In a first-of-its-kind campaign, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have come together, asking members to pledge to attend at least one all-candidates meeting or town hall leading up to the federal election and ask a question.
The goal of the “Just Ask“ campaign (“Je m’implique” in French) is to get candidates on record on the future of Canada’s $9 billion screen-based production market.
Micro-websites justask2019.ca and jemimplique2019.ca went live today featuring election backgrounders and sample questions on key issues facing the industry to arm cast, crew and creators with information.
“Creative industry workers are seeking out candidates from all political parties to ‘Just Ask’ them where they stand on supporting a strong Canadian film and TV industry. With original Canadian programming like Letterkenny, Anne with an E and Schitt’s Creek finding audiences around the world, we’ll be asking federal election candidates to share their plans to ensure the continued growth of our Canadian entertainment industry,” said ACTRA president David Sparrow.
One of the top questions the site encourages members to pose references the current lack of taxation and regulated Canadian content contributions from foreign digital players like Netflix and Amazon. Candidates will be asked if they’ll “support both legislation and regulation requiring all players that benefit from the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications systems to invest in the creation of original Canadian programming?”
Other topics include funding and tax credits for arts & culture, protections for precarious workers, copyright protection, public broadcasting and promoting diversity, inclusion and respectful workplaces in the cultural sector.
“A strong creative industry is critical for Canada, both financially and culturally. We need to ensure that, whatever the result of the upcoming election, the federal government understands and supports the success of our industry,” added John Lewis, IATSE’s director of Canadian Affairs.
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