The WGC by-and-large supports the renewal application of the CBC's broadcasting licence, and has filed its full submission to the CRTC, which issued an open call for comments in 2019.
The Guild fully believes in the crucial importance of public broadcasting in Canada and the role the CBC should continue to play. We supported the broad objectives of the renewal, including support for Canadian programming, diversity, distribution and access to the CBC’s services. We contended that the CBC should continue to ensure that spending on Canadian programming is its top priority, should maximize Canadian talent in key creative roles, and should work to improve its capacity to take creative risks.
At the same time, the WGC disagreed with the regulatory framework put forward by the national public broadcaster, which would see its digital services brought under the umbrella of Canadian content requirements at the cost of reducing those requirements on traditional platforms, like the CBC television network. We argued that such an approach would treat all platforms as if they were identical, which we feel they are not. We believe a multiplatform lens for regulation would be better considered in a policy review that can consider all players in the system, not just the CBC. That said, if the CBC does wish to pursue its multiplatform plan, it would be better to do so with respect to expenditure requirements for Canadian content – and not the exhibition requirements currently in place.
You can read our full submission HERE. The CRTC will start holding public hearings regarding the CBC's licence renewal on May 25. The WGC will be there to represent the views of Canadian screenwriters.