An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

This bill was last introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2021.

Sponsor

Status

In committee (Senate), as of June 29, 2021
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Broadcasting Act to, among other things,

(a) add online undertakings — undertakings for the transmission or retransmission of programs over the Internet — as a distinct class of broadcasting undertakings;

(b) update the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in section 3 of that Act by, among other things, providing that the Canadian broadcasting system should serve the needs and interests of all Canadians — including Canadians from racialized communities and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds — and should provide opportunities for Indigenous persons, programming that reflects Indigenous cultures and that is in Indigenous languages, and programming that is accessible without barriers to persons with disabilities;

(c) specify that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the “Commission”) must regulate and supervise the Canadian broadcasting system in a manner that

(i) takes into account the different characteristics of Indigenous language broadcasting and the different conditions under which broadcasting undertakings that provide Indigenous language programming operate,

(ii) is fair and equitable as between broadcasting undertakings providing similar services,

(iii) facilitates the provision of programs that are accessible without barriers to persons with disabilities, and

(iv) takes into account the variety of broadcasting undertakings to which that Act applies and avoids imposing obligations on a class of broadcasting undertakings if doing so will not contribute in a material manner to the implementation of the broadcasting policy;

(d) amend the procedure relating to the issuance by the Governor in Council of policy directions to the Commission;

(e) replace the Commission’s power to impose conditions on a licence with a power to make orders imposing conditions on the carrying on of broadcasting undertakings;

(f) provide the Commission with the power to require that persons carrying on broadcasting undertakings make expenditures to support the Canadian broadcasting system;

(g) authorize the Commission to provide information to the Minister responsible for that Act, the Chief Statistician of Canada and the Commissioner of Competition, and set out in that Act a process by which a person who submits certain types of information to the Commission may designate the information as confidential;

(h) amend the procedure by which the Governor in Council may, under section 28 of that Act, set aside a decision of the Commission to issue, amend or renew a licence or refer such a decision back to the Commission for reconsideration and hearing;

(i) specify that a person shall not carry on a broadcasting undertaking, other than an online undertaking, unless they do so in accordance with a licence or they are exempt from the requirement to hold a licence;

(j) harmonize the punishments for offences under Part II of that Act and clarify that a due diligence defence applies to the existing offences set out in that Act; and

(k) allow for the imposition of administrative monetary penalties for violations of certain provisions of that Act or of the Accessible Canada Act.

The enactment also makes related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 22, 2021 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
June 21, 2021 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.22; Group 1; Clause 46.1)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.18; Group 1; Clause 23)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.13; Group 1; Clause 10)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.8; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.5; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.4; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.10; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.2; Group 1; Clause 7)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.1; Group 1; Clause 3)
June 7, 2021 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

December 10th, 2020 / 1:55 p.m.
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Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Madam Speaker, I have a couple of questions for my hon. colleague.

Bill C-10 is a direct response from artists, musicians, independent producers and technicians in the arts and culture sector in Canada. They are saying that we are losing our cultural sovereignty. What the member said is true. A number of productions are happening in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Manitoba, but these are service productions with American stories being told. They are telling us that we losing our cultural sovereignty, and I think the Conservative Party recognizes that.

In fact, a few days ago, the Conservative MPs for Lakeland, Portage—Lisgar and Peace River—Westlock all said that government needed to intervene to regulate online platforms. However, the minute we try to do something and the first attempt we make at doing that, they say we are trying to take away free speech.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

December 10th, 2020 / 4:25 p.m.
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Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

It is important for me to inform the House and the thousands of Canadians who are waiting to find out what we will be debating this week. Without further delay and so as not to make them wait, I will tell my colleague right away.

This afternoon and tomorrow we will continue with second reading debate of Bill C-10, the Broadcasting Act.

In the event that we finish debating Bill C-10, we will then give priority to the following two bills: Bill C-12 on net-zero emissions and Bill C-13 on sports betting.

Mr. Speaker, I will take the opportunity afforded to me by my colleague's question to thank you and your colleagues in the chair.

I also want to thank my colleague, the House leader of the official opposition, and our Bloc Québécois and NDP counterparts and their teams.

I want to thank the table officers, who do extraordinary work, all of the teams, and the pages who are patient enough to work with us every day and kind enough to always smile while doing so. I also want to thank the whips and their teams.

Finally, I want to thank all members for this very different session. It has not always been easy but, together, we were able to do a lot for the good of all Canadians.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

December 10th, 2020 / 4:35 p.m.
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Liberal

Lenore Zann Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House to discuss a bill that is close to my heart.

As I have been a professional performing artist for most of my life, I know that for these kinds of bills, the devil is in the details. I was very glad to see the union ACTRA endorse the bill. It said performing artists from coast to coast to coast will now be able to perform more, have their works seen on more screens and devices, and be paid for their work.

When I first started acting, I was 16 years old doing theatre in Nova Scotia at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax. From there, I moved on to doing theatre right across the country, including in Edmonton, where I played Marilyn Monroe in a rock opera on the life of Marilyn called Hey, Marilyn!. I was 19 at the time. From there, I went on to do my first movie at the age of 20 in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. It was called the Hounds of Notre Dame about Père Athol Murray. Anybody from out west might remember that. I then went on to play the fiancée of Colin Thatcher, a Conservative politician who ended up murdering his wife. I played his girlfriend, who helped turn him in to the police.

These were all heady days of the business. We also did live radio. I remember the Jarvis Street studio in Toronto. We did live radio plays, and sometimes we would need to be at the radio station at 6:30 a.m. to do a live one-hour or half-hour show. One of my favourites was about a politician. The amazing Gordon Pinsent played that role, and I played a cabinet minister.

I remember one day early in the morning we were waiting for the star of the show to arrive and he was not there. We were about to go on live radio. The producer was getting ready to take his part, and was pretty freaked out, when in came Gordon, in his pyjamas, at the last minute. He went on to perform brilliantly, of course, the role he was born to play.

I have lived through the times when radio was cut and cut and cut. We called it “death by a million cuts”. CBC was being cut. Radio was being cut. Dramas started to be cut down. This is the lifeblood for performers who do a lot of theatre but who also need to be seen on camera. To be honest, it is the cheapest and best way a government can invest in tourism. It brings people to a country and gets people around the world to see the beauties of our country and the stories that make us unique and different from any other country in the world.

That is why it is so important to look after people. It is so their work can be performed and seen all around the world, and now on many different devices.

Let us fast-forward to around the year 2005, when I was living in New York doing animation for PBS.

PBS wanted me to sign a contract, and I had never seen one that said work could be shown on all devices in the universe. PBS wanted me to sign away my rights for eternity throughout the universe. It was the first time I had ever seen that and the first time I had ever seen “on devices” in a contract. I had to ask somebody what that meant, and they said that pretty soon people would be watching things on their watches or their phones. I could not conceive of that concept. I thought it was crazy. However, if we fast-forward, where are people watching things now? They are watching them on watches, phones and all kinds of devices.

Currently, online undertakings that deliver audio and audio-visual content over the Internet are exempt from licensing and most other regulatory requirements. That is why Bill C-10 really aims to clarify that online undertakings are within the scope of the broadcasting regulatory system.

It would also provide the CRTC with new powers to regulate online audio and visual content. It would allow the CRTC to create conditions of service and other regulatory requirements under which those online broadcasters would operate in Canada, and update the CRTC's regulatory powers as they relate to traditional broadcasters as well. This is good.

The bill would ensure the act would not apply to users of social media services or social media services themselves for the content posted by their users. However, the bill aims to update key elements of the broadcasting policy for Canada to ensure the creation of Canadian content is reflective of Canadian society and accessible to all Canadians. This is what I am talking about. We need to get our stories told. We need to see more diverse Canadian faces and voices.

I have many friends in this industry who are Black or indigenous. We need to see them. We need to hear them. We need to hear the beautiful stories they have to tell. This is a great way to be able to open the door so that more of this content can be seen.

One of my favourite stations now is APTN, so here is a shout-out to APTN. It does some amazing work.

The bill would amend the act to take greater account of indigenous cultures and languages, and recognize that Canada's broadcasting system should serve the needs and interests of all Canadians, including racialized communities and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, socio-economic status, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, and age. Additional amendments would also serve to promote greater accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Is it not time we show more people and more different diverse stories? I think Canadians are open to that content now. The more we talk about different styles of living and cultural backgrounds, the more people will start to understand that we really need to walk a mile in people's shoes, moccasins and so forth, to understand where they are coming from, what their background is and what they have been through. At the end of the day, it is all about compassion and trying to understand where another person is coming from and putting ourselves in their place.

As a performer and professional actor for 30-odd years and now as a parliamentarian for 11 years, I have to say that being a performer was very good training for being a politician, and not for the reasons some people would think, such as that we can pretend and put on a stony face. It is because we can feel compassion for others. I think that is an important part of this job.

I am very glad the bill has been introduced and is hopefully going to be passed. The bill would also provide a flexible approach to regulation, allowing the CRTC to tailor the conditions of service and other regulatory requirements imposed on broadcasters, taking into account the act's policy and regulatory objectives, the variety of broadcasters in the system and the differences between them, and determining what is fair and equitable depending on the circumstances.

With that, I believe my time is up. I would like to express a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and safe travels to all of my colleagues and everyone across Canada. May everyone's families be safe. Remember to love one another because, in the end, all there is is love.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

December 10th, 2020 / 5:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, that was certainly a creative way to finish it.

One of the things that I have noticed in the time since I was elected is that the preamble of a bill, or the press conference to an announcement, is very different from the entire text of a bill or the action related to any announcement. It seems to me that Bill C-10 is in line with that pattern. I am wondering if my colleague has further comments on how the intent of this bill, as it is presented, is very different from what appears to actually fill the full 13 pages of it.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

December 10th, 2020 / 5:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Corey Tochor Conservative Saskatoon—University, SK

Madam Speaker, I hope I have enough time to get to all three questions before I get cut off.

I wonder if the member was talking about the 1970s in Canada, Soviet Russia, Cuba or China, because there are some parallels of governments having too much control.

On the competition aspect, if we restrict people's access to different streaming services or offerings, we will have fewer options for consumers. On the Canadian content, there are sites such as BritBlocks, a small streaming service for Canadians of British descent, which would just leave Canada, and so we would not be able to access its services and consumers would be less enriched from British stories. However, in return, does the member not think that other countries would restrict our content and our platforms if this is successful? We know that CUSMA has a regulation that could potentially cost Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars if an appeal process is granted and exercised on the impact of Bill C-10. There is—

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

December 10th, 2020 / 5:10 p.m.
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Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to speak today on this important update to the Canadian Broadcasting Act. It has been 29 years since there has been an update to this legislation and it is long overdue.

I graduated from the Algonquin College broadcasting program the same year that the Broadcasting Act was last updated in 1991 and I have seen many changes in the field since that time. I am a big supporter of Canadian content rules. It is important to have platforms and spaces where diverse voices and stories can be shared. I have seen first-hand how the CanCon system has benefited Canadians.

During the 1990s I worked at Video In Studios, which is now called VIVO Media Arts. It is an artist-run centre that provides access to equipment and training to video artists and media producers. I trained a lot of people in the new digital technology of that time. Many of those people did not see themselves reflected in the mainstream content being produced: indigenous people, people with diverse abilities, people of colour, street-involved youth and members of the LGBTQ++ community. Many of these people I trained went on to develop careers in the broadcasting industry and utilized CanCon rules to bring their unique stories and perspectives to Canadian audiences.

In the late 1990s, I worked with Dana Claxton, a renowned first nations artist. Her sister Kim Soo Goodtrack was a teacher who had written a children's book called The ABC’s of Our Spiritual Connection, which threads together first nations’ spiritual beliefs from across North America. Kim had an idea for a TV show, and together with Dana and their brother Don, I co-produced the pilot for Wakanheja. It was the first preschool show on a brand-new Canadian network, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, APTN. We made 64 episodes of that series before going on to create 39 episodes of a pre-teen show for APTN called Art Zone. While these shows were targeted to an audience of children and youth, the cultural sharing and stories provided an education for people of all ages. This programming would not have been possible without CanCon rules.

Funding formulas are essential to ensure a diversity of content. If it was left solely to the market we would have nothing but Disney-style caricatures of indigenous culture and many uniquely Canadian stories would never be produced for film and television.

This bill is an effort to catch up with the new media reality that has been unfolding for the last two decades. In 2007, I uploaded my first video to YouTube. It was footage I shot of three Sûreté du Québec undercover police officers trying to provoke an attack on their own riot squad at a protest in Montebello, Quebec. We pulled the masks off their faces and when they were mock-arrested by their fellow officers we noticed that all of their boots matched those of the riot squad. The YouTube video went viral and became an international news story. YouTube has evolved into one of the most influential players in the media landscape and we have barely begun grappling with the implications of that.

One thing that Canadians really want to see is the Internet giants, Facebook, Google and Amazon, paying their fair share of taxes for the business that they do in this country. They should be paying not just the GST and HST on the advertising they sell in this market but corporate taxes on the income they generate from Canadians. One key thing that this bill does is create a new category of broadcasting under the act, the "online undertaking". This would ensure that the online streaming giants such as Amazon and Netflix are covered under the act. This would help to level the playing field. These multinational companies selling their services in Canada should be required to carry Canadian content and/or help to pay for the creation of Canadian content.

The health of our news media is another area of great concern, particularly local news outlets. Local news outlets cannot compete on a level playing field with companies like Facebook and Google. We need local media and the stories they cover in our communities. Their content is shared on social media platforms that sell advertising beside that content, but none of that revenue is shared with them. Our local media outlets are held to journalistic standards, but the social media platforms are not. This is another glaring omission.

Social media platforms are publishers who generate enormous profits from content, content which is often racist, homophobic, misogynist and misleading. Social media companies should be required to uphold the same standards as traditional broadcasters. The absence of these standards and the expectations of voluntary self-regulation has brought us to a place where social media is negatively impacting our mental health, creating deepening divisions in society and having a corrosive effect on democracy.

We must take steps to ensure the survival of local media outlets in a media landscape where the playing field will never be level. Taxing social media companies on the revenues they generate in Canada and directing a portion of those funds to support local media production would be one way of doing so.

The Broadcasting Act should not limit the definition of broadcasting, but should leave it to the CRTC to determine what should be regulated. As we have seen in the last few decades, the media landscape continues to shift and the CRTC needs to be able regulate emerging types of media dissemination. The CRTC should not just have the option to regulate Internet giants, it must be mandated to do so. The penalties for violations by these Internet giants also need to be substantial, so it is not just viewed as the cost of doing business.

There are concerns about the removal of the paragraph that reads in part, “the Canadian broadcasting system shall be effectively owned and controlled by Canadians.” I understand the government is trying to bring the multinational Internet giants under the act, but we also need to ensure our existing broadcasting system is not opened up to foreign ownership.

As I emphasized earlier, the requirements for Canadian content are important. There are a lot of American productions shot in Canada using Canadian talent, but these are not Canadian stories.

I know we cannot expect Disney+ to create Canadian content based on Canadian stories, but it should be required to help fund Canadian content based on the amount of content it streams into the Canadian market.

Spotify does not create content, but it could be required to identify Canadian content on its streaming platforms and it should also have to contribute to CanCon based on the amount of business it does in our country.

Canadians need to be able to find Canadian content on these large streaming platforms. Companies like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify should provide the means for users to easily find Canadian content.

The Broadcasting Act must continue to protect the unique linguistic characteristics of Canada. We need to ensure that broadcasters create content in both official languages. Original French language content should not be sidelined by English language programs that have voice-over translations that are then passed off as French language content.

Bill C-10 proposes to replace the current conditions of licence with “conditions of service” to prohibit the appeal of any conditions of service to the cabinet. The public must have the right to appeal a CRTC decision that it considers unfair. While every decision of the CRTC should not necessarily be up for appeal, the process for appealing to cabinet should be retained in the act.

To summarize, this bill introduces changes to the Broadcasting Act that I am happy to see, but there are changes to the act that leave many stakeholders concerned. Some of the issues can be fixed with amendments. Some of the issues I have raised can only be addressed through regulation. Some can only be addressed through additional legislation, including proper taxation of multinational digital media giants.

I will be voting for the bill at second reading and I look forward to hearing what the witnesses have to say in the committee process.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the you, Madam Speaker, the House of Commons staff, my hon. colleagues in the House of Commons, my constituents and all Canadians a happy and healthy holiday season.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

November 19th, 2020 / 10:05 a.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I rise to speak to Bill C-10, which is an initiative that has been a work-in-progress for a number of months, possibly even years. The government has recognized the importance of the growth of the Internet, which has been applauded universally. There is no doubt about that, but it has a number of different issues that governments around the world have had to deal with. That is the primary reason we have Bill C-10 before us today.

There are many multinational or large corporations that play a very important role in terms of broadcasting. This is something Bill C-10 attempts to deal with. I have had the opportunity to listen to the minister's comments in regard to the bill, and I would encourage members to review what the minister said because there is a great deal of substance, not to mention passion, in the words that were spoken.

There are three parts to what the minister said that I want to take the opportunity to highlight, along with providing some further comments in terms of how important culture and arts are to our nation.

First, we would probably find the minister wants to talk about the need for equity. There is a real need for equity when it comes to our broadcasting industries. We have Canadian companies that fall under the CRTC. There are regulations in place, and those regulations do a number of things. They have ultimately served Canadians well over the years.

However, we then have, for a lack of better words, foreign web giants. We know what many of those web companies are. We are talking about companies like Google and Facebook. It is really important that we recognize that expecting industries such as Google to voluntarily comply with regulations in Canada is the wrong direction for us to be going.

Bill C-10 would ensure that the regulatory framework applies not only to Canadian companies, but also to those foreign web giants. That will go a long way in ensuring that Canadian interests are in fact being protected.

Then we look at the issue of Canadian content as a whole and how this legislation will benefit it. In terms of dollar value, it has been suggested by the minister and others that we are talking about hundreds of millions additional new dollars going to the support of Canadian content. That injection of new dollars will help the industry substantially.

This is the type of thing that I believe is going to have a very positive impact on such an important industry to our country. Again, it will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $1 billion, which equates to hundreds of millions of dollars. That is a very strong positive.

When young people go onto different types of platforms, whether it is Netflix, Amazon, Spotify or other platforms, it can be a challenge to identify Canadian content. Within Bill C-10 we find, particularly for young people, that it will be easier to discover Canadian content. The issue of discoverability is something that is really important and has been identified in this legislation.

I look at Bill C-10 as a win-win-win. I look to the Conservatives, the New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois to get on board and support the legislation.

In listening to the minister responsible for the legislation, I thought he was very open to ideas for amendments and was looking to opposition parties, if they have a good idea, to not hesitate to make the minister aware of it. I would encourage my opposition colleagues, if they have some thoughts on the bill, even during second reading, to develop those ideas and possible amendments and bring them forward to the minister's office, even before it gets to the standing committee level, because in the minister's comments he was inviting members to do so. It was quite encouraging when at the very beginning of the minister's remarks he extended that invitation and a sense of wanting to work with all members of this House to ensure that this legislation, which is somewhat historic in the sense of outreach to the World Wide Web, protects the Canadian interest. Therefore, I look forward to having Bill C-10 advance to the committee stage.

There is a good reason, and I have had the opportunity in the past to talk about the importance of culture and heritage. Yesterday, in one of my questions, I made reference to an organization that I have mentioned in the past to the House. It embodies a lot of things that would assist the industry.

We often overlook the economic impact that culture and arts groups throughout our country have, and how they contribute. There is the most obvious, and we have had some fantastic programs. In fact, one of the programs, Schitt's Creek, is something that I, unfortunately, did not even know existed until not that long ago. I know that surprises a number of people in the chamber. When it received all those awards, it was being talked about more and I thought that maybe it was time that I investigated this show. I must admit that periodically I do a bit of Netflix bingeing. I have taken the time to watch every episode of it over a three-week period.

For those who have not seen the program, I would encourage people who are following the debate on Bill C-10 to watch it because it embodies why it is so critically important that we advance bills like Bill C-10 and recognize the industry. Schitt's Creek really does reflect many of the values that Canadians have today in a very wide spectrum of people. I suspect it is one of the reasons why we did so well with that particular program and that it has now been recognized worldwide.

It is not alone. Another show that comes to my mind is Corner Gas out of Saskatchewan, and that should appeal to a lot of my western colleagues, in particular those in Saskatchewan, as we take pride in now. I do not know if I have watched every episode, but the attempt has been there.

It is nice when we get this reference to the wonderful province of Saskatchewan and the fine work that it does. Another program that I have had the opportunity to watch at least a few episodes of is Kim's Convenience, a program that takes place in Toronto. Again, we see different types of reflection. Canada over the years has been recognized as having some phenomenal comedians and many different actors and actresses. One of my favourites has always been Star Trek and good old Captain Kirk. He is Canadian-born, and I think he might be from Saskatchewan. I am not 100% sure of that.

The point is that we have so many actors and actresses and individuals with so much potential, many of whom are yet to be discovered. Bill C-10 would go a long way in supporting those new discoveries and ensuring that an industry that is so critically important to all of us is better served.

We talk about those who get the light shone on them as a result of being an actor or actress, but that is only a part of it. I really enjoy it when I see these large numbers of vans and semis pulling up into our communities, because they often are there for productions. I remember over the summer I wanted to get a large van for rental purposes, and I could not. I asked when I could get one, and the agency said that it would not be for a while because they had them rented out to a movie production. To me, that is one of those spin-off benefits that are really important for us to recognize.

I suspect that if I were to check with people in all the different areas of our country, I would find at times, in different regions, that I would see multiple sets being established in public buildings like, for example, the Manitoba legislative building, or our streets and communities, and I would see production crews. There is a high level of expertise. As the industry continues to grow, that level of expertise will grow, and when we see that, not only does it increase the skill sets of thousands of Canadians, it provides jobs.

When a movie set goes into a community, those individuals who are operating that movie set are getting paid. They are more often than not local employees or people from Canada with Canadian expertise moving into these communities and getting a salary. They are also buying lunches and snacks, they are occupying hotels for extended and short periods of time, and contributing to the local economy.

Suffice to say, when we take a look at a production that comes in, it creates interest. I am very much interested, for example, when I see a facility that is being used for a movie production and then I see it in the movie. Whenever I hear the city of Winnipeg being sighted in a movie or a TV production, there is that sense of of pride. These are the types of things showing why it is so important that members on all sides of the House recognize the real value of Bill C-10.

On the surface, it does not take too much to read through. We can appreciate what the bill is hoping to accomplish, with hundreds of millions of dollars, ensuring that we have more new money and more Canadian content, it is a good thing. The bill talks about discoverability, where young people would have easier means to locate that Canadian content, and that, too, is a good thing. We talk about having those multinational companies, those large platforms, being put on a more level playing field by incorporating them into the regulatory system, and that is a good thing.

The CRTC has done exceptionally well for Canadians over the years. It is hard to imagine what the industry would look like today if we did not have the CRTC, and if we did not have a government that valued Canadian content in the creation and distribution, and supporting the industry as a whole. This is legislation that would ensure the longevity of that.

Like everything else, the coronavirus has had an impact on the industry today, and at different levels. That is why I made reference yesterday, when I was with the minister, to the organization of Folklorama. There are many talents that ultimately go on to become productions here in Canada and abroad that come out of other organizations and smaller cultural events, and I should not use the word “smaller”.

I often make reference to Folklorama, which is an organization in Winnipeg that has been in place for over 50 years now. It has literally thousands of volunteers. Every year, during the summer, for a solid two weeks, there are all forms of entertainment and heritage promotion. Fifty-plus pavilions often participate in it. I have seen presentations that have gone from a pavilion into actual television production or have been a starting point for many artists who have originated in Winnipeg. The benefits by government continue, whether directly or indirectly.

I was so pleased when the current Minister of Heritage had a virtual meeting, and so did the Prime Minister, with Folklorama and the Folk Arts Council, because we were concerned about how they were being impacted by the coronavirus. It is the type of organization that, as a country, we cannot afford to lose. Whether it was from the Minister of Heritage or the Prime Minister, it was so nice to hear that, through things such as the wage subsidy program, these organizations were able to continue on during this very difficult time. As a result, I know that we will have Folklorama for another 50 years.

Our cultural and heritage industry as a whole needs organizations like Folklorama, because that is where many of the future actors, actresses and production people will be coming from. That is why it is so absolutely critical that when people look at Bill C-10 they recognize its true value to Canadian society.

I encourage all members of the House to follow the advice of the minister. If they have ideas or amendments, they should bring them forward. We are open to ensuring that we have the best possible legislation.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

November 19th, 2020 / 10:30 a.m.
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Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech to justify Bill C-10, which is currently before us.

I have to admit that I was rather disappointed. The Liberals are saying that this is a great bill with extraordinary content, but the bill surrenders our culture to foreign businesses and leaves us with no control over anything. What is more, it does not provide any guarantees regarding French-language content.

Since the beginning of this week, we have been talking about the importance of preserving the French language. The member for Saint-Laurent denied the decline of French and the president of the Liberal Party said that Bill 101 is oppressive. On top of all that, the Liberal government is not imposing any obligations for French-language content on the media's future cultural productions. I cannot understand that at all.

Wilfrid Laurier described Confederation as the tomb of the French race and the ruin of Lower Canada. The Conservatives are denying climate change and the Liberals are denying the fact that the French language is in jeopardy.

I would like to know whether the member opposite, as a living representative of francophones who are losing their language, is ashamed to be part of Canada. Does he not understand that, in a way, his government's measures justify Quebeckers' desire to have their own country?

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November 19th, 2020 / 10:40 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to the bill before us today, Bill C-10.

Canada's cultural sector, communications and broadcasting companies and the media in general have been eagerly awaiting this bill.

The thing is, everyone was expecting a bill that would be in step with changes in the communications sector since the Broadcasting Act was first enacted decades ago.

I have a great deal fo respect for the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who made a passionate case for Bill C-10 this week. Here is how he began his speech:

From 2011 to 2019, the number of Canadians with Netflix subscriptions has grown from one in 10 to nearly six in 10. The number of Canadians using Spotify to listen to music online has jumped from 2% in 2014 to nearly 30% in 2019. We welcome these innovations that bring so much richness to our lives and so much diverse content. However, prolonging the status quo will only further undermine our ability to tell our own Canadian stories.

Unfortunately, it did not take long for the minister, who signed on to the Liberal Party of Canada shortly before the 2019 general election, to pick up the Prime Minister's and the Liberal government's bad habits.

Bill C-10 is full of fine words and intentions, but provides few measures and, more importantly, few answers to the many questions Canadian consumers, companies and media are rightfully asking. The media industry was expecting, and calling for, more.

I will tell you about the developments in the media industry as I experienced them myself over the years. I started my career in radio, in 1984, at a tiny station in Asbestos, now called Val-des-Sources. That radio station was CJAN. I was a casual employee and hosted a weekend show. I was also a news host when the need arose.

At the time, the radio station and the local newspaper were the only sources of local information in the Or-Blanc RCM, as it used to be called. Two hosts and a reporter worked full time, and then there was a casual employee and the management staff. There were a lot of hours of local production.

Then I went to Thetford Mines, a bigger city, and worked in an AM radio station. Some of the people who were elected in the last election probably do not even know what AM radio is. CKLD had about 30 advertising employees, reporters and hosts. Production was 100% local.

These two stations were part of what was called the Appalaches network, an independent association covering the Eastern Townships, Chaudière-Appalaches and part of Centre-du-Québec. At the time, I wrote my stories using a typewriter and carbon paper so I could keep a copy. That is how it was.

Then we began to see technological developments and I was given a typewriter that miraculously kept one line of text at a time in memory, which meant that I no longer needed correction fluid to fix my mistakes.

Then FM radio, computers and cell phones came along. All of this turned broadcasting on its head. When I started at the station in 1985, there were between 25 and 30 employees. Seven years later, I had to leave. There were only four full-time news hosts left. This was before the Internet.

I took a break from radio for a few months and became editor-in-chief of the Thetford Mines Courrier Frontenac. At the time, we were publishing the Courrier Frontenac, the Wednesday edition and a monthly for another sector of the RCM, and there was also another specialized newspaper. We had a team of five reporters, as well as collaborators. In short, it was a prime example of a local communication undertaking.

To put things in perspective, at that time we had to have our camera film developed, layouts were done almost entirely by hand, and we had to deliver the finished pages to the printer ourselves for printing and distribution. That is how it was. Thetford Mines even had a second weekly.

There were enough journalists in Thetford Mines at the time to form a softball team. We called ourselves “Les Chevaliers du Crayon”, the knights of the pencil. There was enough local coverage and enough journalists in our community to have a softball team. That says it all.

When I left in 1998 to go into politics, there was only one weekly paper left and a dwindling number of journalists. Competition was still fierce, but it was still local. Then came the electronic bulletin boards that people could connect to through their modems and get access to free content. Cellphones became increasingly portable, and then there was the Internet, data compression protocols, high speed, Yahoo, YouTube, Facebook and all the social media.

Back home in Thetford Mines these days, we still have one radio station and one weekly paper. I can count on two hands the number of people who work at those two places, and I need only two fingers to count the number of full-time journalists left in Thetford Mines.

Yesterday was rather serendipitous. The Courrier Frontenac published an article in its weekly edition under the byline of News Media Canada. I will read a quote from it:

From the very inception of newspapers in Canada, the best journalism in Canada has been supported and sustained by advertising revenues. Yet virtually all our digital media outlets now face an existential threat because of the anti-competitive practices of web giants Facebook and Google. These two global giants control 80% of all advertising revenues.

Now let's talk about radio. Last August, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, or CAB, released the results of an economic study on the crisis in their field and the future of local broadcasting. The numbers that were released are terrifying. According to the forecasts in the report, 50 radio stations could well close their doors in the next four to six months, another 150 radio stations could do the same in the next 18 months and at least 40 of the 94 private local television stations in Canada could close down in the next 12 to 36 months.

These numbers have me worried. Lenore Gibson, chair of CAB's executive council, said the following in the press release accompanying this report:

Without immediate action, Canada will see a wave of local television and radio closures over the next three years. This will deny many communities a daily local media voice, and significantly reduce the diversity of news choices and voices in almost every community in Canada.

This is worrisome. Carmela Laurignano, vice-president and radio group manager of Evanov Radio Group, rightly stated, “If we allow local news to die, the health of Canadian society will be seriously undermined.”

Let us get get back to Bill C-10. How does it help radio stations and newspapers in my region and other Quebec regions? It does absolutely nothing for them. This was, however, a unique opportunity for the Minister of Canadian Heritage to take concrete action to help local production. When I say local, I really mean local, and that is 100% francophone back home.

Members will understand that I expected the amendments to the Broadcasting Act to be in step with the changes in the media industry in recent years. I am extremely disappointed. This bill will not hold Internet giants like Google and Facebook to the same competition rules as Canadian undertakings.

In its report entitled “Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digital Economy”, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, of which Canada is a member, made several recommendations concerning the collection of information in the digital economy and companies without a physical address.

The other members of the G20 and the European Union, Australia—which has been much talked about—South Africa, Japan and South Korea have all modernized their laws to adapt to the new realities of e-commerce, but not Canada.

In recent weeks, and since 2015, we have often heard say that Canada comes last among the G7 and G20 countries. There is one exception, namely that the Liberal government has made Canada the first country in the G7, the G20 and the world to approve an agreement with Netflix for a one-off investment, but with no guarantee from the Internet giant with respect to French-language content.

We do not know the details, but one thing is certain: Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon and Spotify are not taxed in Canada. They do not contribute to the Canada Media Fund, and they are in no way obliged to broadcast Canadian content. We are helping these companies that generate billions of dollars by allowing them to play by rules different from the ones imposed on local undertakings, which are obliged to pay taxes in Canada.

The result of all this is unfair competition that leads to significant job losses in the cultural and journalism industries and that erodes the quality of our national product. The problem is not a lack of creativity. We are well aware of Canada’s vast wealth of creativity. However, to create, we need resources and if we do not have the necessary resources because profits are leaving the country, we will lose hundreds of millions of tax dollars that could have been used to improve creation in Canada and Quebec.

When we started hearing about reforming the Broadcasting Act, we were all expecting taxation to figure into the reform. After all, this was one of the main recommendations in the Yale report, entitled “Canada's communications future: Time to act”, which was the basis for Bill C-10. I quote:

The application of GST/HST to foreign online services is a different matter. Consistent with actions taken by some provinces and many other countries, we recommend that sales tax be applied equitably to media communications services provided by foreign online providers. This would eliminate the disadvantage to competing Canadian providers.

Businesses are either taxed or they are not. During the Conservative Party leadership campaign, the member for Durham and Leader of the Opposition quite rightly proposed that the GST be removed for subscriptions to Canadian digital platforms, which would promote online cultural content broadcast by Canadian cultural businesses, such as Club illico and ICI Tou.tv. That would level the playing field with foreign digital platforms, such as Netflix, Crave or Disney+.

Historically, every substantive reform of the Broadcasting Act has brought clear definitions for new technologies and how they compare to conventional players. In 1929, it was radio; in 1968, cable television; and in 1986, satellite television and pay TV. Then, there was a review in 1991. Now, almost 30 years later, there has been an unprecedented number of major technological breakthroughs, all occurring in a very short period of time. However, the bill introduced by the Liberal government does not explain how or on what terms the digital platforms and conventional players will compete with each other in the same market.

Furthermore, the definitions are vague and at times absent. What is the definition of “social media”, as mentioned in the exclusions list under the “carrying on broadcasting undertaking” category? Subclause 1(3) of the bill amends the Broadcasting Act by adding the following after subsection (2):

(2.1) A person who uses a social media service to upload programs for transmission over the Internet and reception by other users of the service — and who is not the provider of the service or the provider’s affiliate, or the agent or mandatary of either of them — does not, by the fact of that use, carry on a broadcasting undertaking for the purposes of this Act.

Does this include Facebook or YouTube? Does this include YouTube's pay channels, which have 2.5 billion views?

Another point that absolutely needs to be addressed is the fact that Bill C-10 will give the CRTC broad discretionary powers to define what is an online undertaking and to require such undertakings to spend money on producing and distributing Canadian content. Furthermore, the requirement for undertakings to contribute up to 5% of their gross revenues to the Canada Media Fund, which subsidizes Canadian productions, is not explicitly stated in the bill, nor is the calculation used to estimate the $830 million in contributions that the minister referred to. It could also be $1 billion, because the minister sometimes gives that figure as well.

Broadcaster contributions to the Canada Media Fund for 2019-20 totalled $193 million. The minister says that Bill C-10 will increase that to $1 billion. I would like to know what math he used to come up with that estimate.

The government chose, in the end, to hand over its responsibility to the CRTC rather than stick its neck out. First, we know the CRTC's position on this issue. In a 2018 interview with La Presse, CRTC chairman Ian Scott explained that there was no need to impose conditions on Netflix or other undertakings regarding French-language content. I quote:

It works very well because the objectives of the Broadcasting Act are being met: there is a healthy industry that is successful in both official languages. We see that the system is not broken, even though it is under severe pressure.

This is the CRTC chairman saying that.

Second, there are decisions such as the exemption order for digital media, which is continually renewed. We know that the CRTC is going to take at least nine months to make a decision. With Bill C-10, the Liberal government is rolling out a broad delegation of powers to the CRTC, without including clear guidelines on the percentage of Canadian content, contribution fees and expenses, French content requirements, and so on.

In fact, the bill even chooses to limit the oversight powers of parliamentary committees with respect to CRTC directives and regulations and the ability of a broadcaster to appeal a CRTC decision.

The message that the government is sending to the CRTC, ultimately, is that we need to just trust them and that we will see later. It will therefore wait several months for the CRTC to act, and Parliament will have a very limited oversight powers.

Not everyone shares the minister's optimistic opinion about the benefits of Bill C-10 for Canadian production. Here is what Michael Geist, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa and the Canada research chair in Internet and e-commerce law, had to say.

In the short term, this bill creates considerable uncertainty that could lead to reduced investment in Canadian film and television production and less consumer choice as potential new streaming entrants avoid the Canadian market until there is greater clarity on the cost of doing business. Canada is set to become a highly regulated market for Internet streaming services and the uncertainty regarding those costs are sure to have an impact. The regulatory process will take years to unfold with a call for public comment, a lengthy hearing, the initial decision, applications to review and vary the decision, judicial reviews, and potential judicial appeals. If any of the appeals are successful, the CRTC would be required to re-examine its decision and the process starts anew.

It is someone who studies laws and everything that is happening in the area of commerce and digital distribution who said that. I want to once again quote the Minister of Canadian Heritage. He said:

We will also go a step further and will instruct the CRTC on how to use these new tools. This will happen once the bill receives royal assent, as the bill makes amendments that allow for this essential policy directive.

What does “once the bill receives royal assent” mean? What will these instructions be? Why did the minister not include the instructions for the CRTC in a schedule to the bill? What is there in those instructions that the minister does not want Canadians to see? Are the instructions in question a way of saying that the government did not do the work, that it promised to do something but was not sure how to go about it and that it certainly does not want to be seen as the bad guy who hurt the social networks? Are they a way of saying that the government is going to make the CRTC do the dirty work and give it the responsibility for making all the decisions?

That is the problem with Bill C-10 and the Liberals. They are all about appearances instead of action.

In short, the bill is vague, and fails to address a number of important aspects. It does not guarantee that Internet giants such as Google and Facebook will have to compete with other companies and play by the same rules as Canadian companies. It does not explain how digital platforms and the traditional media will compete under similar conditions. It does not address the issue of exclusive content shared on digital platforms. It does not set out guidelines for the production of Canadian content and contributions to the Canada Media Fund.

We will propose amendments in committee. It is time to reform the Broadcasting Act. It has allowed too many local radio stations across the country to go under. It is allowing newspapers and traditional media to disappear, and is doing nothing to halt the propagation of hate speech.

The minister is asking that we help improve his bill. We will work with him, but we must agree that the current version is far from acceptable. We will need content, clarity and clarifications. The ball is in the minister's court. We will see whether the minister is prepared to listen to the opposition parties' recommendations and proposals.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

November 19th, 2020 / 11 a.m.
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Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his speech and his passionate testimonial about local media.

I myself delivered La Tuque's L'Écho when I was a boy. I also wrote for several local media outlets. However, there appears to be some confusion. Bill C-10 is about broadcasting, not the media. I publicly announced my intention to table another bill on the media and the use by Internet giants like Facebook and Google of Canadian content without appropriate compensation.

My hon. colleague is talking about the Yale report on which our bill is indeed based. It is somewhat ironic, since the former leader of my hon. colleague's party, on the day the report was published, proposed that we scrap it, so I am not sure I understand.

If the local media is so important, and I believe my hon. colleague in that regard, why is it that the Conservative Party has opposed our every effort to help Canadian media?

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November 19th, 2020 / 11 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his kind comments.

I am glad to have had a career in local and regional media and to be able to share my experience with my colleagues. I worked in radio for a long time and had to live with the CRTC rules for years, so I know how CRTC decisions can impact different sectors.

The current version of Bill C-10 is imperfect, incomplete and insufficiently transparent. It is therefore very difficult for me to agree to support it in its current form. However, as the time has come to overhaul the Broadcasting Act, I hope that the committee will be able to make it more acceptable and ensure that the much-touted directives to the CRTC are made public. I hope that they will be included in the bill so that when we vote on the final version of Bill C-10, we will know what we are voting on.

At present, the government has good intentions, but Bill C-10 has so few tangible applications that it is hard for us to support the bill as drafted.

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November 19th, 2020 / 11:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. I share some of her concerns about how the current Liberal government is cozying up to the web giants.

The CRTC is being given a huge new mandate and is being asked to do the government's job for it. We have yet to see how the CRTC is supposed to discharge these obligations. It already has a lot on its plate, what with expanding Internet access in rural areas and taking care of its other responsibilities. Now, with Bill C-10, the government thinks it can snap its fingers and call on the CRTC to fix the problems that the government has not been able to fix since it came to power.

I am also very concerned about whether the CRTC will be able to quickly carry out the mandate that the government is assigning it through Bill C-10.

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November 19th, 2020 / 11:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I quite liked my colleague's question.

During the last Parliament, I had the opportunity to visit a francophone radio station in Alberta. I can say that the people there were very passionate about their work and their mission, which is to inform francophone Canadians living in Alberta about local and national news and to be at the heart of their community. We must not forget that important aspect.

As for the minister's comments about another bill being introduced, we will judge that other bill when the time comes. Today we have to study the bill before us. As I was saying, we expected Bill C-10 to be in step with the changes that have occurred in the communications sector in the past few years.

Unfortunately, it is full of grey areas and uncertainty. There are no guidelines. The government is asking the CRTC to do our job. Then it criticizes us for asking questions about what is missing from the bill, when the minister himself says there is nothing in this bill because there will be another one that will have something in it. It is a bit hard to follow.

I completely agree with my colleague. He asked a very good question.

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November 19th, 2020 / 11:05 a.m.
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Hochelaga Québec

Liberal

Soraya Martinez Ferrada LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Davenport.

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to debate Bill C-10 and the measures it contains to support francophone creators and French-language content.

Our government is the first since 1991 to modernize the Broadcasting Act in response to technological change. I want to remind the House why this legislation is so important and crucial for our artists and creators.

TV and radio have been with us all of our lives. I remember TV shows such as Bobino et Bobinette and Passe-partout and films that have marked our history such as The Decline of the American Empire and Crazy. Each of us fondly remembers the programs that shaped our lives.

TV and radio are sources of entertainment, discovery, culture, and information. They move us, inspire us, fill us with wonder, and give us a window to the world. Television and radio help forge our identity, especially our francophone identity. They also help us to get to know and to understand one another in all of our diversity.

Historically, under the Canadian broadcasting system, traditional broadcasting services, such as radio, TV, and cable, were required to fund Canadian content, our stories, and our songs. However, online broadcasting services, such as Netflix, Crave, Spotify, and QUB Musique, are not subject to the same types of regulatory requirements as traditional services.

This situation has resulted in a regulatory imbalance and jeopardizes the future of Canadian content funding. Our bill seeks to ensure that traditional and online broadcasting services contribute to the creative sector. To achieve this, we need to change the definition of what constitutes a broadcasting undertaking to include online undertakings, which did not exist in 1991.

Amending this definition in the Broadcasting Act will require online undertakings to contribute financially to Canadian and Quebec cultural production. Of course, these contributions will need to support a wide range of Canadian creators and consumers, as well as francophones across the country.

We know that French Canadians and Quebeckers enjoy their TV productions and musical artists. French-language programming in the francophone market and francophone musical artists are very successful and enjoy good ratings.

For Quebec and all francophone minority communities, French-language TV and radio play a vital role in encouraging children to learn and use French and creating a sense of belonging among communities that are often isolated.

Television and radio play a very important role in forging our identity, and even more so in the case of francophones, who are a minority in North America. The arrival of online broadcasters has disrupted the Canadian broadcasting sector, and the French-language market was not spared.

Online broadcasters pose tremendous challenges to the availability and promotion of French-language content, especially content produced by our minority francophone communities and content produced in Quebec.

Statistics show that 47% of francophones watch mostly English content on Netflix, whereas French-language services capture 92% of the audience in the French-language market on traditional television. This shows that francophones look for content in their language.

We must also point out that the average budget for English-language film and video productions has been increasing for several years unlike the average budget for French-language productions, which has decreased and for which foreign funding remains relatively low.

With respect to music and digital platforms, in 2017, only six French Canadian artists were among the top 1,000 music artists with the most popular streams in Canada. Clearly, we must stop twiddling our thumbs. We must take action.

The creation of content in both official languages is a vital cultural objective, no matter the technological or other advances in the broadcasting sector.

That is why our bill gives the CRTC the tools it needs to ensure that the funding and regulations support Canadian content in both official languages and, more importantly, that they take into account the particular needs of francophones. The survival of French-language content and the protection of our cultural sovereignty depend on it.

For many years, the CRTC has been overseeing the implementation of a strict regulatory framework for traditional services to support and promote French-language content. Thanks to its efforts, in the past 10 years, the volume of French-language television production has been stable, accounting for 25% of the total volume of Canadian television production. The CRTC has also succeeded in promoting French-language music. French-language radio stations must devote at least 65% of their weekly popular music programming to French-language music.

We can be sure that the CRTC will establish a regulatory framework for online broadcasters that is just as strict. It will ensure that online broadcasters fairly and equitably support Canadian content in both official languages and that they take into account the particular needs of francophone creators across Canada, especially in Quebec.

I am pleased that the modernization of the Broadcasting Act will give the CRTC a regulatory framework for expenditures, to ensure that a portion of revenues is reinvested in Canadian productions.

In short, this bill acknowledges the importance of investing in the creation of diversified content that reflects all francophones and all Canadians from coast to coast to coast. It demonstrates our commitment to fostering the creation of stories and songs in both official languages in the digital era.

We are committed to strengthening the Official Languages Act, taking into account the particular reality of francophones in North America. I know that my colleague is preparing to present this shortly. The ultimate goal of this bill is to preserve an enduring broadcasting ecosystem that continues to support Canadian stories and songs. This legislative and regulatory framework will provide Canadian broadcasters, producers and creators with unqualified support.

Since the creation of the first Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting in 1928, the Government of Canada has continually worked to develop policies in step with technological developments. I am proud that our government is continuing that tradition by modernizing the Broadcasting Act for the new digital era. I am convinced that every member in the House is keen to preserve our cultural sovereignty and encourage the all-important cultural sector.

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November 19th, 2020 / 11:20 a.m.
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NDP

Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend said something very important. She said that we have to act. The problem is that, in the midst of this public crisis, our cultural sector workers have been fearing job losses in the face of unfair competition from the web giants. They were expecting concrete action. While the Liberals seem to want to fix this disaster, such as they did with Netflix in 2017, using some band-aid solution, time is running out for the industry and its workers.

With Bill C-10, the minister is punting the problem to the CRTC, which means it could take almost a year before we see any real changes, if anything at all. Does the member not feel this is just a little irresponsible?