Hello. How is everybody doing today?
I'm coming to you from the beautiful unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq in northern Nova Scotia. I'm in Truro. I want to say welcome to the committee. Thank you for all of your important presentations.
Hi, Tom. How are you doing? It's been a very long time since we've seen each other, but I'm so proud of your career. You've done so well. Thank you for promoting the creative economy. As you know, I'm actually a member of most of those unions you mentioned and was an active performer for 33 years.
I always say that we have an industry that is clean, green, sustainable and constantly renewable. It's based on the biggest natural resource that we have, which is the talent and creativity of our people. That's why I feel the creative economy needs to be invested in right across the country by provinces, municipalities and of course the federal government.
A lot of my friends are in the same boat with the CERB. They definitely want to see us extend that CERB. They can't go back to work. Whole seasons have been cancelled for the Stratford Festival and Neptune Theatre here in Halifax. Entire shows' seasons are cancelled and I'm told they will not be going back until next February. It's difficult.
As you know, it's difficult to make a steady living and it's difficult when you're out of work, because actors do not get employment insurance. In the States, they do. Also in the States, they make residuals and good residuals, whereas here in Canada actors and writers are offered to sign up and they sign a deal, under which you get paid once and that's it, on and on into eternity. Other people get rich and make billions of dollars with our talent.
Can you tell me, Mr. Jackson, if we can extend the CERB—we have already invested $500 million into the creative industries to try to help get through this period—what else can we do to help the creative industries, as we move forward, to be more viable and get more money into the pockets of hard-working artists?