Heritage Minister Melanie Joly addresses the media after two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds in Toronto on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly says she wants zero tolerance for harassment when it comes to federal grants and contributions for the entertainment industry.

Joly had two meetings with representatives from Canada’s entertainment industry Wednesday to discuss how to curb harassment and ensure a safe environment.

The first meeting, hosted by the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, focused on the performing arts sector.

The second meeting, hosted by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), focused on the film and television sector.

“I’ve asked my department to make sure that our grants and contributions are linked to making sure that there’s zero tolerance for harassment in workplaces in our arts and cultural sector,” Joly told reporters after the second meeting concluded late Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re looking at different solutions right now, may they be a code of conduct or different types of solutions to make sure ultimately that people are much more well protected and ultimately that there is much more of a responsibility on the part of people in charge of workplaces to make sure that people are kept safe.”

Related: Female MPs unsure what #MeToo movement means for Parliament Hill: survey

Several Canadian entertainment organizations have come together in a string of meetings over the past couple of months to discuss ways to make a cultural change and prevent and deal with sexual misconduct.

The stage and screen industries have been grappling with a wave of sexual misconduct allegations since Harvey Weinstein was first accused in October.

Joly said she’s requested a review of Canadian Heritage funding policies to ensure that organizations receiving funding promote safe and harassment-free workplaces.

The federal government is committed to ensuring there’s diversity and inclusion in workplaces and within society, she added, noting initiatives being made on that front at Telefilm Canada and other organizations.

“The past months have been difficult for the arts and cultural sector; we know that from the beginning of the #MeToo movement to the different allegations that we heard in the theatre sector recently,” Joly said.

“But now while there is awareness about this issue, people are in action mode — and that’s why from the actors to the writers to the directors to the producers, people are committed to making sure that there are solutions and that people in this country, women and men, can work in a safe environment.”

In November, representatives from 16 entertainment organizations on this side of the border committed to four steps, including “enacting an industry-wide code of conduct.”

Related: Hollywood reacts to Weinstein harassment claims

David Sparrow, president of ACTRA National, said they’ll be meeting again in the next week or so to try to hone their proposals and send them out.

“We’re hoping that by the middle of February we’ll have a code that people can begin to sign on to,” Sparrow said.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ponoka Legion commemorates 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Ponoka residents pack Legion hall during Remembrance Day

Ponoka Secondary Campus alumni provides example of how to remember those who were lost

School’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony focuses on 100th anniversary of WWI armistace

Students at St. Augustine honour fallen Ponoka soldiers

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony recognized the sacrifices of past soldiers

No pumping into Gull Lake for 5 years due to carp concerns

Worries of carp in the Blindman River has put a hold on pumping water into Gull Lake

Rural crime task force results released at Agri-Trade luncheon

Report cites problems with police not being able to keep up with crime and justice system issues

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Canada wants free trade deal with southeast Asian nations, Trudeau says

ASEAN nations combined have nearly 650 million people, an economy of US$2.8 trillion, and are already Canada’s sixth-biggest trading partner.

Olympic and Paralympic committees disappointed, but respectful of Calgary’s vote

The majority of voters said ‘no’ to a potential Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Wildfire death toll rises in California as search for missing continues

Authorities reported six more fatalities from the Northern California blaze, bringing the total number of dead so far to 48.

B.C. MLAs urge Trudeau to call byelection immediately in Burnaby-South

Four NDP provincial politicians from British Columbia are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately call a byelection in the federal riding of Burnaby-South.

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Most Read