The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.The CRTC has been negligent in regulating Radio Nord in northern Quebec, an area that has had inadequate news coverage for years. It’s time the commission resorted to the toughest tactics at its disposal. Residents have received no TV news coverage for a year due to an ongoing labour dispute.   The commission has no authority to deal with the work stoppage But prior to the strike - which the union charges Radio Nord is using as a straw man to avoid local news commitments - the CRTC had the chance to leave its mark but didn’t. Recognizing that Radio Nord was not fulfilling local news quotas on the three networks it operates in Rouyn-Noranda, the CRTC in 1998 granted only a four-year licence renewal. But when that four-year licence renewal came due in 2002, the stations were granted two separate administrative renewals. So much for the inconvenience of having to appear more often before the commission due to failure to comply with licence conditions. One of the few tools that the CRTC uses to dissuade broadcasters from running afoul of licence conditions is the threat of granting only a short-term licence. In this case, the commission recognized a problem and granted that short-term renewal. But in subsequently granting not one but two administrative renewals, Radio Nord has essentially escaped unhindered from its failure to adhere to its condition of licence. The CRTC owed it to the residents of Rouyn-Noranda to deal two years ago with Radio Nord’s failure to deliver the required local news. Having failed to do that, the CRTC must now resort to even tougher measures to ensure that local news gets produced in the region. Radio Nord will undoubtedly talk about the financial pitfalls of running broadcasting operations in northern Quebec. Nonetheless, it’s time for the CRTC to play hardball. It might, for example, actually consider revoking one of the three licences that Radio Nord has been granted in Rouyn-Noranda. It’s a drastic move that would set a precedent, but the CRTC must demonstrate that it cannot be taken lightly. It’s a message that is long overdue from the commission.