Unifor calls for review of regulatory exemptions for U.S. tech giants

TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2016 /CNW/ - The federal Heritage Department's policy review of the future of Canadian media and cultural industries must seek a solution to the struggling revenue model for news journalism and Canadian content, says Unifor, the union representing 12,000 media workers and journalists.

"Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly is putting a lot of emphasis on developing export markets for high quality Canadian films, but the toughest problem is the domestic market for news, information and entertainment," said Unifor Media Chair Jonathan Ahee.

"The advertising revenue that sustains Canada's media industry is taking a nosedive because American tech giants are dominating the digital ad market. The government must find the right solutions. A bigger export market for Canadian film won't be enough."

The results of the Heritage Department's pre-consultation survey released today found that Canadians continue to value news and information more highly than any other media product. The survey also found that Canadians continue to view foreign competition as a serious threat to our media industry.

"The Minister has said that 'everything is on the table," said Unifor Media Director Howard Law. "If that's the case, her review has to include the CRTC's regulation that exempts U.S. tech and media giants such as Netflix, Google and Facebook from supporting Canadian content.

"Streaming is replacing broadcasting. The web is replacing print newspapers. We have to adapt our public policy solutions to that new reality," Law said.

"If the government doesn't adapt the rules requiring media companies to support Canadian content, there will be far less Canadian news, information and entertainment out there, it will be an American media landscape," he said.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

SOURCE Unifor

For further information: please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.


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