Earlier this week, representatives of CUPE’s Conseil provincial du secteur des communications (CPSC) presented their position before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage regarding Bill C-11, to amend the Broadcasting Act to add online companies who transmit or retransmit shows over the Internet.
Tulsa Valin-Landry, President of the CPSC pointed out that, for starters, amendments must be made to strengthen the bill to avoid a court challenge of the future Online Streaming Act as soon as it comes into force.
“We need new legislation quickly so that broadcasters can once again become profitable and protect jobs. In its current form, Bill C-11 has too many uncertainties,” said Valin-Landry.
The CPSC is suggesting, in particular, that paragraph 3(1)(a) be amended to specify what is meant by a Canadian broadcasting system in the context of an open market on the Internet and ultimately to avoid the sale of Canadian broadcasting companies to foreign interests.
“The CRTC’s mission and responsibility should also be bolstered in terms of what we call the key objectives of Canada’s broadcasting policy, i.e., Canadian ownership and control of broadcasting companies, Canadian programming and jobs provided by the Canadian broadcasting system,” added Nathalie Blais, a CUPE researcher.
The CPSC is also recommending the expansion of CRTC’s regulatory authority to cover the financing of local news and community television, a strengthening of Canadian broadcasting policy on employment in Canada and by broadcasters’ production teams, an amendment to the definition of community content so that it is representative of all types of community broadcasters and a provision enabling CRTC to review the rates charged by online companies airing programming to establish regulatory symmetry with cable operators.