different requirements. (For more, see Broadcasting Policy for Canada (Sections 3.1 b and c)).

The CRTC helps strengthen linguistic duality in Canada by, among other things, supporting national distribution of the French-language television service of TVA Group and UNIS, and promoting French-language broadcasting services in minority environments.

For more, see Decision CRTC 1998-488, and Public Notice CRTC 2001-25.

Supporting Indigenous Peoples

To support the Broadcasting Act's declaration that the Canadian broadcasting system must, through its programming and employment opportunities, recognize the special place of aboriginal peoples within Canadian society, the CRTC's Native Broadcasting Policy identifies the specific role of aboriginal broadcasters in Canada. Learn more about the Co-Development of the Indigenous Broadcasting Policy

As part of the television licence renewal of large French and English groups in 2017, we imposed new tax credits to encourage cultural representation of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian programming.

We also approved licences for Indigenous radio stations in five major urban markets in 2017.

Consistent with the Act, in 1999 the CRTC licensed the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) as the first national public television network created by and for Indigenous Peoples. The CRTC continues to ensure that the service is available to all Canadians.

For more, see Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-383.

Supporting Canadian Talent

To support the Broadcasting Act's policy of providing world class content made by Canadians, the CRTC helps ensure that Canadian artists can create content for both Canadian and global audiences, as well as have access to avenues of financial support and opportunities to promote their creations.

For more, see:

Supporting Gender Equality

To support one of the Broadcasting Act’s objectives to encourage a broadcasting system that should reflect the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and children, including equal rights, the CRTC will soon host an event on women in production. The CRTC considers that women’s access to key leadership positions is an important issue and that intervention is necessary to further the achievement of this objective of the Act.

Licensing the CBC

We are currently reviewing CBC/Radio-Canada’s services. We want to ensure that the public broadcaster provides Canadians with programming that informs, enlightens and entertains, while reflecting Canada’s various geographic, cultural and linguistic realities and identities, in both official languages.

Find out more about the CBC/Radio-Canada’s services review.

Date modified: