We have outlined in this paper the value of our work for Canadians, the challenges as global companies and consumer trends dramatically alter the broadcast and media landscape, and the remarkable opportunities for our cultural and creative industries and public broadcasting to make Canada a cultural powerhouse.
Our recommendations below address the critical issues that need to be solved if we want Canadian culture and public broadcasting to become a true source of social and economic strength for this country.
- Develop a cohesive cultural investment strategy. This strategy would include:
- A Canadian cultural industries council, using Creative Britain as an inspiration;
- A coherent policy framework to regulate conventional broadcasters and new media entrants evenly, including a mechanism for new media entrants to support Canadian content; and
- The flexibility to allow CBC/Radio-Canada to invest in Canadian creators and promote Canada globally, including more opportunities for investment in content and distribution.
- Increase per person funding to CBC/Radio-Canada to $46 – an increase of $12 per Canadian. This is consistent with the (inflation adjusted) per person funding amount recommended by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in 2008. This will enable CBC/Radio-Canada to make the necessary long-term investments to complete our transformation, move away from advertising as a source of revenue on all platforms and be a strong anchor for our cultural ecosystem.
- Depoliticize CBC/Radio-Canada funding so that it is predictable and stable, tied to the existing five-year licence cycle, indexed to in flation, and separated from the election and annual government budget cycles. This would be similar to how the BBC now operates. Indexation is critical – without it, inflation of just 1.5% per year would erode the new government funding of $150 million to zero in just six years.