Definitions are taken from CRTC Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-622 which can be found at

4. The Commission’s two key objectives in implementing the 2002 community TV framework were:

  • to ensure the creation and exhibition of locally produced, locally reflective community programming; and
  • to foster a greater diversity of voices and alternative choices by facilitating new entrants at the local level.

5. In order to meet these objectives, the 2002 community TV framework introduced quantified requirements for community channels operated by terrestrial BDUs and established classes of licence for independently operated community‑based television services (independent community services), as described in the appendix to this document.

12. The Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (the Regulations) define community access television programming as “programming produced by an individual, group or community television corporation residing within the licensed area of a cable distribution undertaking.”

Criteria for access programming

The Commission considers that the key criterion for defining access programming is that creative control is in the hands of a community member, i.e. an individual or group residing within the licensed area of a terrestrial BDU. Creative control consists of two elements:

  1. The idea for an access program must originate from a community member not employed by a BDU; and
  2. The community member must be involved in the production team:
    1. in an on-camera role (e.g., a personality or actor that appears in a predominant portion of the production); and/or
    2. as a creative member of the production crew (e.g., directing, producing, writing).

When a project meets these criteria, the Commission will consider that creative control is in the hands of the community member and consequently that the project qualifies as access programming.

Exhibition of access programming

17. As noted above, BDUs that choose to operate a community channel must devote at least 30% of the programming to access programs. Where demand exists, that minimum rises to 50%. In other words, under the current policy, a BDU may not refuse access requests that meet the terms and conditions set out in Public Notice 1992-39 until it has met the 50% minimum requirement.

Local community television programming

If a licensee elects to distribute community programming services, it shall devote not less than 60% of the programming aired during each broadcast week to the broadcast of local community television programming.

For the purpose of this policy, the Commission considers local community television programming to consist of programs, as defined in the Broadcasting Act (the Act), that are reflective of the community and produced by the licensee in the licensed area or by members of the community from the licensed area. Programs produced in another licensed area within the same municipality will also be considered local community television programming.

The licensed areas of terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) are set out in the licence in effect as of the date of this policy. Where a terrestrial BDU obtains the Commission’s approval for a regional licence, the Commission will generally retain the existing licensed area set out in the terrestrial BDU’s current licence and require that local community television programming continue to be reflective of the community within that licensed area.

Professional major league sports programming

The broadcast of programs featuring professional major league sports, produced by companies generally engaged in the production of such programs, does not fulfil the objectives of this policy and will generally not be allowed on the community channel.


Municipal Council Meetings

Broadcasts of municipal council meetings will be considered to be community programming as long as it is not produced by or on behalf of the municipal government. If the broadcast is produced by the licensee or a resident of the community it will be considered to be community programming.