Online streaming bill will generate $1B a year for Canadian creative sector: minister & More News Here

OTTAWA – The on-line streaming bill will generate a minimum of $1 billion a year for Canada’s creative sector, together with Indigenous packages, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez advised a committee of MPs on Monday.

Rodriguez disclosed the determine earlier than the House of Commons heritage committee, which is learning a bill updating broadcasting legal guidelines and making use of them to streaming companies similar to Netflix and Disney Plus.

Rodriguez mentioned a number of the cash would go towards supporting productions by Indigenous and minority communities, in addition to French productions from Quebec.

The Heritage Department initially mentioned the net streaming bill would generate round $830 million a year by making streaming companies fund Canadian creative work, as conventional broadcasters do now.

Rodriguez mentioned the sum would exceed $1 billion as a result of – since his division made its unique calculation – extra individuals have subscribed to streaming platforms, similar to Netflix.

More platforms, together with Disney Plus, have additionally come to Canada they usually have change into increasingly more fashionable through the COVID-19 pandemic.

He mentioned a number of the funds would help various programming, together with in French.

“We will want to be able to hear more diverse voices. We want to hear Indigenous voices more. Maybe we can do it with a mandatory provision. Maybe we can find other ways to do so – and looking at official languages as well, and perhaps other languages,” he mentioned.

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“The money will go toward these objectives and it will be upwards of $1 billion a year.”

The minister mentioned “strengthening provisions to help Indigenous Peoples and racialized Canadians” within the bill was one of many “great ideas” he had heard mentioned in committee.

MPs heard that the bill would additionally put an onus on some platforms to hold channels like OutTV, which screens LBGTQ reveals and films.

At an earlier listening to of the committee, OutTV mentioned a number of the large overseas streaming platforms had refused to hold the channel and had advised them there wouldn’t be a demand, which OutTV disputed.

Peter Julian, the NDP heritage critic, who highlighted the problem of OutTV on the committee, mentioned the $1 billion a year was a “significant sum.”

Kevin Waugh, a Tory committee member, expressed shock it was so giant and requested for additional particulars of the way it had been calculated.

Thomas Owen Ripley, affiliate assistant deputy minister at Canadian Heritage, mentioned a number of the $1 billion may very well be used to help Canadian productions together with dramas, documentaries and kids’s packages.

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Ripley mentioned that “just over $900 million” a year would come from “expenditure requirements” within the bill making streaming platforms similar to Netflix spend a sure proportion of their income on Canadian productions, as conventional broadcasters do now.

He mentioned conventional Canadian broadcasters at present spend slightly below $3 billion a year on Canadian packages, which incorporates information.

Ripley mentioned Netflix already has a “huge amount of production activity” in Canada, however “most of it would not currently qualify as a Canadian program,” beneath the present definition.

“Part of the impetus behind this bill is to get them to do more on the Canadian side,” Ripley mentioned, together with involving extra “Canadian creatives” and telling “more Canadian stories.”

Rodriguez has mentioned he will ask the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the nation’s broadcasting regulator, to modernize the definition of what would qualify as Canadian content material, together with a movie or TV present, after the bill has handed.

At a committee listening to final week, Stephane Cardin of Netflix mentioned titles produced or solely financed by Netflix wouldn’t qualify as formally Canadian beneath the present guidelines “even when the majority of key creative roles are held by Canadians.”

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The minister, in usually tense exchanges with Conservative MPs, reiterated his assertion that the net streaming bill will not have an effect on individuals who add movies to YouTube.

Rodriguez mentioned the CRTC had “zero” curiosity in regulating hundreds of thousands of individuals’s posts.

The minister mentioned the bill wouldn’t cowl user-generated content material and would solely cowl business materials. When the bill was launched, Rodriguez mentioned this might embody a skilled video streamed on Spotify that additionally seems on YouTube.

Rodriguez confronted persistent questions from Conservative MPs concerning the definition of “commercial” content material with Rachael Thomas, MP for Lethbridge, repeatedly demanding he put a determine on it.

“What’s the revenue threshold? Who’s in, who’s out?” she demanded, accusing the minister of failing to reply her questions.

Rodriguez’s look is the second on the committee. Last week, he was pressured to go away earlier than being given a likelihood to talk whereas Tory and Liberal MPs argued about procedural points, accusing each other of delaying ways.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed June 6, 2022.

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