The Online Streaming Act must ensure the diversity of cultural expression in the broadcasting ecosystem by guaranteeing a place of choice for the creation, production and broadcasting of national content, including original French-language content, Canadian Aboriginal content and content from official language minority communities. It is an obligation of Canadian Broadcasting Policy to respect and maintain Canada’s commitments under the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and to preserve the cultural sovereignty of the State.
Since the initial publication of the bill, the CDCE has been conducting an ongoing analysis and reflection with its members and several experts in order to formulate proposals to ensure that Bill C-11 best serves Canadian cultural sovereignty. At each stage of the bill’s development, the CDCE has offered a consensus from the cultural community and focused its efforts on a minimum number of amendments. All of these changes are crucial if the bill, which has been anticipated for more than two decades, is to fulfill its promise to protect and promote the true diversity of Canadian cultural expressions ensuring that it will continue to flourish in the digital environment.
While work on the bill has been underway for over two years, it will soon be adopted. At this point, the cultural sector notes two major disappointments with respect to its initial demands.
These two disappointments can hardly be corrected at this stage of the legislative process. However, there are other areas of significant concern to the Coalition’s members that can still be improved. Indeed, one last crucial step remains to be taken: the House of Commons’ consideration of the bill as amended by the Senate, which, exceptionally, adopted 26 amendments. Of these, according to the CDCE, three must be rejected and four must be retained.
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