Global bought CH for two reasons: 1. to reduce advertising competition for its station in Toronto and 2. when it buys American programs in package deals, it schedules the top-ranked ones on Global Toronto and dumps the rest on CH. It only maintains local coverage for the sake of CRTC licence regulations, or local coverage too would have been gone long ago.
The CRTC itself has a policy eerily like the CBC and NHL: all three organizations believe that Hamilton, Niagara and Halton are simply suburbs of Toronto where nothing of importance happens. About four or five years ago, the CRTC did contemplate a new TV channel for Hamilton. Torstar was thought to have a lock on it since they were promising increased news coverage for the Hamilton area, but it was given -- rather surprisingly -- to a company out west that located the station in Toronto. Hurray! Another Toronto channel! Since then, that station went belly-up (I wonder why ...) and has been rebranded as the A-Channel.
Since then, Niagara applied for a station of its own based in St Catharines. Guessed who blocked it? Global and A-Channel, who argued that Niagara couldn't have its own station because their programs would dilute the Toronto audience and therefore the advertising base. The CRTC chose to protect the Toronto stations rather than "foster a diversity of voices" as its current policy would suggest they should do.
Anyone ready to found a pirate TV station?