The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The anticipated review of foreign ownership limits could become a public relations problem for the federal government. Senior bureaucrats and politicians have maintained that if such a review were to take place, it would focus on facilities-based telecom companies.  The argument is logical. Wouldn’t Canadians rather have rules in place that ensure their cultural industries are domestically owned and controlled? What does it matter if the pipe is owned by a company in Boston? Strangely enough, it does matter. A national poll conducted by Decima Research (see chart) found that more Canadians support foreign ownership of broadcasters than telcos and cablecos, despite the government and industry’s preference for the contrary. The results show that 44% of Canadians find majority foreign ownership in private TV and radio broadcasters acceptable, while only 37% accept the idea of foreign-run telcos and cablecos. The problem isn’t so much with foreign investment – in fact support for it has risen from 56% to 62% since 1990. But when it comes to lifting the foreign ownership limits on media and communications companies in general, nearly 70% of Canadians oppose the idea. One potential reason for the results is that people have a direct relationship with the Bells and Rogers of this country. For many consumers, telecom companies are akin to a utility firm – you give them money every month, and they deliver a service. And if they screw up, you know who to call. Broadcasters lack that bidirectional relationship with consumers. In all likelihood, when most Canadians think of CTV or Global, they will think about their favourite American programs. Maybe having the stations foreign owned just isn’t a huge stretch for many. The poll results shouldn’t be viewed as a major setback for either the government or the telecom industry. The fact that support for foreign investment is increasing should provide some encouragement. The next step should be to ensure that individual Canadians are heard in the process. If their fears can be allayed through education of the issues, then maybe more people will buy into the concept.