Monday, April 15, 2024

Federal elections 2021: a cultural plaque on a familiar tune

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
"Total creator. Evil zombie fan. Food evangelist. Alcohol practitioner. Web aficionado. Passionate beer advocate."

What about culture in this federal election? We talked a little bit about it, as host Catherine Perrin explained at the opening of the Broadcast Culture debate Monday. discussion ? But the continuation of discussions and current topics without surprises. On the list: broadcast law, potential oversight of web giants, copyright, and employment support for the self-employed, including those in the cultural field.

Five men formed the committee brought together by the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDEC) and the Department of Communication at the University of Montreal. The Minister for Heritage, Stephen Gilbo, can sit on the historic investments the Liberal Party has made in culture through two terms and through measures to help fight epidemics. He had to endure criticism from Alexandre Poliris, of the New Democratic Party (NDP), and Martin Chambox, of the Quebec bloc: the budding election call wiped out all the work that had been done on the C-10 bill to review the broadcasting law. According to them, it undermined any credibility of liberal culture.

Old debates on this topic have been brought back: Liberals and the NDP see Quebec’s imposed content quotas (the required “results target”, as Mr. Guilbeault presented) as conservatives, through the voice of Steve Shanahan, discover a desire to control content and violate free speech. Almost all parties agree that a digital services tax of 3% of the gross income of the web giants will settle the matter. For conservatives, the cultural industries would just have to reinvest those sums into ads, on YouTube for example, to increase their visibility and discoverability, Shanahan suggested.

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Clarify the laws

Everyone agreed on the urgent need to amend copyright law. The more specific question about the need to change private copy royalties, which was contemplated during its drafting to provide compensation to creators for copying music produced on tape or CDs for personal use, left Mr. Shanahan on the court. More broadly, Guilbeault has announced his party’s intent to sustain the additional investment in the Canadian Book Fund of $40 million annually as long as work on copyright law remains unfinished.

Regarding employment support and employment insurance, Mr. Gilbolt declared that “for arts and culture, we must maintain these measures [d’assurance-emploi instaurées pendant la pandémie] until back to normal.” Mr. Poliris specified that with the idiosyncrasy of many independent cultural workers, who are mostly individuals – small businesses, the labor insurance had to find a way to clarify the situation of the employer or employee. Open the artist’s territorial status law.

The Green Party, represented by Martin Jewett, was wiped out on Monday. And more than a debate, it is a resumption and diversification of the already well-known and audible subjects attended by the spectator from this session: either in support of, not publicly acknowledged, but apparent to those who know the files, toward the initiatives of the liberals (except the Conservatives), or against all the vision or proposals of the Conservatives.

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