Thank you very much, Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for being here. I appreciate your time and that you're listening to the arts sector.
Over the course of the study, we've heard witness after witness tell just how vital this bill is for our cultural sector and how urgent it is to get it through.
I have a few quotes here from what we've heard. We heard from the CEO of Music Publishers Canada, Margaret McGuffin earlier this week, who said that Bill C‑11 provides “an important balance by giving the commission the tools it needs to regulate when market forces fail. Modernizing the Broadcasting Act will ensure that, as technology evolves and online platforms continue to grow, [the music industry will] continue to thrive.”
Randy Kitt from Unifor told us:
Bill C-11 is just a much-needed update to the Broadcasting Act to ensure that Canadians have access to Canadian local programming, which couldn't happen if we let these Internet giants control our media.... Let's not get sidetracked by noise.
Bill Skolnik from the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions told us:
We can only hope that this attempt to revise our legislation will conclude shortly so the benefits can reach Canadian creators, artists, producers and organizations as soon as possible. They have been waiting for a very long time.
I have one more quote, from Marla Boltman from the organization Friends, who told us:
Requiring contributions from foreign tech giants that extract billions of dollars from our country will help sustain our industry while driving investment and innovation in the creation of Canadian content that continues to reflect our diversity of voices and who we are as Canadians. Foreign contributions will level the playing field between Canadian broadcasters and foreign platforms. Frankly, it sends a message to the world that Canada is open for business, but there are no more free rides. If you benefit from the system, you must contribute to it.
I couldn't agree any more with those quotes. This is a badly needed update to our broadcasting system, which will support Canadian culture for years to come.
We've spent a lot of time talking about this. I'd like to ask you this directly, Minister: What will this bill do for our Canadian culture and our artists?