ACTRA voices Conservative fears

Actors' union wary of new gov leaders

Canada’s largest actors’ union is bracing itself for a Conservative government, which it expects to come into power following a federal election Monday.

ACTRA noted Tuesday that the Conservative Party, unlike the other major national parties, had not responded to the union’s questionnaire on culture.

“The silence speaks volumes about what priority they give our culture,” said actor R.H. Thomson. “We’re flabbergasted that they would almost completely ignore a C$26 billion ($22.4 billion) industry that employs more than 700,000 Canadians.”

The union asked whether each party would force regulators to impose content and spending requirements on Canadian broadcasters; whether it would commit to increased and stable coin for film and TV funding agencies and Canada’s pubcaster; and whether it would maintain current foreign ownership limits on Canadian broadcast entities.

The group also complained that the ruling Liberal Party’s response was not committed enough and did not take ACTRA’s cultural concerns seriously enough.

“It’s really frightening to see that two of our major political parties are not taking culture seriously when Canadian airwaves are dominated by foreign content,” said actor Wendy Crewson. “We’re on the verge of cultural breakdown.”

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