Green Party welcomes recommendations for regulatory reform on streaming services in Canada

OTTAWA  – The Green party of Canada supports a call for an ad-free CBC and new content rules for international streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. These were two of the top recommendations of a new report on broadcasting and telecommunications sector commissioned by the federal government and released yesterday.

The report  did not recommend new taxes for streaming services but instead said new regulations should insist the companies invest in more Canadian content if they want to operate here.

“Mandating Canadian content on streaming services is essential to maintaining our vibrant cultural industry,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts “I’m also glad that the report is calling for the CBC to become ad-free.”

A former CBC broadcaster, Roberts said she has been advocating for this for a number of years. “I remember the difference it made to CBC Radio in 1972 when it went ad-free. The CBC is better able to do what it does so well if it is not competing with the private sector for advertising dollars. However, it is essential that advertising revenue is replaced by a long term funding formula that also ensures the national public broadcaster is not annually beholden to the government in power.”

Ms. Roberts noted that Greens have long called for a review of tax incentives for film and television production to ensure that all parts of Canada are competitive and attractive to the industry.  “The epic rise of international streaming services has outdated current regulations and threatened to diminish robust investment in Canadian programming. Let’s hope the government implements these recommendations expediently, so that Canadian artistic and technical talent are employed.”

The Green Party also welcomes plans to work toward the goal of universal broadband access for all Canadians.

“Currently there’s a digital-divide in this country,” said Green Party Parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “Everyone needs to have easy, affordable access to high-speed internet wherever they live. This change will bring all Canadians in line with the 21st century. I’m also encouraged to see that the report is calling for GST/HST on foreign online services, and for a strengthening and up-dating of the CRTC to bring all media providers under its jurisdiction. ”

“There are some pretty hefty recommendations in this report, so we applaud Heritage Minister Guilbeault’s goal to table a bill in the coming months,” Ms. Roberts concluded.

# # #

For more information or to arrange an interview:

Rosie Emery
Press Secretary