Illustration © Ebuen Clemente Jr
Montreal, June 21, 2022 – The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) is relieved and pleased that Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, has passed third reading in the House of Commons. On numerous occasions, the CDCE has called on all Parliamentarians to help move this critical legislation forward quickly for Canada’s cultural sector.
CDCE would like to thank the Honourable Minister Pablo Rodriguez for keeping his word on the Bill and, most importantly, for not giving in to the enormous pressure from certain sectors to reduce the level of ambition of the future legislation, particularly on social media broadcasting activities. The June 16 announcement of a digital series on Tik Tok, financed by the Bell Fund, confirms that the Minister has shown vision in the face of rapidly evolving practices in the media industry.
The CDCE extends its thanks to the members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC) for their hard work on this file, and particularly wishes to thank the members of the Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Liberal Party for tabling amendments proposed by the CDCE. It also worth underlying that Conservative Party members were able to rally around issues affecting official language minority communities, original French-language content and content from Black and racialized communities. A rare unanimity on issues that are important to the CDCE.
The CDCE is also pleased with the adoption of changes to increase the transparency of the consultation process surrounding the issuance of policy direction. It is also relieved that its proposal, tabled jointly with FRIENDS, to enhance Canadian ownership and control of the system was adopted.
The CDCE will continue to seek changes to the Bill to ensure that there is no distinction between Canadian and foreign undertakings with respect to the use of Canadian talent in the creation, production and distribution of Canadian content, an amendment that was unfortunately rejected by a majority of the CHPC members. It will also reiterate it’s call for the Governor-in-Council to be able to ask the CRTC to review certain decisions if they contravene Canadian broadcasting policy objectives, and for public hearings to be held as part of the formulation of the orders that will define the conditions of service of broadcasting undertakings.
While the CDCE is celebrating this new development, it will redouble its efforts and vigilance as the Bill moves through the Senate. It will ensure that Senators have fair and balanced information on the situation of Canadian artists and creators, as well as companies and organizations involved in the production of Canadian content. With appropriate and modern regulations, the work of our creators and organizations will benefit from greater visibility on the digital platforms used every day and from increased funding.
The CDCE hopes that the Senate will be sensitive to the need to move forward expeditiously with this Bill, which is supported by its members, representing more than 200,000 creators, artists and professionals, and more than 2000 publishers and producers.
Bill Skolnik, Co-Chair of the CDCE
Nathalie Guay, Executive Director
514-655-6651 – firstname.lastname@example.org