March 29, 2017
The 2017 Federal Budget makes several long-term commitments to arts and culture, the digital economy and innovation. Creative entrepreneurs and cultural leaders are noted as essential to an “inclusive and innovative Canada.” There is a clear commitment to develop an intellectual property strategy and to review and modernize the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act. In reviewing the Acts, the Government will “examine issues such as telecommunications and content creation in the digital age, net neutrality and cultural diversity, and how to strengthen the future of Canadian media and Canadian content creation”(Chapter 1 – Skills Innovation and Middle Class Jobs, Part 3 subsection Canadian Digital Services). It also points to an export strategy to be released over the coming year that will bring “the best of Canada to the world, rather than a protectionist stance that restricts growth and limits opportunities.” Proposed initiatives related to skills and training (for young people and older workers); venture capital; improved broadband and entrepreneurship may also provide support to Canada’s cultural industries entrepreneurs.
Infrastructure investments include social and cultural objectives; and for the most part, will be carried out through partnerships with cities, provincial and territorial governments. There is a $300 million commitment over 10 years for the Cultural Spaces Fund as part of the larger $1.8 billion investment for cultural and recreational infrastructure over 10 years starting in 2018-19. $1.3 of this commitment will be provided to provinces and territories through integrated bilateral agreements. Another $80M of this commitment is earmarked for community, childhood and cultural centres in official language minority communities (Chapter 2 – Communities Built for Change: Strengthening Cultural and Recreational Infrastructure).
On Screen Manitoba will continue to follow plans for the review of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts as well as the roll out of export and other initiatives anticipated in the Consultation Report on Canadian Culture in a Digital World. Various national organizations have published comments on the Federal Budget. Please see media releases from the CMPA , the Canadian Coalition of the Arts, the Brooke & Partners Highlights Analysis, and articles from Playback Daily, The Wire Report and CARTT.ca.