Canada taps Netflix amid review of TV, arts policy in online era

Steve Phelps
September 30, 2017

As part of a speech today (September 28) to unveil the new "Creative Canada" policy, Joly reinforced the theme that foreign platforms like Netflix and Facebook are key to the promotion and protection of Canadian stories.

"We look forward to continuing our work with Canadian talent, producers, broadcasters, and other local partners to create Netflix originals in Canada for many years to come".

YouTube recently created a channel for Canadian content, while Netflix and the Canadian Broadcasting Association have worked together before. Its publication followed a consultation on "Canadian Content in a Digital World". It explained that, during the consultation, "many Canadian stakeholders asked about how new players can contribute to Canadian content".

The streaming company reportedly spent years lobbying Canada's government to avoid the regulations and taxes on conventional Canadian broadcasters.

This will be known as Netflix Canada, a "first of its kind production company".

Canada's Heritage Minister, Melanie Joly, said the deal "signals a meaningful partnership in supporting Canadian creators, producers and Canadian creative work, and in bringing that work to millions of viewers around the world".

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As part of a swath of new cultural policies, Joly also announced new "cultural trade missions" overseas to help Canadian creators break into new markets.

Joly had previously ruled out a "Netflix tax" during the consultation.

In honor of Netflix's new investment, Canadians did what they do best: made some jokes about it on Twitter.

"The Government of Canada is committed to growing our creative industries with new investments that create opportunities for creators and producers across the country to make great content that stands out", added Joly.

The company has already co-produced a handful of Canadian television series with public broadcaster CBC and others, including Anne, based on the novelAnne of Green Gables, and Canadian author Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace.

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