Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Who Needs the CRTC?

Had the pleasure to attend a Fraser@Spoke: Behind the Spin event last night, it’s part of a series of talks/debates hosted by the Fraser Institute.

Here's a photo from the evening. From left to right, Greg Staples, Rondi Adamson, me, Claudia Hepburn from Fraser and Jacoline Loewen. And that appears to be a UFO hovering over my head.

Last night’s topic was the CRTC and the speaker was National Post columnist Andrew Coyne.

Now I took copious notes of Coyne’s talk, but unfortunately I can’t read any of my scribblings this morning.

So much of this is based on memory.

Anyway Coyne took us through a history of the CRTC and explained how it performed many important functions to ensure the purity of our culture such as banning the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Howard Stern and a Quebec City radio station.

There was also a discussion of the CRTC’s arcane “hit factor analysis procedures” used to determine the kinds of songs radio stations were permitted to air.

But anyway, Coyne pointed out that in this day and age of satellite TV and radio, the Internet and wireless communications, the CRTC just isn’t needed anymore to “get between the Canadian people and the shows they want to watch.”

Eventually he says it will vanish into oblivion.

But just for the sake of principle we should dismantle it right now.


TonyGuitar said...

The CRTC explained to me that they were limited to checking that rates set for services were rates correctly charged by any providers.

Other than that basic obligation, their hands were tied as regards to any other questions of ethics.

I had been cheated by Rogers and provided the evidence. The CRTC were impotent.

The matter was cleared up through the BC consumers protection branch but the CRTC had no *mandate* to do anything about devious market tricks.

Bunch of well paid troph feeders with no intention of keeping service providers in line. = TG

Miles Lunn said...

I think the CRTC should be kept, but have its powers dramatically reduced. You still need someone to licence radio stations in order to ensure the rights to a certain frequency are protected, however I do agree Canadian Content laws should be rolled back and eventually repealed altogether at least on the radio. I also don't think banning certain shows is appropriate either. I think individuals should be able to listen to and watch what they wish. If the government is insistant on maintaining Canadian Content at least do what they do in satellite radio, otherwise have stations for those who want Canadian Content while allow the rest to play whatever they want for those who don't want to listen to them. Besides I download most of my music on the internet and my playlist has zero songs by Canadian artists.