CRTC approves Canadian Broadcasting Participation Fund

The independent fund, following a proposal and $3 million commitment from BCE, will help public interest and consumer groups offset the costs of participating in the regulator's broadcast proceedings.

The CRTC on Monday gave a green-light to launching the Canadian Broadcasting Participation Fund.

The independent fund will help public-interest and consumer groups offset the costs of participating in regulatory proceedings.

“Each year, we hold dozens of public proceedings to gather views from the communications industry and the public,” explained CRTC acting chairman Leonard Katz, in a statement.

“This new fund will help ensure that the voices of Canadians are heard through the participation of groups that represent their interests,” he added.

A proposal for the fund was submitted by BCEafter it committed $3 million to create the fund as part of its 2011 benefits package to acquire CTVglobemedia.

The proposed fund will support both English and French groups in research, analysis and advocacy of issues related to broadcasting proceedings.

It will also help individual groups represent consumer interests during the CRTC’s telecommunications proceeding.

The CRTC is directing the fund to start helping underwrite costs for interest and consumer groups within 60 days.