Research Shows Lack of Diversity on Canadian Television


According to a new research report, there is still not enough diversity on Canadian television, especially due to lack of programming representing people with disabilities and the Indigenous population (via The Star). The findings were provided to the CRTC in March, shortly before Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly launched public consultations on how the government could support the creation of Canadian content.


The report was prepared by research firm Phoenix SPI for the country’s TV regulator, and is based on questions posed to a half dozen focus group sessions in mid-January. While there was a “widespread impression” among participants that Canada’s broadcasters have improved their portrayal of certain segments of the population, almost equal numbers indicated that they saw fewer TV shows portraying Indigenous people and the disabled. 

Participants were asked to rate their level of agreement or disagreement with the statement: “Canadian television is becoming a mirror in which all Canadians can see themselves.” “Just over half expressed disagreement with it compared to just over one-quarter who agreed with it,” said the report.

Participants also found very few characters or personalities with disabilities in Canadian programming, but unlike the Indigenous segment, they found that when people with disabilities were depicted, they tended to be positively portrayed.

The CRTC was widely criticized in May when, as part of the five-year licence renewals for broadcasters Bell, Corus and Rogers, it set minimum funding requirements for “programs of national interest” at 5% of the licence holder’s revenues. Prior to the licence renewals, the trio of broadcasters had each spent up to 10% of revenues on such programming.


  • FragilityG4

    If the public wants to see it, the broadcasters will show it. It’s about money for them and it’s about entertainment for us. Not everyone has an unlimited federally funded budget like the CBC.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Cancon sucks.

  • toysandme

    People are still watching television?

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    Let the market decide. People want to watch a show or movie with diversity then it will succeed. Sick and tired of Canadian tax dollars wasted on these kind of studies and projects. TV and movies are not important. Health Care, employment, the environment and debt are important to CANADIANS.

  • Brenda

    This is relevant in 2017? I was born and grew up in Canada and don’t see my global tastes reflected in any North American programs. Just greatful for YouTube and VPNs.

  • Brenda

    Exactly. It might have been important to give Canadian talent a platform in the 60s, but they seem to be doing well on the world stage these days. The money would be better spent on educating future talent. Funding scholarships in film production and providing direct grants specifically for these groups would probably be more effective than regulating what Canadians can watch.