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CRTC report calls for action to strengthen Canadian culture

May 31, 2018

OTTAWA—The union representing 12,000 Canadian journalists and media workers has endorsed the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s call for a “bold and judicious” overhaul of federal media regulation.

“The new CRTC chair’s call for equitable contributions from all industry participants—whether online, cable, ISP, foreign or domestic—is a big step in the right direction,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “If Netflix, Google and Facebook and all the other American giants don’t have to reinvest their Canadian profits in Canadian shows and local news, our cultural identity will be in big trouble.”

Unifor agrees with CRTC Chair Ian Scott’s conclusion that American digital media is moving fast to a dominant position in Canadian television’s audiences, revenues, and profits.

“Mr. Scott has it right. Every industry player regardless of head office location must make an equitable contribution to Canadian content and local news, even if it’s not a one-size-fits-all model,” said Howard Law, Unifor’s Media Sector Director.

Unifor cautions that, for domestic media companies, the CRTC’s recommended shift from the one-size-fits-all licencing standard to more flexible service agreements should be implemented carefully.

“If service agreements are going to be the new licencing, it will have to be an especially transparent and public process,” said Jake Moore, Unifor Local 79M President. “Media companies have a special responsibility to deliver Canadian local news and must be held to a high standard.”

“The ball is now in the Minister’s court. The federal government must act,” Moore concluded.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).