October 1, 2017 11:29 am

Heritage Minister Joly won’t put a number on Netflix investment boost

WATCH: Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly tells Vassy Kapelos the $500-million investment deal the government has reached with Netflix is just the beginning and that number will grow.

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Heritage Minister Melanie Joly was out and about last week touting a $100-million-a-year investment from American media giant Netflix, which she says will help revitalize Canadian content in an increasingly digital world.

But in an interview with The West Block‘s Vassy Kapelos this weekend, Joly wouldn’t say if that total represents a little or a lot more than what Netflix is currently pumping into Canadian-based shows like Anne, Alias Grace or Frontier.

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“We know that this is much more than they’ve spent in the past, and know also that this is a minimum and that will grow,” Joly said, without putting a dollar amount on the increased investment.

READ MORE: Ottawa announces U.S. investments as part of new Canadian media strategy

She said only that it will represent “millions,” adding that Canada will have the ability to enforce the agreement and ensure that Canadian productions are being strongly promoted on the Netflix app in the future, both here at home and abroad.

WATCH: Joly says ‘Creative Canada’ about making Canada a world leader in content creation

“They’re not doing service production … [with] American studios coming to Canada to shoot American films,” she told Kapelos.

“It’s actually to do Canadian productions. The idea is to support our writers, support our producers, support our Canadian stories.”

Joly unveiled the Liberal government’s “Creative Canada” policy last Thursday in a bid to renew the way media content is produced and distributed in Canada.

The policy is centred on several “pillars.” Beyond the $500-million Netflix deal, Ottawa is promising a re-evaluation of the public broadcasting mandate in Canada, increased support for local newspapers transitioning to the digital age and a boost in federal funding for the Canadian Media Fund, which supports the country’s television and digital media industries.

According to Joly, the re-evaluation of Canada’s broadcasting, copyright and telecommunications acts will get started this fall and take 12 to 24 months to complete.

Watch the full interview with Heritage Minister Melanie Joly above.

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