The CRTC today released two consultation notices that could result in big changes to Canadian broadcasting and telecom privacy. The broadcasting consultation proposes a major change to spending on Canadian English television productions, which has been flat compared to regular increases for spending on U.S. programming. The CRTC puts forward the possibility of a one-to-one ratio – for every dollar spent on foreign programming, one dollar must be spent on Canadian programming. The broadcasters will undoubtedly strongly oppose the proposal, relying on their longstanding argument that foreign programming "subsidizes" Canadian programming.
Meanwhile, the CRTC is also seeking comment on possible changes to the many telecom privacy provisions currently contained in the Telecommunications Act. The Commission points to the privacy safeguards, but asks whether they remain appropriate given the goverment's commitment to market forces. In other words, the CRTC incredibly asks whether market forces will provide similar privacy protections as those currently found in the statute. The deadline for responding to the privacy questions is March 16th.