January 18, 2019
DGC stand ups for Canadian programming at federal Broadcast & Telecom legislative review
The DGC is leading the way to reshape Canada’s broadcasting system to ensure that the industry will continue to be healthy and sustainable in the future. In a new submission to the Broadcast and Telecom review panel, the DGC is pushing for the CRTC to act now with interim measures requiring all players in the digital landscape to contribute to producing original Canadian content. Our calls are being heard at the highest levels in Ottawa.
In May 2018, the CRTC published a report called Harnessing Changes: The Future of Programming Distribution. The document confirmed the inevitable decline of the traditional television model who has become unsustainable in recent years overrun by growing digital players. The CRTC urged the government to act and proposed options for the revision of the Telecom and Broadcasting Acts arguing that internet service providers, wireless companies and foreign streaming services should be imposed to fund the production of Canadian cultural content to compensate for the diminishing contribution of cable and satellite providers.
A month later, the Government launched the review of the two Acts by appointing an external Panel of seven experts to review Canada’s communication legislative framework. The Panel, dubbed as the “Yale Panel” after the Chair’s name, Janet Yale, is expected to render a mid-term report in June 2019 and a final report by January 2020. The goal of the review is to examine how to best support the creation, production and distribution of Canadian content in both French and English—and focus on updating and modernizing the broadcasting system by exploring how all players are reflected within it and can contribute to it.
Dave Forget, DGC’s National Executive Director and Warren Sonoda, National Directors Division Chair presented DGC’s positions on the legislative review before the Yale Panel during a cross-country consultation that took place in October 2018. On January 11th, The DGC formalized its positions, responding to a Call for Comments with a written submission, available here. In the submission, the DGC details recommendations to reshape the Canadian legislative framework for Broadcasting.
Canada fought hard to exempt the cultural industries in the recent renegotiation of the Canada, U.S., Mexico trade agreement (CUSMA) and the DGC recommends the Panel to act fast on interim measures to impose contributions on foreign online programming services before the upcoming federal election. Timing is everything: the current regulated broadcasting landscape cannot survive without restoring fairness and establishing robust contributions to fund Canadian content.