The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Industry Canada’s decision to stress awareness over taking an aggressive hard-line stand against satellite TV dealers selling illegal equipment was its only realistic option. The department recently sent an "awareness" letter to more than 470 satellite dealers across the country explaining to them that selling this type of equipment was illegal (see article in this issue). Certainly this decision was unpalatable for licensed Canadian satellite TV distributors, the cable industry and broadcasters – as evidenced by Janet Yale’s comments – which are obviously worried about the government’s commitment to stamp out the illegal activity. While it is looking for some leadership from government, it was unreasonable for them to expect the department to unveil an aggressive campaign against these dealers. First of all, Industry Canada doesn’t actually go out and seize equipment from dealers – that’s the RCMP’s job – so it couldn’t go the hard-line route. Somebody has to pony up the money to cover the costs of large-scale raids on illegal dealers and it’s unlikely Industry Canada would be willing to chip in some dough. Nor is it likely that the department would want to take any meaningful action against distributors of illegal equipment when a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge still hangs in the balance. It’s safe to assume that the department wouldn’t want egg on its face if the Charter challenge was successful. On the enforcement side, the industry shouldn’t expect any large-scale, concrete action from the RCMP either. It has already stated that it will only pursue the major dealers. As Jim Theissen, a policy analyst with Industry Canada, explained to Report on Wireless, the RCMP has to manage its own resources. It’s obvious by the RCMP’s comments that basement operations aren’t even on its radar screen. There is little doubt that the likes of Bell ExpressVu and the Canadian Cable Television Association would have preferred action over words, but taking a softer approach doesn’t mean the department is ignoring the problem. If the problem persists, the government will move from "awareness" to more aggressive action.