Dear ACTRA Members,

Your union has been busy on the lobbying front in recent months advocating on behalf of Canadian performers about some of the proposed changes outlined in new broadcasting legislation (Bill C-10) to modernize Canada’s Broadcasting Act.

Bill C-10, once passed and the changes implemented, will impact our industry – and work opportunities – for years if not decades to come. So, it’s important we get it right to ensure a strong and vibrant industry for Canadian content.

This past Monday, I was pleased to have the opportunity to appear alongside our National Executive Director Marie Kelly before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as part of its study of Bill C-10. Marie and I took the opportunity to sound the alarm about a proposal in the Bill that could significantly reduce the requirement to use Canadian creative talent.

I know as working performers we are all happy to see production activity in Canada booming, especially following pandemic closures, but there is growing concern that opportunities to tell Canadian stories are decreasing and Canadian content production is lagging further behind.

If we do not create an environment in which Canadian stories and storytellers can thrive, our culture and identity may be lost.

The proposal in Bill C-10 that we are most concerned about removes the requirement for broadcasters to make maximum use, and in no case less than predominant use, of Canadian creative and other resources in the creation and presentation of Canadian programming.

This change would significantly reduce the requirement to use Canadian creative talent. For precarious workers like ACTRA members, it could lead to a dramatic loss of work opportunities.

It would also devastate our screen-based media production sector, an industry that contributes $12.8 billion to our country’s GDP and generates 180,000-plus jobs for hard-working Canadians.

This is why ACTRA is proposing we maintain the existing language in the Broadcasting Act requiring broadcasters to make maximum use of Canadian talent in the creation of Canadian programming. It is imperative Bill C-10 be amended to include this existing language as well as acknowledge that all broadcasters, including online streaming services, must contribute to the creation of Canadian content.

So, what’s next? This is where we need you to take action. We need to make sure Committee members understand what’s at risk. You can help ensure the voices of Canadian performers are heard by sending an E-mail to the Members of Parliament sitting on the Canadian Heritage Committee and asking them to support ACTRA’s amendments to Bill C-10.

Canadian storytelling is in danger if we do not ensure the Broadcasting Act includes the necessary amendments to help strengthen our system. Please take action now.

In solidarity,
David Sparrow