Photo © Kishore Uthamaraj
In today’s Speech from the Throne, the federal government affirmed its commitment to support the cultural sector, including a commitment to ensure that Web giants contribute to the creation, production and dissemination of Canadian cultural expressions. The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) is pleased that this issue is a priority for Ottawa, and is looking forward to a review of the Broadcasting Act in the fall, and offers its collaboration for the rapid adoption of the new legislation.
“Web giants are taking Canadians’ money while imposing their own priorities. Things must change, and will change. The Government will act to ensure their revenue is shared more fairly with our creators and media, and will also require them to contribute to the creation, production, and distribution of our stories, on screen, in lyrics, in music, and in writing”, said Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette.
The cultural sector has been hit very hard by the health crisis, so this review is more urgent than ever. A recent assessment by the Department of Canadian Heritage estimated that the Web giants could cost the Canadian cultural sector $1 billion by 2023 without a change in the legislative framework. By integrating them into the broadcasting system, that’s a few hundred million dollars more per year that will feed our ecosystems. At a time when public finances are under pressure, the revision of the Broadcasting Act presents itself as a structuring market solution for the cultural sector and necessary to ensure a diversity of cultural expressions.
The CDCE has been mobilizing for years with the entire cultural sector in favour of these changes. The revision of the Broadcasting Act must be modernized so that all companies that provide audio or audiovisual content in Canada contribute to the funds supporting Canadian creation and meet the requirements for showcasing Canadian content.
The CDCE would also like to see the CRTC’s powers strengthened to ensure that the requirements are enforced and to collect data on access to Canadian cultural content from companies offering online content.
The CDCE is also calling for a review of the Copyright Act. More than ever, authors, creators and professionals in the sector need a legislative framework that will allow them to make a living from their art and invest in new creations. This revision is just as urgent and we expect a bill to be tabled in the coming months.
For more information
Bill Skolnik, Co-Chair of the CDCE
Céline De Dianous, Communication and Research Officer