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Wendy Crewson,

Sarah Polley on

The Hill.

Heritage Minister

Mélanie Joly,

Debra McGrath,

Colin Mochrie.

2016 L.A. members’

conference panelist

Lyriq Bent.

Cory Bowles at

Save Nova Scotia film

rally in Halifax 2015.

Fiona Forsythe

and Alyssa Cross.

Jacob Sampson, Fernando Vaca,

Mary-Colin Chisholm and Koumbie on set

of ACTRA diversity video

Family Tree


arts, we stand on the shoulders of those

leader members who stepped up and laid

the foundation for all the benefits we enjoy

today. To them I say, “Thank you and well


However, lest you think the work of our

generation is done . . . with 2018 bringing

reviews of the Broadcasting, Telecommuni-

cations and Copyright Acts, along with a

freshmandate letter for the newCRTC Chair

and the renegotiation of NAFTA under the

still looming spectre of the TPP, now is the

time for Canadians and ACTRA members,

concerned about their cultural future, to

pay close attention and demand that we set

our own cultural agenda. We have a gov-

ernment that is willing to talk and appears

to be listening; but will it follow through?

Its recent deal with Netflix would suggest

the devil is in the details and we still have

work to do.

It’s 2018. We knowwhat the Internet is

now. Smart people have learned tomonet-

ize content delivered through the Inter-

net pipeline. Just as we regulated signals

through the air, cable and satellite, the

time has come to regulate the Internet and

to collect on the real value our Canadian

marketplace offers. So, YES. Over-the-top

streaming services should pay to support

the creation of Canadian content and

should follow the same rules to which we

hold our domestic broadcasters. Last year

over $730 million dollars in subscription

fees left Canada bound for Netflix. Netflix

paid no GST, no corporate tax, and con-

tributed nothing into the Canada Media

Fund to support the creation of Canadian


Wait, didn’t Netflix recently agree to

invest $500M over five years in Canadian

production? Yes, but not specifically in

Canadian content production. And this

deal—a deal written by Netflix—is less than

the foreign service work it already has in

development to be shot in Canada. Don’t

get me wrong, we welcome and celebrate

content production of every kind, but we

celebrate Canadian content produced by

Canadians just a little bit more.

This is why it’s evenmore important to

get our definition of cultural sovereignty

right. Now! NAFTA currently works to

protect culture through a broad cultural

exemption that allows each country to

create rules to support its own cultural

voice. While the government has said it

supports the current provision, it also

supports certain provisions in the TPP,

including stronger language supporting

the rights of corporations over actual

countries. This is unhelpful. Free trade

deals must not ignore our sovereignty,