Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
Protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital environment has become one of the CDCE’s two main action priorities. In 2018, background work began to identify more specific directions that could be taken by the CDCE to promote the application of online cultural policies in Canada. A certain number of meetings and achievements could be mentioned as part of this report, but we will limit ourselves to the most important components. On June 5 and 6, 2018, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) organized a meeting in Montreal and then in Toronto to read the CRTC report “Harnessing Change: The Future of Programming Distribution in Canada.” The CDCE invited Suzanne Lamarre, an expert in telecommunications, radiocommunication and broadcasting laws and regulations; a lawyer; and an engineer at Terrien Couture to deliver an analysis of the report, which was followed by a panel discussion by CDCE members. At the Montreal meeting, “What future for the Diversity of cultural expressions online?”, a large audience took part in the discussions. The two events provided an opportunity for a shared analysis of the CRTC report’s findings and proposals, and paved the way to the following steps. As luck would have it, the Canadian government announced the creation of an expert panel to review the legislative framework for the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications on June 5 and this helped participants to start discussing the way forward. To support its contribution at consultations organized by the expert panel, the CDCE organized several meetings with its members and other organizations in the cultural sector to promote the best convergence possible in that sector. The CDCE commissioned a legal opinion from a specialist, which was very useful to members. The CDCE was invited to meet the members of the expert panel on October 25. It published an open letter on October 24, requesting regulations adapted to digital challenges. Lastly, a brief was submitted by the CDCE on January 11, 2019, and was put online on the CDCE site.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
This initiative greatly encouraged collaboration and consistency in the cultural sector as part of the expert panel’s consultations. Several members of the CDCE, as well as other organizations in the cultural sector, have explicitly supported the CDCE’s recommendations. Producing a collective legal opinion also gave the organizations quality input that they can draw on in their representations. The events held in June helped organizations share their analysis of a very important report and led to a CDCE publication. CDCE members were happy to note the inclusion of the diversity of cultural expressions among the subjects that the expert panel had to include in its report. It is an important sign that means that the CDCE’s efforts to raise awareness on this matter are recognized and shared. Members decided to follow up on this initiative by organizing the “Save Our Culture” campaign (see measure 1) in order to take the collective reflection to another level. The expert panel’s report will be available by January 31, 2020, Therefore, it is difficult at this stage to evaluate the impact that this work has had on the committee’s work, and even less so on the laws themselves because the bills will be tabled in 2020.