Photo © Danny Howe
The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE), which represents 360,000 creators and 2,900 cultural companies across Canada, applauds the passage of Bill C-11, which has now passed all legislative steps leading to Royal Assent. Canada joins a growing number of countries that have legislation regulating digital platforms in order to protect and promote the diversity of their cultural expressions. The CDCE celebrates a great day, but notes that the real work has just begun.
In the coming months, the government will issue a policy direction to the CRTC, which will then have the important responsibility of developing the rules that will apply to each of the new services that are now clearly under its jurisdiction, i.e. audiovisual and audio streaming services and social media. The CRTC will ensure that everyone makes a significant contribution to the creation, production and promotion of Canadian music, programs and films, while taking into account Canada’s unique diversity.
“This is a great day for Canadian cultural sovereignty. We would like to thank the Liberal government and especially the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, who has strongly supported and defended this bill for several months. We also acknowledge the essential and unwavering support of the NDP and the Bloc Québécois. Finally, we salute the conscientious work of the Senators,” said Bill Skolnik, Co-Chair of the CDCE.
“By regulating digital platforms, the government is finally bringing our broadcasting ecosystem into the modern age. The protection and promotion of our culture on all the services that participate in its broadcasting will benefit all Canadians. They will still be able to choose what they consume, but will also have the opportunity to discover quality audiovisual and musical content from here,” said Hélène Messier, Co-Chair of the CDCE. “Hopefully, the bill will achieve the desired results and will not be an opportunity to lower the requirements for companies already regulated or to distort the notion of Canadian content,” she added.
During this lengthy regulatory process, one element in particular was a major disappointment to CDCE members: the inclusion of a double standard for foreign online companies in a key section. However, the cultural community remains confident that this modernized broadcasting legislation will restore fairness to our ecosystem and that the inclusion of new regulated players will enhance overall support for Canadian content. The CDCE will continue to work with the authorities in all future steps to ensure this.
Marie-Julie Desrochers, Executive Director
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