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PERFORMERS WELCOME MPs REPORT ON LOCAL TV: Heritage Committee paves way for elected leaders to create a vibrant Canadian broadcasting system

June 19, 2009 — Toronto – Canadian performers welcome the Heritage Committee’s report “Issues and Challenges Related to Local Television” released today. ACTRA urges the government to not only act on the report’s recommendations, but to build on the Committee’s work by collaborating with creators and other stakeholders to develop national broadcasting and digital media strategies.

“We welcome this contribution and thank the Committee for their balanced and thoughtful recommendations,” said Ferne Downey, ACTRA’s National President. “We appreciate what a challenge the Committee had in undertaking this study with so many players with disparate interests and are relieved that members didn’t buy the private broadcasters’ panicked pleas for deregulation.”

“This report puts forward some positive ideas that we believe will help strengthen our broadcasting system as a whole,” said Stephen Waddell, ACTRA’s National Executive Director. “I’d hate to see this important work go to waste. Too often these reports sit on a shelf and gather dust. We urge the government to give these recommendations serious consideration and act on them immediately. Now, MPs should turn their attention to the chronic problem of underfunded Canadian drama production,” said Waddell.

ACTRA supports the Committee’s call for more funding for local programming, stable, multi-year funding for the CBC and limits on distant signals. Performers are particularly pleased to see the Committee reaffirmed the importance of maintaining Canadian content obligations and call on the CRTC to address the issue of the broadcasters’ excessive spending on foreign programming.

“This report paves the way for our elected leaders to continue working with us to create a national broadcasting and digital media strategy that provides thousands of skilled jobs, strengthens communities and above all – ensures that Canadians will have a strong, independent voice that can be heard coast-to-coast-to-coast and around the globe,” said Downey.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

For more information: Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, (416) 644-1519, ctaverner@actra.ca


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