For immediate release
Toronto – The Broadcasting and Telecom Review Panel report released earlier today is a viable road map Ottawa should move quickly to implement, according to the watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting.
“The Panel has confirmed the CRTC has the jurisdiction it needs to require the global online media giants to follow our rules for contributing to the creation of Canadian content. Ottawa should move immediately to direct the CRTC to make that happen. We need these reforms now to level the playing field that tilts in favour of the largest global online media giants to the detriment of our own media,” FRIENDS Executive Director Daniel Bernhard said.
Among the three items the Panel’s report highlights for immediate action is “Require media content curators (such as Netflix) now exempt to contribute to Canadian content.” The report also calls for Ottawa to require foreign online media to collect and remit sales taxes.
“We welcome their call for immediate action on these fronts. Viewers and listeners need swift action to ensure the Canadian entertainment programs we need are not lost,” Bernhard said.
“Big Tech is really Big Culture. Google, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Apple — all of these companies have dominant information and culture businesses that need to be treated as such by the government. We estimate that Netflix alone saved almost $1 million a day in 2018 because of this exemption, money we need to make sure Canadian stories are there for generations to come,” Bernhard said.
The Panel’s recommendations for legislative change are comprehensive and the federal government should get on with implementing them, especially as they relate to the CBC / Radio-Canada.
“The CBC purpose is not to sell audiences to advertisers; it is to bring democracy to audiences,” Bernhard said. “Ms. Yale and her colleagues have made sensible recommendations for CBC advertising, funding and appointments.”
The Panel’s recommendations concerning the crisis facing Canadian journalism are disappointing. They identify the problem but propose little in the way of concrete and viable solutions.
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an advocate for the Canadian news and stories we need to survive as an independent democracy. FRIENDS is non-partisan and not affiliated with any broadcaster.
For more information, contact Jim Thompson at [email protected] 613-567-9592