The CRTC needs your help to choose a new multilingual, multi-ethnic channel distributed in Canada

News release

April 17, 2018 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Today, the CRTC is inviting Canadians to share their opinions on applications received to operate a multilingual, multi-ethnic channel with mandatory distribution across Canada.

Last year, the CRTC recognized that there was a void needing to be filled in terms of access to multilingual, multi-ethnic programming, particularly national, regional and local news and information shows produced from a Canadian point of view.

A public process was initiated last spring, and the CRTC received eight applications that met the pre-established criteria.

The service that will receive the licence will benefit from mandatory distribution on the basic television service as of 2020. Canadians may submit their comments on the applications before May 17, 2018, by:

  • filling out the online form;
  • writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2; or
  • sending a fax to (819) 994-0218.

The CRTC will hold a public hearing starting October 15, 2018, to evaluate the applications.

Quick facts

  • In May 2017, as an interim measure, the CRTC approved the licensing and mandatory distribution of OMNI Regional, a multilingual, multi-ethnic service, on all digital basic television packages in Canada. The CRTC has nevertheless identified deficiencies in this application.

  • The licence was granted to meet the needs of a large range of linguistic and cultural minorities in Canada, including newcomers to the country, and was deemed relevant to all Canadians.

  • When evaluating applications for mandatory distribution, the CRTC takes into consideration a variety of specific criteria including whether the service:

    • serves to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the cultural, political, social and economic fabric of Canada;
    • is drawn from local, regional, national and international sources;
    • reflects and contributes to Canada’s linguistic duality and ethno-cultural diversity, including the special place of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian society.

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