The development of television in Canada had been interrupted by WWII. While other countries had taken the lead in post war experimentation, Canada, realizing that television would go through a difficult and costly period, opted for the role of observer.
After 21 years of Liberal government in Canada, the Conservatives, under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, came to power in 1957. This new government, after much lobbying by “private” broadcasters, passed a new Broadcasting Act in 1958, establishing the Board of Broadcast Governors (BBG) to be the “watchdog” of Canadian broadcasting. Since its inception in 1936, this had been the domain of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) which independent “private” broadcasters had complained was both their regulator and competitor.
In the 1960’s, Ken Soble, founder of CHCH-TV in Hamilton, had a dream to launch a super station that would use satellite to reach all of Canada. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1966. Al Bruner worked for Soble back then. He too had this super station dream and pursued it.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) expressed its interest in the establishment of a third French language commercial television service in the Province of Quebec, but without issuing a call for applications.
On March 22, Joseph Alexandre DeSève received an operating licence from the Board of Broadcast Governors (BBG), which would later become the Canadian Radio-Television and Commission (CRTC), for the first private television station in Montreal, Télé-Métropole (CFTM-TV).
The Government proclaimed a television policy whereby the delivery of licences, the creation of networks and broadcasting were to be strictly governed by the Board of Governors of Radio-Canada (CBC) and the latter would itself take the initiative of building studios and television stations.