Petition Supporting Community Media Presented by Over 20 MPs

A petition supporting community media that was first presented and endorsed at the World Forum on Free Media in Montreal in August of 2016, gathered steam and was presented by over 20 members of parliament either in the House before it broke for the Christmas break, when it reconvened in early February, or directly to the Heritage Minister.

The petition was supported by MPs from all parties, including Liberals, the NDP, the Bloc, and the Conservatives.

Here is the text of the petition:

"We, the undersigned Canadian residents, acknowledge:

  • That the Broadcasting Act stipulates that the community, private and public elements of the Canadian broadcasting system should complement one another to ensure that a range of local, regional and national programming is available to Canadians.
  • That it is the policy of the CRTC that “the community channel should be primarily of a public service nature, facilitating self-expression through free and open access by
    members of the community”.
  • That community media can effectively serve small communities, neighbourhoods and alternative voices not served by public and private media.
  • That digital convergence places new challenges on individuals, organizations, and communities to express themselves, to be heard, and to be visible.

Therefore we ask the government to enable a network of community-operated media centres to ensure

  1. the survival of community TV
  2. the availability of local media in towns and neighbourhoods not served by public or private media
  3. all Canadian residents have access to multi-platform media skills training and content distribution in the digital economy."

If you would like to bring the petition to the attention of your MP, feel free to download and print it here. (A French copy of the petition is available here.)

You need at least 25 signatures to empower your MP to present the petition on your behalf, although more signatures will help your MP to appreciate the importance of the issue in your riding and the range of people and organizations affected by it. The petition is more important now than ever, in the wake of summer announcements that community TV stations owned by cable companies are shutting down in major cities, as the CRTC's disastrous local and community TV policy is poised to go into effect. Already, community stations in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto have been shuttered, and staff have been cut at rural stations in New Brunswick by Rogers.

If you would like to see the readings of the petition, click these links:

Dec. 2 Rodger Cuzner, Liberal, Cape Breton - Canso (fast forward to 12:09:41)
Dec. 7 Anne Minh Quash, NDP, Vaudreuil-Soulanges (15:22:20)
Dec. 7 Pierre Nantel, NDP, Longueil (15:27:00)
Dec. 7 Will Amos, Liberal, Pontiac (15:27:00)
Dec. 9 Karen Ludwig, Liberal, NB Southwest (12:08:45)
Dec. 14 Carol Hughes, Liberal, Manitoulin Island
Dec. 14 Julie Dabrusin, Liberal, Toronto-Danforth, presenting on behalf of herself, and the Honourable Bill Morneau, Carolyne Bennett and Patty Hadju
Dec. 14 Don Davies, NDP, Vancouver East Side
Dec. 14 Christine Moore, NDP, Temiskaming
Dec. 14 Peter Schiefke, Liberal, Vaudreuil-Soulanges
Dec. 14 Peter Julian, NDP, New Westminster (all between ~15:30 and 15:45)

According to Parliamentary protocol, the Government (in this case the Heritage Minister) is required to acknowledge and respond to petitions within 45 days. Here's the answer that Madame Joly provided to Liberal Julie Dabrusin.

We are investigating which other MPs have received replies.