February 18th, 2022
On February 2nd, the government introduced Bill C-11 The Online Streaming Act, an important bill that amends the Broadcasting Act, and accomplishes several key goals including expanded recognition and definitions of the community radio sector.
The National Campus and Community Radio Association / l’Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires (NCRA/ANREC) supports this bill, as it properly acknowledges the critical role played by community and campus broadcasters as an essential element of the Canadian broadcasting system and helps foster a stronger, democratic Canada.
This bill modernizes the broadcasting system. It would increase the ability of stations that Canadians know and trust to provide more high-quality local, national, and international news and information. It ensures that diverse Canadians from all backgrounds, Indigenous peoples, as well as those living with disabilities, have access to a system where their voices can be heard. Community stations have long been one of the only places where such voices have a platform, and the NCRA/ANREC believes the provisions of Bill C-11 reflect that.
There is still work to do, the NCRA/ANREC believes a stronger definition and further language around community broadcasting will help to strengthen the bill and the position of the sector. We will continue to work with all elected officials to ensure additional language is included that supports the non-profit sector.
The NCRA/ANREC looks forward to working with the Heritage Minister, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to see this bill become law.