March 20, 2015

The CRTC doesn't understand how the free market works

Brian LilleyRebel Co-Founder

The CRTC is trying to offer more choice for consumers... with more government regulation!

It's the type of decision that only makes 'sense' in Ottawa. Now consumers can pay less for their cable by regulating fewer channels and having less 'mandatory' channels.

You're still required to pay for APTN, CBC and if you live in English Canada, you still need to pay for RDI - the French CBC News Channel.

It just doesn't make sense.

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commented 2015-03-22 13:54:45 -0400
When Sun News Network went off the air I cancelled my TV subscription, as SNN was the only reason I subbed in the first place. I don’t miss TV at all, and I’m saving $53 a month.
commented 2015-03-21 19:38:45 -0400
Brilliant. It feels so appropriate.
Why not post the whole thing for us to enjoy?
commented 2015-03-21 17:49:26 -0400
“The trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and saw” The Trees – RUSH
commented 2015-03-21 14:12:24 -0400
The fact that the CBC remains mandatory says it all. The CRTC continues to rob the public of the only true power that a citizen consumer has, the ability to withhold payment for a product that the consumer decides is ineffectual or detrimental in some way. If dropping CBC off my cable choice saved me 5 cents I would be a happy guy. Sadly I have paid too much already for that aberation. Give me a chance to “claw back” at least a pitance. On the upside, good bye to CBC and CTV news channels, and also that leftist mouth piece CNN. At least I will save a few bucks there.
commented 2015-03-21 13:47:05 -0400
Just a joke. If the government was really concerned about consumer choice they’d break down the Canadian monopoly, remove the content restrictions, and let the US satellite TV providers in.
commented 2015-03-21 13:17:11 -0400
Under normal circumstances I would agree that governments have no business regulating private business, but I think this story is a bit different. The Canadian government tried several times to get a new communications competitor into the Canadian market, but unfortunately it was not approved. Canada has had to deal with a communications oligopoly for decades, and the prices only increase year after year. It’s incredibly frustrating to shop around for a better cable, internet and phone package … because every deal is identical! If Telus, Shaw, Bell and Rogers don’t lower the prices themselves, then I would happily welcome government intrusion.
commented 2015-03-21 12:49:47 -0400
And people wonder why I don’t have cable, satellite, or even internet tv… I have a computer that handles my business affairs and information browsing (like here), and then a plasma screen hooked to a blu-ray player through a cinema receiver. To misquote Rhett, “Frankly, CRTC, I don’t give a damn.”
commented 2015-03-21 11:20:28 -0400
The CRTC was established many years ago to make sure that there was a given number of hours of Canadian programming on Canadian television, to ‘protect our fragile Canadian culture’ from the ravages of the evil Americans. Apparently we were watching too much American TV at the time and learning dangerous things from it like ‘freedom of choice’ and ‘democratic government’ or even ’I’ll watch what ever the hell I want to watch!’. The plan worked well for a time and allowed us to grown our own television and movie production facilities and our own production crews. And all was well in the land.

When the job was done, the liberal government and the CRTC began to cast about to find new jobs for the commission, new horizons, and that is where it all went so terribly wrong. The CRTC became a huge regulatory arm of government censorship. It allowed the CRTC, whose board was packed with liberals to decide what Canadian culture was and then force that definition down everyone’s throat. The board went from protecting Canadian culture to defining it. It went from guaranteeing access to the airwaves for Canadian content to defining and controlling that content and then making sure that Canadians had little choice but to accept that. How else to explain Suzuki or Atwood or any number of other so called ‘Canadian treasures’?

The CRTC should be abolished now. It has become an arm of our liberal culture used ,at the very least, to desensitize us to their brand of creeping socialism. Anyone want to bet that this will happen any time soon?
commented 2015-03-21 10:24:13 -0400
the CRTC is just waiting for a totalitarian like Trudeau to come along so they can enact really draconian regulations on free air waves, the internet and free speech. Make no mistake, this bureaucracy is no friend to the consumer or the freedom of the press. It panders to wealthy conglomerates and waits patiently for its hero Trudeau to get into power.
commented 2015-03-20 23:29:39 -0400
An ominous note at the end…“That is unless the regulator decides that they’re also in charge of the internet.” Personally, I agree with the comment from Kenneth Lawrence that “the CRTC is an entrenched bureaucracy that will never die off”. They or a facsimile may very well participate in the global trend of more oppressive intrusion in our lives and inject their control into the new cash cow and this last bastion of free speech.

In the US, due to “Net Neutrality”, we now have the FCC as a regulator armed with a new secret 332 page document that transforms how the world wide web operates. The internet has been deemed a “utility” and the US Court of Appeals for the DC decision marked a big victory for the FCC. No one knows for sure but maybe they can later morph this into greater “control through licensing, regulate pricing for services, broadband rates and possibly copyright issues”. I don’t imagine billionaire George Soros spent 196 million dollars towards this eventuality for nothing.

Our Canadian culture is entwined with the Americans. Time will tell if this “secret” FCC approval in the US influences changes here one day in licensing, decency standards, end of anonymity and whether this bleeds into TV. Technically, all bits are equal so technology for TV is the same. There still could be many lawsuit battles and definitely a lot of uncertainty. The legalities are for the lawyers, but if this influence is international the government of the day and it’s ideology will no doubt matter but, in general, this development brings with it both fear and confusion.
commented 2015-03-20 23:28:26 -0400
Unfortunately bureaucracies never seem to disappear once they’ve out lived their usefulness. In fact they seem to be self-perpetuating and constantly grow by feeding off of one another. Since Ministers don’t generally have any technical expertise in the mechanics of the Portfolio they’ve undertaken, they must consult with the top bureaucrats in that Ministry. Of course the bureaucrats, lawyers and bean counters would never consider themselves to be redundant, so if cuts are to be made, they always recommend that they come from the bottom, to the lowest paid workers, where the actual services are being delivered in the field. I’ve always believed that if you’re the manager, in charge of an operation that you don’t possess any technical expertise in, and the operation seems to be going ahead with any hitches, then you’re probably the one that’s redundant; you’re unnecessary. After all, those who know are doing; and they don’t need your input. Government Ministries are generally establish to solve or manage perceived needs in society. There may have been very legitimate reasons for those Ministries to originally have been established. But time passes and things change. Once the procedures to address the perceived needs have been established, the procedures themselves become the objective, not the perceived needs. When government workers, even conscientious, hard working government workers (they do exist!) are asked to improve efficacy I their departments, they inevitably address the procedures without ever asking if the reason for the procedures is still valid. If we could just continually review the necessity of government services, we could save so much tax payers money.
commented 2015-03-20 19:52:37 -0400
Douglas, about a year ago, I likewise, cut the cable and don’t miss it at all. How much of the weather channel can one watch? What clinched it was my cable ‘service’ provider not even giving me the option to buy SNN! Can pick up a few TV channels with a simple antenna. Also, have Apple TV. Cable will go the way of the dodo bird.
commented 2015-03-20 19:49:57 -0400
This is a regurgitation of a previous comment I made earlier. I agree. We will have to take a $25 package with channels we most likely would not want. I don’t want the APTN (aboriginal) channel and yet I heard we will be forced to take it. However, the industry has had plenty of time to ‘fix itself’ and has not done so. I have Rogers cable and in my ‘package’ (which costs 70+ dollars per month) there are many channels that are duplicated and triplicated. The showcase channel is one example. It shows up 3 times. Why, when you can only watch one channel at a time. It must be to simply ‘pad’ their channel count so they can say they offer 300 channels. These channels are not showcase east, central or west so there is a time shift benefit. It is the same broadcast at the same time. I have called Rogers on it numerous times and I have yet to get a straight answer as to whether I am being charged 3 times for the 3 channels. How many times can you watch paint dry (the irrelevant CBC I mean) ? The ONLY time I watch the CBC is for hockey. Today we are forced to take and pay for channels we don’t want. I think a basic package idea will be great. The cable/satellite companies will not be able to shove 10 CBC channels and the like down our throats and force us to pay for them like they do now.
Some channels will go by the wayside, but that will only prove the theory we are now paying for channels no one watches.
commented 2015-03-20 19:17:16 -0400
Brian I’m quite happy just watching the shows on the net and you tube lots of old movies lots of neet shows like deep digger dan on you tube Right now I am helping people to get off the TV services one couple I know pays over $125 for their TV and internet they are on disability and after they pay their rent electricity cable internet and medications they have just under $500 to live on for two people plus they smoke so kiss off another $100 or more. down with the CRTC
commented 2015-03-20 18:46:54 -0400
Well, I for one will believe the $25 service when I see it. Somehow I doubt it will be all that attractive. I quit cable TV cold a few years ago and never looked back. I use a digital antenna in the Ottawa area to get at least 8 HD quality english language channels and, of course, a number of french ones which I never watch. I have netflix as well. All that and high-speed internet through “not Rogers or Bell” serves me just fine, thanks. I am not alone and, as Brian says, more and more are throwing off the Bell or Rogers shackles ever year.
commented 2015-03-20 18:22:51 -0400
The CRTC is full of socialists who are incapable of understanding how the real world works. I will dance in the streets the day the CRTC is gone.
commented 2015-03-20 18:02:49 -0400
It wont save a penny. Watch internet fees go up and the cost of popular channels sky rocket.
commented 2015-03-20 18:02:31 -0400
Funny swipe at the cable companies calling the buggy whip industry. However, the Crave TV and Shomi offerings just show Rogers, Shaw and Bell were already responding to the loss of cable subscribers. I’m sure we’ll see Shaw find new revenue streams, perhaps they’ll buy out or merge with a wireless phone carrier.
commented 2015-03-20 17:41:47 -0400
Monopolies require regulation lest we the people get raped by them. Corruption runs rampant in our apathetic society. Simple.
commented 2015-03-20 17:24:58 -0400
Who the f k came up with the term skinny bundle.
commented 2015-03-20 17:18:17 -0400
The CRTC has utterly failed me as a TV consumer. I have to pay for channels I don’t want, and the channel that I wanted most, Sun News Network, they forced off the air by refusing to give it a mandatory carriage license. Of course, they knew that would happen. So I have no respect for the CRTC. But trust me Brian, the CRTC is an entrenched bureaucracy that will never die off. It will remain like a cancer to hinder Conservative speech and facilitate the dissemination of anti-Conservative propaganda in Canada.
commented 2015-03-20 17:06:29 -0400
A mandatory bundle along with “pick and pay”. Ah, a compromise. Now nobody’s going to be happy. Aren’t bundled channels the one, single, solitary thing that consumers wanted to avoid? And what do we get? Forced to pay $25 for channels we don’t want.

Pasting the following (without permission) Derp Digger’s comments, from another web site. This gave me my best laugh of the day:
Yeah, I’d like to sign up for the $25.00 per month package. That’ll be $72.25.
$1.25 CRTC fee
$3.75 Bandwidth fee
$2.00 Emergency service fee
$4.80 Obamacare fee
$11.60 Only service provider in your area fee
$3.25 Not electing for specialty channels fee
$2.15 Cable TV membership fee
$1.00 Printed bill fee
$2.35 Server space required to store your personal information fee
$3.25 We’ll see if they don’t spot this one fee
$2.35 Fee mediation fee
$8.15 Convenience fee
$1.35 Clairvoyance fee

Rebels, you should try to hire this guy.
commented 2015-03-20 16:18:40 -0400
Why do we have a government , politicians and elections when we have bodies like the CRTC to govern the circumstances of our lives?