The Black Screen Office (BSO) is delighted to share that on December 1, 2022 the Senate’s Transport and Communications Committee unanimously passed six outstanding amendments to Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, that were put forward by the Racial Equity Media Collective, BSO and 17 other equity-seeking organizations. This spring, Joan Jenkinson, Executive Director of the Black Screen Office, addressed the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage requesting it change the wording in Bill C-11 to specifically mention ‘Black’ alongside references to ‘racialized’ persons.
In June, the requested language was adopted but only in reference to the provision of programming to Canadians. The BSO continued our advocacy that all references to ‘racialized’ persons and communities be changed to “Black and other racialized” in the Bill, recognizing the unique challenges and barriers to inclusion experienced by many Black Canadians in the country’s media landscape.
“The BSO exists to dismantle the anti-Black racism in Canada’s screen industries. We are pleased that the committee heard our concerns and took action to modify Bill C-11 to recognize Canada’s Black communities,” says Joan. “Naming Black communities specifically and consistently throughout the Bill leaves no room for misinterpretation. It allows for clarity of purpose in terms of redressing historical roadblocks and offers implicit support for targeted strategies that will increase opportunities for equity for Black talent and Black audiences across Canada’s broadcasting system.”
The BSO looks forward to the passage of Bill C-11 in 2023 and to working with the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission to achieve greater representation and inclusion throughout the country’s broadcasting system.