The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) is encouraged by the policy vision announced this week by Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly on behalf of the Trudeau government. We look forward to participating in the upcoming reviews and will continue to advocate for quality employment within the media industry, and across all platforms.
Canada’s cultural policies must always emphasize the role of good jobs as part of a healthy Creative Industry.
In order to perform at our best, media and creative workers of all ages, at all experience levels, and from all backgrounds require good working conditions including stable and secure employment.
With the announced reopening of the Broadcasting Act, key components of the current Act will need to be secured, including: the special role of CBC/Radio-Canada; the protection of CBC/Radio-Canada’s independence; support for Canadian content production; mandatory carriage of Indigenous and community media; the value of local news as a vital public service; and a commitment to quality jobs for media and cultural workers.
As part of her announcement, the Minister reiterated her government’s undertakings with respect to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action. In that regard, the TRC’s recommendations on Media and Reconciliation, as well as Language Preservation require special attention. In particular, the national public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada, and the leading global Indigenous broadcaster, APTN, must both be strengthened in ways that support a sustained and broad commitment to reconciliation.
Minister Joly also announced a review of CBC/Radio-Canada’s mandate. In order for this review to be meaningful, a broad range of stakeholders and supporters of CBC/Radio-Canada need to be engaged and involved. Our union will follow developments closely.
In regard to CBC/Radio-Canada, Minister Joly acknowledged that, “Never before has a public broadcaster been so needed, so vital, to so many.” She likewise committed to “strengthen[ing] the mandate of our public broadcaster ” and noted that, “The CBC carries a huge public responsibility. Canadians’ expectations for it are fiercely high. They ought to be.”
The minister’s recognition of the foundational and central role of CBC/Radio-Canada in the country’s media and cultural system is welcome and reassuring.
As media workers, we also know that maintaining a diversity of editorial voices across Canada is vital. Quality journalism and information programming come in many forms, and all contributions play an important role in enriching our communities, building social connections, and supporting democratic practices and institutions.
For these reasons, there is a need to continue exploring viable and sustainable funding models for a full array of reliable and professional journalistic operations. The public interest is served when quality local news and information programming is properly funded and adequately supported. And, as always, media workers in Canada are ready to deliver.