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“What We Heard” report confirms majority consensus on issues related to supporting creation, production and discoverability of Canadian content: ACTRA

TORONTO, ON (June 27, 2019) — The release of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel’s “What We Heard” report confirms there is a shared concern for the urgent need of regulatory changes to protect the creation, production and discoverability of Canadian content.

“It was encouraging to see consensus from most parties on the importance of supporting Canadian content funding, creation, production and discoverability,” says David Sparrow, ACTRA National President. “To ensure the sustainability and longevity of our industry in the digital age, there needs to be equitable treatment for both traditional and new players in the Canadian market.”

With the federal election just four months away, this is an excellent opportunity for our federal parties to take note and make appropriate commitments in their party platforms to Canada’s culture industry. These commitments must include specific measures to restore balance to our broadcasting system that our government can enact within the first year of its mandate.

In its submission to the Panel, ACTRA reviewed issues related both to the legislative framework as well as policies and programs dealing specifically with the theme of supporting creation, production and discoverability of Canadian content.

Key recommendations included:

  • Valuing and supporting artists to nurture their creativity. Writers, showrunners, directors and performers should have direct access to funding to develop the story, initiate the partnerships essential for any audiovisual work, and find the producer and distribution channel most appropriate for the work.
  • Amending the Broadcasting Act so it applies to all programming content provided to Canadians, regardless of the services and technologies used to produce the content or to make it available.
  • Providing the CRTC with the tools needed to regulate all Canadian and foreign services providing programming content to Canadians.
  • Requiring all players in the Canadian market – traditional broadcasters, OTT and music streaming services, Internet Service Providers and Wireless Service Providers – to contribute to the creation of Canadian content.
  • Requiring all services offering online programming to Canadians, including OTT services and music streaming services, to: register for, collect and remit the GST/HST on their Canadian subscriptions, and to pay corporate taxes on Canadian revenues.
  • Increasing Canadian content discoverability options by requiring: all services offering on-demand programming content to Canadian consumers to maintain a Canadian content minimum in their program selections; Internet search engines to tweak their algorithms to ensure Canadians are offered some Canadian choices when they search for cultural/artistic content.

After further analysis of the “What We Heard” report, ACTRA may have additional comments.

About ACTRA
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 25,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

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Media Contact:
Jennifer McGibbon, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA National, tel: (416) 489-1311, email: jmcgibbon@actra.ca


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