Yesterday, during the study of budgetary allocations, the Official Opposition Critic for Culture and Communications, Ms. Isabelle Melançon, had the opportunity to question Ms. Nathalie Roy, the Minister of Culture and Communications, on issues including the support offered to the cultural sector that has been hard hit by COVID-19.
The Minister has announced a lot of money since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, but doesn’t understand the artists’ realities and refuses to support them directly even though she promised that “all contracts would be honoured”. Nathalie Roy is not at the decision-making table and isn’t invited when the Premier meets with Hollywood producers or when the Minister of Economy prepares a plan to support the media.
Furthermore, the Minister is incapable of stipulating her intentions to support Quebec’s media. The crisis affecting the industry still exists and has been exacerbated since the onset of the pandemic. The Official Opposition has not had any response about government advertising placements, safeguarding regional news or taxing web giants.
For months now, I have been summoning the Minister to clarify her game plan to support local artists and provide them with direct assistance. A certain understanding of the reality on the ground is required in order to help them properly. Many stakeholders from the sector are disappointed in Ms. Roy’s lack of responsiveness. With the prohibition on gatherings and the implementation of confinement, creators were the first to pay the price of the pandemic but they are the last to be able to resume their normal activities. Quebec has extraordinary cultural influence, the aid plan must be commensurate with it.
-Ms. Isabelle Melançon, MNA representing Verdun and Official Opposition Critic for Culture and Communications.