April 17th, 2012

NDP reaffirms support for local broadcasting

MONTREAL – Canadians have the right to quality local broadcasting, which is why the NDP is strongly advocating to protect the popular Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF), as the CRTC begins pivotal hearings into the program's future.

The fund was established at the height of the global recession in 2008, when a mix of rapidly deteriorating market conditions, growing integration of Canada's largest media consortiums and new technology began to threaten the commercial viability of small, local broadcast operations nationwide.

“This fund is an impressive success,” said New Democrat Heritage Critic Tyrone Benskin. “It is an efficient tool in helping create, sustain and expand local broadcast operations at a reasonable cost. The CRTC has to recognize the results and take them into consideration in its decision.”

New Democrats recently wrote to the CRTC to argue that the LPIF has never been more affordable or more relevant—a reality reinforced by the CRTC's own recent report confirming nearly unprecedented levels of profitability in the broadcast sector.

“It's more important than ever to assist local programming, which offers a unique window into the lives of our communities,” Benskin concluded. “LPIF participants have never had a greater capacity to contribute, and so we again call upon the CRTC to renew and strengthen this central instrument of a vigorous local media in Canada.”