Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Issue of Local Television in Canada

Television reception in Canada is received through antennas, satellite dishes and cable. Telecommunications is controlled by the CRTC. Many Canadians do not think fondly of the CRTC because they basically dictate what can be shown on television or listened to on the radio with a mandatory percentage of Canadian content.. In addition to that the CRTC has recently made a very unpopular decision for those using satellite internet by allowing the satellite internet providers to continue throttling bandwidths under FAP (fair access policy). What this means to users of satellite internet is if you reach a certain bandwidth threshold which is not disclosed the satellite internet provider will slow your speed to about 40% for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours depending on the provider. In essence you pay 100% for the service but at times only get 40% of the service. No other service or retailer would be able to get away with giving you 40% while charging you 100%. In addition to the CRTC's problems they will now have to decide on the issue of local television. They don't have a good track record for deciding in favour of the Canadian consumer either.

Local television programming has always been free for Canadians guaranteeing all Canadians equal access. However, with recent network changes going to digital there are fewer free channels available. Canadians have been turning to satellite and cable providers for their television programming consisting of both premium and local stations. These providers are charging for local television but they are not giving any of the money they charge to local television. Essentially the satellite and cable providers are profiting by selling something they get for free while local television loses. As if Canadians were not paying enough for television programming and it is expensive the Big Local Networks (CTV, Global) want to apply a $10 tax that would help local television. The CRTC will begin reviewing this proposal on November 16, 2009.

As in all debates there are two sides to consider. I recommend reading through both Stop the TV Tax and Save Local TV for more information on the local television issue from both sides. The bottom line is no one wants an additional charge on their television. Canadian should not have to bail out local television when they are already paying for it through their satellite or cable providers who are profiting from it! They should be the ones paying the local television stations.


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