January 30, 2020
TORONTO, ON — The federal Broadcasting & Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel (BTLRP) released Canada’s Communications Future: Time to Act, its final report and recommendations to government for changes to Canada’s Broadcasting Act.
The Indigenous Screen Office is encouraged to see recommendations on Indigenous content and broadband access reflected in the report. However, we are disappointed that the report falls short by failing to recommend equity for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples under the Broadcasting Act in the form of equal inclusion with French and English within the legislation.
The review panel held in-person meetings across the country including with the Indigenous Screen Office and other Indigenous political, media and cultural organizations.
“The ISO credits the panel for its difficult work reviewing Canada’s decades-old Broadcasting Act and making the recommendations for modernizing the legislation and for its spirit of collaboration with the Indigenous sector,” said Jesse Wente, Executive Director of the Indigenous Screen Office.
“We support your identification of broadband access in Indigenous communities as a central issue, as well as the need for increased funding and support for Indigenous content creation in Canada. We appreciate the recommendation to have greater inclusion of Indigenous peoples at both the CRTC and CBC. The fact remains, however, that equity within the Act itself is the only way to ensure equity for the long term and to move beyond the discriminatory foundation that Canada’s Broadcasting Act was built on.”
The ISO looks forward to working with the government to further the needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples within the Broadcast and Telecommunications sectors, and to supporting actions being taken beyond further consultations.