Letter from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission


5 June 2007


Mr. Glenn O’Farrell
President and CEO
Canadian Association of Broadcasters
306-350 Sparks St.
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5S2

Fax: 613-233-6961

Re: CAB’s 2006-07 Report on Diversity in Broadcasting

Thank you for the CAB’s second annual Report on Diversity in Broadcasting, filed with the Commission on 30 April 2007, in response to the Commission’s response to the report of the Task Force for Cultural Diversity on Television, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2005-24, issued 21 March 2005 (PN 2005-24).

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the CAB on a very thorough report outlining the many activities and achievements in 2006-07. Via the CAB's leadership and cordination, may concrete initiatives pertaining to persons with disabilities were implemented by private broadcasters during this past year, including the Open Your Mind public service announcement (PSA) campaign; the creation and wide distribution of an information booklet about employment opportunities in broadcasting for persons with disabilities; and, the development of language and terminology guidelines for use by all broadcasters.  The CAB is also to be commended for its impressive public communication and outreach activities about diversity in general, as well as specific efforts to reaise awareness and establish key links between private broadcasters and federal departments, provincial Ministries of Education, post-secondary institutes, other educators and community organizations concerned with the long-term full participation of persons with disabilities in broadcasting.

As requested in the Commission’s letter of 2 August 2006, your report more clearly outlines activities undertaken to encourage and facilitate the participation of Aboriginal peoples in mainstream television via such initiatives as ongoing support for the many activities of Strategic Alliance of Broadcasters for Aboriginal Reflection (SABAR) and the expansion of the CAB’s Gold Ribbon awards to include three new Aboriginal and diversity awards.  It is also interesting to note the creative ways in which broadcasters are combining initiatives regarding persons with disabilities with efforts relating to Aboriginal audiences such as APTN’s creation of five different language versions of the Open Your Mind PSA featuring Aboriginal persons with disabilities.

It is clear from your report that the CAB continues to support its members as they work to improve reflection of diversity within their own organizations, through regular distribution of relevant resources and other information via various communication activities, as well as a needs assessment to identify professional development support that could be provided by the CAB to facilitate successful implementation of broadcasters’ corporate plans on cultural diversity.  We look forward to learning of the initiatives the CAB will be pursuing as a result of this needs assessment in 2007-08.

We do note that the CAB did not report on any specific activities to address the significant under-representation of Asian-Canadians on-screen, as requested by the Commission in its 2 August 2006 letter.  Given the vast array of activities and accomplishments reported by the CAB this year on so many other fronts, we encourage you to turn your attention to the development of initiatives in the coming year that will zero in on this key concern identified in the Task Force for Cultural Diversity’s research.

Accordingly, we look forward to learning of an equally productive year in your next report, due 30 April 2008.


Original signed by Scott Hutton

Scott Hutton
Associate Executive Director
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission