Mr. Speaker, I also applaud the minister's plan to instruct the CRTC to ensure that contributions from online broadcasting services flow to French-language and indigenous creators. I agree with his suggestion that the CRTC consider using incentive-based tools to encourage greater support for creators from equity seeking groups.
The bill would amend the Broadcasting Act to assert that the Canadian broadcasting system should, through its programming and the employment opportunities arising out of its operations, serve the needs and interests of all Canadians, including Canadians from racialized communities and Canadians of diverse racialized backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and ages, and reflect their circumstances and aspirations, including equal rights, the linguistic duality, the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society, and the special place of indigenous peoples within that society
This type of language sends a clear message. It underscores that diversity and inclusion are fundamental for our society and that this must be reflected in our broadcasting system.
This message is also filled with hopes and dreams that commit us to working together to strengthen the cultural, political, social and economic fabric of Canada. This work cannot wait. That is why I am pleased to see that the bill also emphasizes that programming that reflects the indigenous cultures of Canada, programming that is accessible without barriers to people with disabilities and a range of broadcasting services in English and in French must be made available to Canadians regardless of resource availability.
Before wrapping up, I want to go back to my initial remarks and my recognition of the indigenous peoples who were here long before us. In my opinion, this bill is particularly important for indigenous peoples.
As highlighted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and in the calls for justice issued by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, broadcasting can play a key role in promoting and protecting indigenous languages, arts, cultures, traditions and perspectives.
The bill would support indigenous creators so that they can tell their own stories in their own words. It emphasizes the need for indigenous-run broadcasting services. The bill would contribute to fulfilling the commitments Canada made in committing to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I am hopeful it will move us further along the path toward reconciliation. We have much to learn and discover from deep, vast and rich indigenous cultures and voices. Hearing them, allowing us to live the stories they tell, will not only have us in awe. It will contribute to reconciliation and mutual understanding.
Broadcasting has the ability to remind us where we came from, to hold a mirror up to our current selves, showing us the good parts and the bad. It also has the ability to point the way to a better future for everyone. This bill points a way toward a Canada that embraces diversity and promotes inclusion. That is the reason I urge all hon. members in the House to support the bill.