OTTAWA – On the day Canada celebrates the nation's great musical talent at the Juno Awards NDP MPs Andrew Cash (Davenport) and Pierre Nantel (Longueuil-Pierre-Boucher) asked why the federal Conservatives are making Canadian musicians and labels $21 million poorer.
“It’s like saying, thanks for all the hard work, here’s a pay cut,” Cash said on Sunday. “This is the mindset of the Harper Conservatives who in reality care a lot more about their friends in the big broadcasting conglomerates than they do for the small-business concerns of musicians, producers and labels.”
C-11, the Conservatives Copyright Bill, includes a loophole that will allow radio broadcasters to avoid paying a reproduction royalty that amounts to over $21 million to music creators. Royalty payments are the lifeblood of a musicians' ability to make a living.
Cash, who is himself a Juno Award winner, says the arts and culture industry represents a very large sector of the Canadian economy that is being ignored by the Conservative government. “In terms of GDP the arts and culture sector brings in billions to our economy yet all we see from the Conservatives are barriers to success.”
“The loss of these royalties could be the difference between a singer or songwriter staying in the business or having to give it up," said Nantel, a Félix Award winner and a long time producer. "The NDP is calling on the government to close this loop-hole and work with creator groups in decisions that affect artist royalties."