The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) has “serious concerns” about CBC/Radio-Canada being granted greater regulatory flexibility, CMPA president and CEO Michael Hennessy said. Hennessy said at hearing into the CBC’s licence renewals that more flexibility, as CBC has requested, would amount “to virtually no requirements to commission independently-produced programming.” He said greater flexibility could also lead to a reduction of children’s programming and no “firm” commitments to film or regional production. Hennessy told commissioners in opening remarks that if CBC does not reach a terms of trade agreement with producers by the end of the proceeding on Dec. 1, the CRTC should step in to establish the terms of the private broadcasters’ agreement with CBC. He said the commission should require CBC to adhere to those terms by condition of licence. Hennessy said that, in 2000, the CRTC said CBC should be “a model for others” in terms of dealing with independent producers. “Almost 13 years after the CRTC asked the CBC to be a model for terms of trade, we actually do have a model agreement,” he said. “Ironically, however, that model agreement is with the private broadcasters and not the CBC.” Hennessy said that because independent producers do not have a terms of trade agreement with CBC, the production deals imposed on them are “far more onerous” than those of the private broadcasters. He noted this causes “distortions and instability” in the the broadcasting system. A working agreement with CBC, Hennessy said, is “critical” to help producers sustain their business and produce more Canadian programs. Hennessy said producers' terms of trade agreement with private broadcasters restored balance and fairness to program licensing negotiations. “A workable agreement with the CBC will do the same with the public broadcaster,” he said.