With the Canadian Federal Election just days away, the WGC is recapping the four main federal parties' platforms with an eye to the issues poised to affect the Canadian TV & Film industry. From the Guild’s perspective, to be considered for office any Federal candidate must A) support a move to make all media companies, OTTs, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) contribute to the production of Canadian content and Canadian jobs and B) support a strong Canadian “authorial voice,” which means keeping our Canadian talent pool strong. So, please take a look at where the Liberal, CPC, NDP and Green parties stand.
REGULATING THE OTTs AND THE PRODUCTION OF CANCON
LIBERAL The party plans to introduce legislation to take appropriate measures to ensure that all content providers:
- offer meaningful levels of Canadian content
- contribute to the creation of Canadian content
- promote this content and make it easily accessible on their platforms.
CPC did not directly address these issues in its platform, but it did contain the following nonspecific language about the Cultural Industries:
- “Digitization of the economy has changed how Canadians consume media, which has fundamentally changed the way cultural industries finance creative projects. For every internationally renowned superstar musician or actor, there are others who are extremely talented but are struggling to get by until their big break.”
- “Government policies and programs meant to help bridge the gap for our artists and creators simply have not kept up. This is true for artistic sectors, as well as for the media.”
- “Our culture is what binds us together as Canadians. Our shared identity stems from the stories we tell each other through music, television, art, and other media. Our cultural industries are a huge economic driver, creating over 765,000 jobs in our economy.”
NDP The party has vowed to ensure that Netflix, Facebook, Google, and other digital media companies play by the same rules as Canadian broadcasters. That means paying taxes, supporting Canadian content in both official languages, and taking responsibility for what appears on their platforms, just like other media outlets.
GREEN The party is promising to:
- Review tax incentives for film production to ensure all parts of Canada are competitive and attractive to the industry, with incentives rising when Canadian artistic and technical talent are employed.
- Ensure that Netflix and other foreign broadcasters are subject to Canadian Content regulations, similar to those imposed on Canadian broadcasters.
TAXING THE 'DIGITAL GIANTS'
LIBERAL The party is promising to make multinational tech giants pay a 3% corporate tax on the revenue they generate in Canada. The party is also working to achieve the standard set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that international digital corporations, whose products are consumed in Canada, collect and remit the same level of sales taxation as Canadian-based digital corporations.
CPC has taken a “Make Tech Giants Pay Their Fair Share” stance, which includes:
- Ensuring a level playing field exists between the tech giants and Canadian businesses, which includes a 3% corporate tax on revenues of businesses that provide a social media platform, search engine, or online marketplace to Canadians.
- The tax will only apply to the largest companies; those with worldwide revenues of more than $1 billion and revenues in Canada of more than $50 million.
- If a company chooses to locate here and pay regular corporate income tax, the CPC will allow them to deduct their corporate income tax from the large technology company tax. The goal is to encourage companies to set up a corporate headquarters in Canada. This off-ramp will encourage them to do so.
NDP The party plans to ensure that Netflix, Facebook, Google, and other digital media companies play by the same rules as Canadian broadcasters. That means paying taxes, supporting Canadian content in both official languages, and taking responsibility for what appears on their platforms, just like other media outlets.
GREEN The party is looking to make Netflix and other foreign broadcasters subject to Canadian Content regulations, similar to those imposed on Canadian broadcasters.
LIBERAL The party is aiming to strengthen the regional mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada, so that local stations can broadcast more local news; and require CBC/Radio-Canada to open up its digital platform, so that journalism start-ups and community newspapers can access affordable technology to develop and distribute local content.
CPC did not address the CBC by name in its platform.
NDP The party is opting to Increase funding for CBC and Radio-Canada “to help reverse the damage of decades of funding cuts under both Liberal and Conservative governments.”
GREEN The party is promising to invest an additional $300 million per year in CBC and Radio-Canada until the per-capital level of funding is equal to that of the BBC.
LIBERAL It plans to increase annual funding by 50% per year
CPC did not address it in the platform.
NDP did not address it in the platform.
GREEN Plans to increase funding to all Canada’s arts and culture organizations including Telefilm Canada.
The full platforms for each party are available here: