The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Pending changes to Telefilm Canada’s multimedia fund have been anything but a result of open consultation – despite officials’ protests to the contrary. Getting information about proposed amendments has been a frustrating experience for not just the media but also the industry’s most important stakeholders. Telefilm must commit immediately to a regime of transparent consultation that’s substantially like Gazette processes. Proceedings occur every year that invite public comment on well-defined government proposals. The debate on section 31 of the Copyright Act is a perfect example. Bureaucrats and private sector players have been accessible and candid. Dozens of private citizens, smaller organizations and associations, and major players have lent their voices to the discussion. Government officials have the confidence to make decisions. The same is true of the government’s other existing copyright consultation, of the fight over municipal access to telecom networks, and of a proposed auction for fixed wireless spectrum – to name just a few. In these cases, there has been no need for Access to Information requests, leaked documents, or anonymous tips to move the discussion forward. Many of the most open government consultations take place under the supervision of Industry Canada – a department that, especially under John Manley, has been a model of how industry, government, and the public should work together on common issues. In Telefilm’s case, restricting access to an advisory committee of nine people in industry and keeping the most pertinent documents private doesn’t equate to an open consultation. Millions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, the fund has performed abysmally to this point. The time for consultation was late summer of 2000, so it’s far too late now to do the right thing. But hopefully Telefilm has learned a valuable lesson about inclusion. Our guess, though, is that the culture of secrecy is too well entrenched at Telefilm to give us much hope that in future we’ll be reporting the substance of the issues, not flawed consultation processes.