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On May 15, the CRTC announced it had renewed the licenses for English-Language TV broadcasters. The Commission ignored ACTRA’s request that broadcasters be required to increase the amount they must invest in “Programs of National Interest,” like dramas, documentaries and children’s programming. Instead, they moved in the opposite direction – reducing the requirement. It’s estimated this decision could ultimately reduce investment in this type of Canadian programming by $200 million over the next five years. In Quebec, three programs have already been cancelled.

But ACTRA members didn’t simply accept this. The CRTC is a government body, and we knew this decision could be reviewed by the government.

Together, ACTRA members – working with partners throughout the industry – pushed back. Literally thousands of people sent emails, signed petitions and met with MPs and attended townhalls. The online petition received over 11,000 signatures –  one of the highest levels of response for any Parliamentary petition. Together, we convinced the Trudeau Cabinet to send the decision back to the CRTC which is now operating under a new Chair.

Referring the decision back to the CRTC doesn’t mean the problems are resolved. The new CRTC Chair will reconsider the issue and we’ll have to continue working to ensure performers are heard, but this is a rare event that’s the result of a lot of work.

If you wrote, tweeted, posted or signed the petition take a bow, and take a minute to let Heritage Minister Melanie Joly and your local MP know that you appreciate being listened to. Here’s a sample message:

Thanks to @melaniejoly for listening the thousands of Canadians who want to see Canadian stories on their screens. #crtc #cdnpoli #cdntv

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