Thank you, Chair.
Again, Morghan Fortier writes:
Our educational content enriches the lives of over 30 million viewers around the world every single day on YouTube alone. Additionally, we’re one of the world’s top children’s music artists and our content can be found on streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Roku and Tubi to name a few.
We produce nearly all of our content in-house at our Toronto production studio where we employ over 30 writers, musicians, designers, animators and puppeteers. We operate with no debt, no investors, and to date we have never received any of the government support that traditional Canadian TV broadcasters and producers benefit from.
I am a proud supporter of Canadian content and have seen first-hand the quality that we can produce here. However, I am greatly distressed by Bill C-10.
Despite our prominence we have been given zero opportunity to participate in any discussions regarding this legislation, and neither have any of our digital content contemporaries. This is distressing because Bill C-10 directly affects digital content creators, but it is being written by people who don’t understand how digital platforms work and without any consultation of those it directly impacts. The proposed bill gives no consideration to the long-term growth of the companies that have evolved from the digital landscape.
I worked for close to fifteen years producing series for TV broadcasters - the traditional broadcast industry. Having moved to the digital side of the industry in 2015, I understand how overwhelming this sector can be. But your lack of understanding cannot be an excuse to inhibit our industry's growth. Digital content creators are a vital and growing part of the broadcast industry, and our input should be mandatory.
I do believe that government investment in quality content could lead to a strengthened Canadian Broadcast industry, but Bill C-10 does not do this. Rather than the promotion and elevation, it focuses on restriction and isolation. Rather than introducing Canadian content to a global audience abroad, it focuses on removing choice from our Canadian audience here at home.
You have an opportunity to raise our traditional media companies to the standard of success our digital producers are experiencing. Instead you are choosing to antiquate digital companies. This is a step back, a step inward, and a step in the wrong direction.
Mr. Chair, this letter was written to members of this committee, and I was asked to share it today. It is with pleasure that I do so because this individual and this company raise a really valid point, and it's one that needs to be considered by all members of this committee.
I understand that we've had our squabbles, and I understand that this process might feel frustrated, but I think what needs to be rightly understood and stated here is that there is a legislative process in place within the House of Commons by which a bill is considered, clause by clause, statement by statement, and it is evaluated to see whether or not it makes for good legislation. That standard, of course, is going to be somewhat different for each party, because each individual comes to the table and views this legislation through a different lens. I understand that.
What needs to also, I believe, be carried with due weight is the fact that there are tens of thousands of creators who are going to be impacted by this legislation and their voices have not been considered.
It has been said that this legislation is going to level the playing field. I would propose to the committee that it will indeed level the playing field, but rather than calling traditional broadcasters up to the higher standard where digital first creators exist, it instead insists that those digital first creators be punished for their success and be diminished, that they actually be put down to a lower standard.
I don't think that's what it means to be Canadian. I don't think that is or should be the purpose of putting legislation in place, that we would downgrade people, that we would enforce a standard that lessens their ability to create and access an audience. Instead, why wouldn't we insist on the traditional broadcasters becoming better, coming up and learning from digital first creators.
Doesn't that seem innovative and creative, and doesn't that contribute to the e-commerce world the current government said it's committed to creating and supporting?
Right now, this legislation goes after those individuals who have talent, who have exercised an entrepreneurial spirit, who have been innovative and creative, who have taken risks and who have put themselves out there and found new ways to promote their skill, their talent, their ability and their ideas and to elicit an audience organically.
This legislation will empower the CRTC, or even call upon the CRTC, to put regulations in place that will impose algorithms on these artists. These algorithms will move their content or their creativity up or down in a queue. It will determine whether they get showed favouritism. Do they get to be in first place or do they get to be in 20th place? Maybe they get to be in 200th place. Maybe they appear on the first page when you search something on YouTube, or maybe they just get to be on page 27 where they'll never be found.
For the government to dictate that is extremely detrimental to the industry and to those artists who have so effectively invested their skill, their time, their talent and their money in order to be successful on these new platforms, this new way of being able to promote material, ideas or a skill, talent or ability.