The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) would like to congratulate Steven Guilbeault on his appointment as head of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

“We are very pleased to welcome Minister Steven Guilbeault as head of the Department of Canadian Heritage,” commented Bill Skolnik, CDCE Co-Chair. “The cultural sector faces several major challenges and the Liberals made it clear during their campaign that they wish to address them in the first year of their mandate.” The CDCE actively mobilized before the election to insist that Canada’s cultural policies apply to the Web. “We now encourage the Minister to continue the ongoing legislative reviews, but we also ask him to undertake immediate actions, which are within his reach,” added Bill Skolnik.

One of these priority actions is to require the CRTC to amend its new media exemption so that programming undertakings contribute to the financing and promotion of Canadian content and deliver data on the cultural content accessed by Canadians. The CRTC must also be quickly given the necessary powers to enforce these new rules.

The CDCE also calls on the Minister to take action to ensure that Internet and cellular telephone service providers also contribute to the financing of Canadian content. It should be noted that the revenues of these companies are constantly growing, largely due to access to cultural content, which takes up 72% of the time spent online by Canadians.

All new financial contributions from online programming companies and telecommunications companies should be directed to existing cultural funds such as the Canada Media Fund, Musicaction/ Factor and the Radiostar/ Starmaker Fund.

The revision of the Copyright Act must also be at the top of the new Minister’s priorities, including extending the private copying regime to digital media and devices that provide access to cultural content, and reducing the number of exceptions provided for in the Act. The remaining exceptions need to provide compensation for the rights holders.

Finally, the CDCE welcomes the consensus that emerged during the election campaign to levy the consumption tax on digital products and services and to tax the revenues generated in Canada by the Web Giants. These tax measures are in addition to the other measures requested for online programming undertakings and telecommunications companies.

The CDCE reiterates its congratulations to the new Minister and assures him of immediate availability to work with his team in the implementation of policies that benefit creators, artists, entrepreneurs and cultural professionals.

 

For more information
Bill Skolnik, CDCE Co-President
Céline De Dianous, Communication and Research Officer
514-277-2666