TORONTO, ON (September 15, 2022) – On behalf of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), Eleanor Noble, National President, and Marie Kelly, National Executive Director, appeared yesterday before the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications to urgently address two issues within Bill C-11 (the Online Streaming Act).

“While ACTRA has been amongst the strongest supporters of government efforts to modernize Canada’s Broadcasting Act, there are two areas of concern within Bill C-11,” said Eleanor Noble. “This is the Senate’s opportunity to directly impact Canadian jobs, stories and culture for decades to come.”

ACTRA’s first concern is an amendment that was introduced during the clause-by-clause review by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage that would exempt online undertakings from the provisions of the Status of the Artist Act (SAA).

“If the objective of this legislation is to maintain the status quo in an industry that generates $11.3 billion in GDP and supports 217,000 jobs, then we ask Senators of this Committee to remove the section of Bill C-11 that excludes online undertakings from the Status of the Artist Act,” said Noble. “Performers across Canada are among the original gig workers, and for almost 80 years, ACTRA has worked to ensure performers in recorded media productions receive fair compensation for their work. Thanks to ACTRA’s SAA certifications and historic bargaining practices, our national agreements have underpinned bargaining activity and stabilized our screen industry.”

ACTRA also urges Senators to strengthen Bill C-11 by maximizing the use of Canadian talent. The Bill weakens the current requirement for Canadian broadcasters to use Canadian talent and establishes a lesser standard for foreign services.

“As it stands, Bill C-11 creates two classes of broadcasters (Canadian broadcasting undertakings and foreign online undertakings) and places different requirements on them,” continued Noble. “This two-tier approach significantly reduces the requirement for foreign online undertakings to use Canadian creative talent. This Bill must be fixed to prioritize Canadian creators.”

ACTRA along with screen industry stakeholders such as directors, writers and producers agree that Bill C-11 must be amended to remove any reference to a lesser standard for foreign services. We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with Senators and Government, as this legislation moves towards Royal Assent, to find a solution to these issues which directly impact tens of thousands of professional artists.

To watch ACTRA’s appearance which outlines the proposed amendments to Bill C-11, please click here to view the second panel that starts at the 19:15 timestamp.

About ACTRA:
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 28,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

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Media Contact:
Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA National, tel: 416-644-1519, email: ctaverner@actra.ca

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