Canada’s independent producers, performers and directors petition Minister Joly to reject CRTC decision
OTTAWA, June 29, 2017—Today the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) submitted a joint petition to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, asking her to set aside, or refer back, the CRTC’s Group Licence Renewal decisions for Canada’s large television broadcasters, released last month.
Across the production sector, Canada’s creator community shares deep concerns about the damaging impact of these decisions. An independent analysis commissioned by the CMPA found that the CRTC’s decision to decrease the required amount broadcasters must spend on Canadian Programs of National Interest (PNI) will likely result in a drop of more than $900 million in production volume, causing a cumulative economic reduction of $1.15 billion in GDP over the five-year period during which the broadcasters’ licences will be in place. A backgrounder summarizing these findings is available here.
If these decisions are allowed to stand, the required PNI spend for channels operated by Rogers, Corus and Bell, will fall to just five per cent, having a severe negative impact on the production of Canadian television dramas, comedies, children’s programming, long-form documentaries, variety and performing arts shows, and on the health and productivity of our sector as a whole.
In addition to greatly reduced PNI spending, the joint petition objects to the CRTC’s decision to remove evening exhibition requirements for the broadcasters’ discretionary services and the negative consequences of the CRTC’s failure to address the erosion of independently-produced programming.
“There is unanimous agreement among creators across Canada that the CRTC got this one wrong. These decisions are going to have a very real, negative effect on Canada’s television production sector; they will decrease the production of diverse, compelling original Canadian content, limit consumer choice, and ultimately hurt our ability to produce and export great Canadian shows.”
– Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO, Canadian Media Producers Association
“We are very concerned about the future of Canadian production and the devastating effects the CRTC’s decisions could have on the thousands of Canadians employed in the television production sector. It’s time for a new direction at the CRTC: one that protects Canadian culture and the jobs of cultural workers; understands the challenges of our film and television sector; and ensures Canadian stories can continue to be shared on screens in Canada and around the world.”
– Stephen Waddell, National Executive Director, ACTRA
“This is a ruling handed down by the outgoing chair at the CRTC, a Harper appointee who called for an end to nearly every support for film & television from Canadian hiring requirements to tax credits. Now, the Trudeau government has to decide whether to stand with Mr. Harper’s man, or stand with audiences and creators. We have to modernize our broadcast system to bring it into the 21st century, not tear it apart.”
– Tim Southam, President, Directors Guild of Canada
ABOUT THE CMPA
The Canadian Media Producers Association is the national advocacy organization for independent producers, representing hundreds of companies engaged in the development, production and distribution of English-language content made for television, cinema and digital media channels. We work to promote the continued success of the Canadian production sector and to ensure a bright future for the diverse content made by our members for both domestic and international audiences. cmpa.ca
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 23,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly-acclaimed professional performing community. www.actra.ca
ABOUT THE DGC
The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a national labour organization that represents over 3,800 key creative and logistical personnel in the screen-based industry covering all areas of direction, design, production and editing. The DGC negotiates and administers collective agreements and lobbies extensively on issues of concern for members including Canadian content conditions, CRTC regulations and ensuring that funding is maintained for Canadian screen-based programming.