As far back as 1986, the task force on broadcasting policy prepared the Caplan-Sauvageau report, recommending that community channels, which had reached their maturity, obtain their own licence in the new broadcasting legislation that would be passed in 1991. Similarly, in 2003, Clifford Lincoln, on behalf of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, submitted the report entitled Our Cultural Sovereignty. However, those recommendations had no follow-up.
Thanks in large part to our members and the Fédération des télévisions communautaires autonomes du Québec, it is now possible to obtain a non-profit community channel licence. Eight CACTUS members were able to obtain one, but no funding model was created to support them while the anticipated development was stagnating.
Our members survive on TV bingo, bake sales and a lot of hope. However, 46% of residents in those eight communities watch their community channel weekly. CACTUS and over 2,000 Canadians participated in the CRTC's 2010 public hearings on reviewing the community television policy. They asked that the revenue from cable subscribers—over $150 million a year—be directed to a new fund to develop non-profit community media centres.