Ottawa -- After two years of study and consultation, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly has come up with only a few modest steps to boost Canadian content, according to FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting.
The Minister has left unaddressed the local media crisis and the urgent problem of how to staunch the flow of Canadian advertising dollars to foreign media companies, which has turned from a trickle to a flood.
“Advertising dollars that are needed to finance Canadian TV, including local news, are leaving Canada faster than snowbirds in February. At a time when many other countries are ending the free ride US internet companies have enjoyed since their inception, Minister Joly decided to stay on the sidelines,” said FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting spokesperson, Ian Morrison.
The deal with Netflix announced by the Minister this morning raises a number of questions. Any negotiation requires compromise. What did the government of Canada give up in order to obtain this commitment? The Minister has negotiated a deal with one company. What about the other foreign internet giants? How does this level the playing field for Canadian media who continue to have financial obligations foreign media companies do not have?
The Minister’s policy announced this morning that she is effectively postponing the review of the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright Acts until after the next election while offering only words rather than action to address the crisis faced by local news in Canada.
Overall, FRIENDS gives the Minister’s DigiCanCon a barely passing grade of C-.
FRIENDS’ report card on the Creative Canada Policy Framework is available at: www.friends.ca/report-card
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