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IATSE Pleased with Proposed Changes to Broadcasting Act

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

TORONTO, ONMinister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault has tabled Bill C:10: An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. The proposed legislation lists five key objectives: the inclusion of online broadcasting within the scope of the Act, updating broadcasting & regulatory policy to better reflect Canada’s diversity, ensuring fair and equitable treatment between online and traditional broadcasters, the introduction of an administrative monetary penalties regime, and adding more explicit information sharing and confidentiality provisions.

Through this Bill, Canadian Heritage has recognized Canada’s long history of supporting the creation of, and access to, Canadian film, music, television and digital media programming, while also facilitating our access to foreign content. The IATSE agrees that foreign streamers, such as Netflix, should be contributing to the Canadian industry but believes that contributions beyond the financial must also be given consideration. Foreign streamers aren’t just granted access to Canadian viewers, they also create tens of thousands of jobs for Canadian production crew. This must be considered when determining contributions to Canada’s industry.

John M. Lewis, the IATSE’s Director of Canadian Affairs and an International Vice President, stated, “We are grateful for the continued support of Canadian Heritage and we welcome much of the proposal, such as increased Canadian discoverability measures for foreign streamers. We are also thrilled that government is looking to revisit how it defines Canadian programs for the purposes of broadcasting regulatory obligations. We hope this new definition will include expanded parameters such as the contributions of Canadian film workers, the percentage of Canadians employed on a production, the geographic location of the shoot, and whether the story being told is a Canadian one.”

The IATSE will be requesting an appearance before the House of Commons committee and at any potential CRTC hearings, to ensure the success and growth of the entire industry – both domestic and foreign service - is maintained.

For more information, contact:

Krista Hurdon, IATSE International Representative

khurdon@iatse.net