Betty Hinton, MP Masthead
Member of Parliament for Kamloops Thompson Cariboo
[press releases]
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 11, 2003

Broadcast industry needs to ride new wave

Ottawa: Jim Abbot, MP and Canadian Alliance Critic for Canadian Heritage, today said that the Canadian Alliance believes the gradual and incremental alterations recommended in the report titled Our Cultural Sovereignty are timid and defenseless.

Betty Hinton, MP for Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys and member of the House of Commons Committee on Heritage, points to the Canadian Alliance minority report that suggests dropping outdated assumptions that narrow choices and restrict opportunities in the broadcasting/entertainment industry and allowing Canadians to create, compete and prosper.

The minority report was formulated after Abbott and Hinton and others on the multi-party committee listened to hundreds of witnesses in the past year discuss the country’s broadcasting industry.

A number of the key Canadian Alliance proposals regarding Canadian Heritage are:
*Relax definitions of Canadian content
*Make Canadian programming available in the Unites States through changes in DTH Satellite transmissions
*Create a single Department of Communications
*Maintain support for CBC radio
*Create an accountable regulator that will replace the CRTC
*Reduce taxpayer support to CBC television as it is commercialized

One of the most courageous recommendations in the minority report is Canadian Alliance’s suggestions around the DTH (direct-to-home) satellite services. Although fully aware of the immense challenges facing changes in this industry including content ownership, copyright, and foreign ownership, the Canadian Alliance believes today’s Canadian and U.S. entertainment audience choices are constrained only by current technology.

“Unfortunately neither the regulators or the current Heritage Minister understand the power of future technological change, “ said Hinton.

One example of the current government inaction in setting the stage for the future of the industry is the $800,000, two-year study on ephemeral rights. Mrs. Hinton said the study, commissioned by the government sits on the shelf, gathering dust.

“It’s a shame nothing is being done with it. I agree with Mr. Abbott that what our Canadian broadcast industry needs from government is a vision and the courage to take hold of the future,” she said.

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