The CRTC announced the creation of a Local Program Improvement Fund (LPIF) in October 2008 (starting at paragraph 355) to help support local television programming in small/rural/remote areas. This summer, the CRTC also announced that it was increasing that funding. To help support the increase, an on a temporary basis, cable and satellite companies will be paying a small percentage of their revenues into the LPIF (1.5%).
However, these cable and satellite companies are imposing an increase on everyone’s bill. I would like to think that was not the CRTC’s intention.
CTV, one of the largest private broadcasters in Canada, is calling for regulation of billing practices. They will be bringing this issue up during CRTC hearings this fall. If you want to pass along your comments to them, then visit savelocaltv.ctv.ca (site no longer available). I’m not entirely sure, but I think the public hearing that CTV is referring may be Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-411. I believe the deadline for comments has now passed (August 10), so getting your comments in to CTV may be a good way for you to be heard.
(Links updated November 2013)