Press release

Sep 21, 2020

Film and TV organizations call for Throne Speech to make good on government promises

Historic broadcasting and telecom overhaul cannot be derailed by pandemic

TORONTO, September 21, 2020 – Leaders of the ACTRA, AQPM, ARRQ, CMPA, DGC, SARTEC and WGC today called on government to commit in this week’s Speech from the Throne to table legislation revamping the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright acts in the next session of Parliament.

The undersigned representatives issued the following joint statement:

“The screen industries have been hard hit by the pandemic, but we cannot allow this crisis to derail the future of a sector vital to Canadian identity, the economy and the cultural life of Canadians. Representing tens of thousands of members and hundreds of companies, we’re calling on the government to press ahead now with its long-planned modernization of the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright Acts.”

“It has taken our industry two decades to reach a consensus on how to modernize the rules of our broadcasting system for the digital age. From the laws governing global internet giants to ensuring all players in the broadcast sector are required to invest in the creation and promotion of original Canadian programming, we have worked too long to see progress stalled. The new legislation needs to reflect appropriate requirements for the online players to support creators and partner with producers in a way that ensures that the value of IP stays in Canada.”

“Our sector represents a $9.3 billion marketplace responsible for 180,900 well-paid, middle-class jobs. We are calling on the government to keep its promises and protect the tens of thousands of Canadians who rely on this economy for their livelihoods by updating these laws for the 21st century.”

“Recent surveys conducted by Canada’s French- and English-language media producers associations have found that over $1 billion in production volume is at imminent risk without swift government action to address the lack of COVID-19 insurance coverage available for producers. A government-backed insurance program is urgently needed.”

The current government first committed to an overhaul of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act in its Creative Canada policy framework in 2017. In 2018, the government launched an expert panel to review these Acts under the leadership of Janet Yale. Following the report of this panel in early 2020, the government committed to bring forward legislation this past spring. Amidst the onset of the pandemic last June, Minister of Heritage Steven Guilbeault committed to table a new Act before the end of 2020.

“The Copyright Act is currently undergoing a five-year mandatory legislative review. The House of Commons Standing Committees on Industry, Science and Technology and Heritage began this study in 2018. We are hoping that the government will resume and complete the review to ensure that all artists in creative industries are fairly remunerated.”


Marie Kelly
National Executive Director
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists

Hélène Messier
President – Executive Director
Association Québécoise de la production médiatique

Gabriel Pelletier
Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec

Reynolds Mastin
President and CEO
Canada Media Producers Association

Dave Forget
National Executive Director
Directors Guild of Canada

Stéphanie Hénault
Executive Director
Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma

Maureen Parker
Executive Director
Writers Guild of Canada

For more information:

Kyle O’Byrne
Manager, Media Relations & Communications, CMPA