Work still needs to be done to enshrine protections for performers

ACTRA welcomes the passing of the Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11) in the House of Commons, and looks forward to expedited passage for Royal Assent when it returns to the Senate.

“While the government is seizing this moment to strengthen our Canadian cultural industries, the Online Streaming Act updates broadcasting legislation for the first time in 30 years,” said Eleanor Noble, ACTRA National President. “We are pleased the new legislation aims to require wealthy streaming services pay their fair share. But Bill C-11 falls short in enshrining protections for performers.”

The government’s inclusion of Section 3(1)(f) which sets out guidelines for the use of Canadian performers by broadcasters under the Canadian system creates two different standards for Canadian and foreign broadcasters. This weakens obligations for Canadian broadcasters to use Canadian artists and establishes a lower standard for foreign online services.

“ACTRA and every other union in the cultural sector fought hard against this section of Bill C-11,” continued Noble. “The government has the power to rectify this decision during the implementation of the Act. ACTRA will engage with them, via the policy directive to the CRTC, and participate vigorously in the process to set the rules for all broadcasters.”

In order to further strengthen the legislation, ACTRA successfully worked with the Senate and the government to amend a clause in Bill C-11 which would have removed our union’s right to bargain with online broadcasters through changes to the Status of the Artist Act. The Bill passed last night reflects this improvement.

“We thank our members and the thousands of Canadians who wrote to their MPs in our joint campaign with the DGC to support the passage of this important legislation,” added Noble. “Our collective voices must be heard as we continue our fight to Keep Canada On Our Screens.”

About ACTRA:

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 28,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.

Media Contact: Carol Taverner, ACTRA National Public Relations Officer, Tel: 416-644-1519, E-mail: