The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.The CRTC needs a greater range of options to deal with companies that break their licence conditions or don’t follow regulations. That need has become increasingly clear in light of CHUM’s hard questions about the integrity of the commission’s licensing process as it relates to the broadcaster’s complaint against rival Craig (see story in this issue). If Craig is found to have "radically" changed the nature of its MTV Canada channel from what was originally licensed, the CRTC will find itself nearly powerless to rectify the situation.  Revoking a licence would be nearly unprecedented, and a slap on the wrists in the form of a warning letter would likely have little effect to deter future abuses. The CRTC can make life difficult for offenders in future proceedings or, as it has done in the past, shorten the licence period. But while the revocation of the licence may be too extreme, a shortened licence may not be deterrent enough. It’s not unheard of for broadcasters to ignore the regulator’s directives. For example, the CBC was told by the CRTC to increase its regional coverage. But instead the CBC reduced its regional supperhour newcasts. And Corus was given the go-ahead to acquire the Women’s Television Network, but was told the channel should maintain its Western presence. It proceeded to move the channel to Toronto. Giving the CRTC a better-stocked toolbox to deal with transgressors has emerged as an issue in the proceedings of the House of Commons committee studying the Broadcasting Act. Canadian Heritage ADM Michael Wernick told committee members that they should consider widening the options available to the CRTC to police the Act. Committee expert David Taras also has identified the need for an expanded sanctions ladder. "My concern is licence creep, where a cable channel gets a licence to do very specific things and then alters, expands, and broadens its activities as soon as it gets its licence, so the history channel does cooking shows and it does movies, and there’s no way for the CRTC to get them back to their original mandate," he said during a Jan. 29 meeting of the committee. In short, if the CRTC is to police the Broadcasting Act, it needs to be able to punish offenders effectively.