Overhaul CanCon rules, says yet another Heritage report


OTTAWA - The Department of Canadian Heritage released another new report on Canadian content today, calling for big changes in the way Canadian film and video are funded and administered.

Researched and written over the past 14 months by former chairman of the board and executive director of Telefilm Canada and former CRTC Commissioner Francois Macerola, it will prove to be a shorter read than the near 900-page opus on Canadian media published last week by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Click here for that story.

Macerola's report, entitled Canadian Content in the 21st Century in Film and Television Productions: A Matter of Cultural Identity is a mere 121 pages.

"In the wake of the Standing Committee's report on Broadcasting, this report by Mr. Macerola gives a detailed look at one of the biggest issues facing our cultural industries," said Heritage Minister Sheila Copps in a release. "His recommendations will be carefully studied as we analyze all the advice we have received."

Macerola's study focused on the definition of Canadian content used to determine access to several funding programs, such as Telefilm Canada's Feature Film Fund and the Canadian Television Fund - and to measure television broadcasters' conformity with CRTC regulations.

Macerola has proposed both a new definition for Canadian content, and a new form of administering the certification of Canadian productions.

"These recommendations call for substantial changes within Canada's film and broadcasting sectors," added Copps, who added her Department will take this report into consideration when responding to the Standing Committee's report in the fall (sounds like nice summer reading for the poor Heritage interns).

The report is available at under "What's New."

Macerola's recommendations are:

1. That the current points/expenditure system be replaced by the proposed creative expenditure model.

2. That one arm's-length organization be responsible for the certification of Canadian content.

3. That the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit be scaled upwards to reward the use of a greater number of Canadian creators.

4. That official treaty co-productions continue to be recognized as Canadian content for both funding and broadcast purposes.

5. That the certification of international treaty co-productions become the responsibility of the Canadian Content Commission.

6. That the federal government develop a policy framework setting out minimum requirements for the signing of new treaties and criteria for the renewal of existing treaties.

7. That Canada seek to secure preferential treatment and special association status with the most important multilateral initiatives, particularly those within the European Union.

8. That the distribution of Canadian feature films in Canada continue to be reserved for Canadian-owned and -controlled companies.

9. That the CRTC examine the possibility of allowing Canadian broadcasters to exclude commercials promoting Canadian theatrical feature films from the 12-minute-per-hour advertising maximum.

10. That the Department of Canadian Heritage examine the feasibility of providing financial support to help Canadian-owned and -controlled distributors establish regional services.

11. That the Department of Canadian Heritage find ways to facilitate creative and financial partnerships between Aboriginal producers in Canada and Aboriginal producers in other countries

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