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TV Creators Pressure Trudeau Gov’t to Restore the Production Dollars Required from Broadcasters

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CRTC relaxation would cost industry $900m in funding

The Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.     Errol McGihon, Postmedia News

Creative groups are ramping up their campaign to convince the federal government to overrule a decision by Canada’s broadcast regulator that they argue will cut investments in made-in-Canada television programming by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Nineteen groups representing media producers, writers, directors and actors published a letter Monday imploring Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly to overturn or send back the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s decision to lower the amount some broadcasters must spend on dramas, comedies, award shows, children’s programs and documentaries.

Four of these groups filed formal petitions in June asking cabinet to set aside the decision, but more joined the chorus as the government’s Aug. 14 deadline to take action approaches. Cabinet appeals rarely work, yet the group is trying all means to reverse the decision they estimate will slash budgets by $911 million over five years.

“It’s important to keep this on the public and political radar,” Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) CEO Reynolds Mastin said Monday. “We think these decisions go completely contrary to what Minister Joly is trying to achieve.”

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