ARCHIVED - Ottawa, January 8, 2009

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Greater federal efforts needed to showcase minority Anglophone and Francophone communities on the small screen, says Graham Fraser

“The various federal institutions involved in television production must redouble their efforts to ensure that the production and broadcasting of original Canadian television programs fully contribute to the development of Anglophone and Francophone minority communities,” said Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser following today’s release of his study on television production in Canada.

“This study, Shadows over the Canadian Television Landscape: The Place of  French on the Air and Production in a Minority Context, found advances have been made in film and television production coming from Canada’s Anglophone and Francophone minority communities, in terms of volume, variety, quality and the economic impact they generate,” noted the Commissioner. “However, we are still facing major challenges.”

Challenges that need to be addressed include the remoteness of decision-making centres, the underdevelopment of infrastructure and a lack of funds, according to the study. The report’s 11 recommendations propose actions that could be taken by Canadian Heritage, the CRTC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to better support the production of television products from official language communities.

The Commissioner is specifically asking the CRTC to clarify the concept of “regional reflection” that it uses in order to impose obligations on broadcasters. He would like to see a distinction made between the production of regional programming in the majority official language and the production of regional programming in the minority official language. This distinction should be taken into account when license applications are reviewed.

The study focuses on the Canadian television production industry and has three main objectives:

  • Report on the production of television material—from conception to broadcasting—coming from the official language minority communities and identify the main obstacles facing producers from these communities;

  • Determine the place of French in the Canadian television production industry and on the air with regard to dubbing and children’s and youth programming;

  • Make recommendations to the federal government in order to ensure the continued development of a television production industry in minority communities and a greater place for French on Canadian airwaves.

The Commissioner of Official Languages believes that the study proposes ways to enrich and diversify the Canadian television landscape. In addition, implementing the proposed measures would allow federal institutions to comply with their obligations to take "positive measures" with respect to Anglophone and Francophone minority communities and to promote both official languages.

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Please consult the study and the recommendations.

For more information, please contact:

Robin Cantin
Manager, Media Relations
Telephone: 613-995-0374
Cellular: 613-324-0999
Toll free: 1-877-996-6368