The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.Just what can come out of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s review of Canadian broadcasting? The hearings got underway this week, with the first witness being Canadian Heritage minister Sheila Copps. She told the committee that she opted for an open process rather than a closed blue ribbon panel. The minister should be commended for the transparency, but right from the start the process seems doomed.  The review is expected to last about 18 months. But by the time a report is issued, Canadian broadcasters will almost certainly be operating in a drastically different broadcast world. CRTC decisions, such as a recent one to allow greater cable ownership of analog channels, will have had an effect. Copps also spoke of distant signals "starving out" local stations. One of her priorities is local programming. However, the CRTC already has a process underway looking at the matter – PN 2001-103. Comments are due Nov. 30, and the CRTC could have a policy in place before the hearings have wrapped. Michael McCabe, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, points out that the committee’s review is slated to end just as the government is gearing up for another election. This means that any recommendations made by the committee could get lost in election fever. Moreover, the committee seems without a clear focus, and unsure of exactly what parts of the broadcasting system it should be looking at. The official mandate is to determine if the 1991 Broadcasting Act is relevant today. The committee has identified six themes that it plans to explore, but they are broad and all-encompassing. As a result, the hearings opened Nov. 8 with committee members asking Copps for clarification about the scope of the committee’s investigation. Committee chair Clifford Lincoln has told CCR that he expects that the committee’s recommendations will form the basis of revisions to the Broadcasting Act. So far, though, there hasn’t been much talk about where the Broadcasting Act is failing. All the process seems to be doing is providing broadcasting interest groups with another platform to expose their view of the world.