Canadian producers, actors and directors commend Minister Joly on rejection of CRTC decision
OTTAWA, August 14, 2017—Today, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) applauded the Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly and the federal cabinet for referring back portions of the CRTC’s Group Licence Renewal (GLR) decisions for Canada’s large private television broadcasters. This action requires the CRTC to re-evaluate its decisions, which would decrease the amount that Bell Media, Rogers Media and Corus Entertainment are required to spend on Canadian Programs of National Interest (PNI).
Today’s action is the result of a joint petition filed in June by the CMPA, ACTRA and the DGC. The coalition, representing a broad group of Canadian producers, creators and performers, was deeply concerned with the potentially devastating impacts of the CRTC decisions. An independent analysis submitted to the Minister as part of the joint petition estimated that the change in regulation would result in a decrease of over $900 million in production volume, and a reduction of $1.15 billion in GDP over the five-year term during which the broadcasters’ licences would be in place.
Other challenges to the GLR decisions that formed the basis of the joint petition were not addressed in today’s announcement. These include the CRTC’s decision to remove independent production obligations on non-PNI programming, 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. The coalition of creative groups expressed their expectation that Minister Joly would address these concerns in her vision launch next month.
In parallel to the cabinet petition, the CMPA, ACTRA, the DGC and the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) also launched a House of Commons Electronic Petition that called on Minister Joly to review the CRTC’s GLR decisions. To date this petition has garnered over 11,000 signatures from concerned Canadians. This e-petition is expected to be tabled in the House of Commons in the fall.
“We applaud Minister Joly for having the CRTC reconsider its decision to allow the broadcasters to dramatically reduce their investment in key genres of Canadian programming. We urge the CRTC to overturn its decision and maintain regulatory requirements that have entertained Canadian and global audiences with great Canadian shows. At the same time, we urge the Minister to take concrete measures to prevent large broadcasters from using their market power to kill competition, reduce programming diversity, and appropriate Canadians’ hard-earned dollars for themselves.”
– Scott Garvie, Chair CMPA, Senior Vice President Business & Legal Affairs at Shaftesbury
“This is a real victory for the thousands of Canadians who stepped up and spoke out to defend Canadian storytelling. However, there is still work to be done. The CRTC is in dire need of a new mandate 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
“Creators made their voices heard and the Minister listened. After a long wait, we have Melanie Joly’s first major decision on cultural policy and it’s a winner. We hope this is a sign of a permanent break with the previous government’s policies on culture.”
– Tim Southam, President, Directors Guild of Canada