netflix price increase
The CRTC has released a series of recommendations to ensure Canadian content stays competitive on streaming services. (Netflix)

A new report from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) proposes that the federal government introduces new tools and regulations to support “the production and promotion of audio and video content made by and for Canadians.”

“Canadians have access to a wide range of content on multiple online platforms, as well as through traditional radio and television services,” Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, said in a release.

“While this evolution is a good thing, it has an impact on the traditional model that was designed to provide support for programming made by and for Canadians.”

The report says that Canadians are relying more and more on the internet to discover music, movies, and other content, meaning the role of traditional services will become smaller in the coming years.

The CRTC states that “new and innovative approaches are required to support content made by Canadians and ensure they can seize the many opportunities made possible by the digital era.”

The CRTC proposes that any future policy approaches to content and its distribution should:

  • Focus on the production and promotion of high-quality content made by Canadians that is discoverable by audiences in Canada and abroad.
  • Recognize that there are social and cultural responsibilities associated with operating in Canada. All players benefitting from the Canadian broadcasting system should participate in an appropriate and equitable manner.
  • Be nimble, innovative and continuously capable of rapidly adapting to changes in technology and consumer demand.

In response to the report, OpenMedia said that the CRTC was proposing what amounted to an internet tax, and that it reveals “that not only are they oblivious to the results of Canadian Heritage’s consultations on this exact issue, but that they’ve also lost sight of their own mission, which includes ensuring affordable communications services.”

Scott denied that allegation to CBC News, however, saying that consumers should not expect to pay any more than they already do for online services.