TORONTO, 3rd November 2020 / CNW / – Unifor today welcomes the announcement that the CRTC will gain authority to force foreign internet giants to create, stream and broadcast more Canadian content, which is long overdue.
“This is about cultural sovereignty, something we vowed to protect in the last trade deal. Telling Canadian Canadians Canadian stories is not only vital to our culture, it is also a source of good jobs and helps us to be defined as a nation inclusive, “said the national president of Unifor Jerry Dias.
“The fact is, American internet giants have been gobbling up Canadian market share for years without paying a dime to produce Canadian news, sports and entertainment programs, which our regulated Canadian media companies do.”
New legislation introduced today that gives the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission the power to play foreign streaming services under Canadian rules could lead to as much as $ 830 million one year in new production until 2023.
“This is a long way from the days when Stephen Harper rejected such a move as a “Netflix tax”. The fact is, that would be a huge boost for the Canadian media and media workers and their families. “Said Dias.
Minister for Cultural Heritage Steven Guilbeault said today that as soon as cabinet calls on the CRTC to act under this new bill, it would like to see a roadmap for contributions from foreign streamers that will be completed within nine months.
“The need is immediate. It cannot take a day longer than nine months. Our content creators and producers cannot afford any further delays,” said Unifor Media Director Howard Law said.
“There has been a lot of consultation. The government and the CRTC know what to do and it is time to act.”
The review of the definition of Canadian content is also welcomed in promoting authentic Canadian shows, Law said.
Unifor is Canada largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in all major economic sectors, including 13,000 in the media sector. The union stands up for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives for progressive change for a better future.
For More Information: To arrange interviews in person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Stuart Laidlaw, Unifor Communications representative at [email protected] or 647-385-4054 (cell).