Dr. Caroline Simard at the 2019 Canadian Women in Communications and Technology Awards


Gatineau, Québec
May 1, 2019

Dr. Caroline J. Simard, Vice-Chairperson, Broadcasting
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Check against delivery

Good evening everyone,

I want to acknowledge that we are gathered here together today on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people. I give them thanks and pay respect to their elders.

I would like to acknowledge the presence of the Honourable Mary Ng, and Joanne Stanley, Executive Director, and Michelle Magwood, Chair of Women in Communications and Technology, as well as the other distinguished guests.

It was important for me to be here with you this evening. Women in Communications and Technology, and this gala, makes a significant contribution to closing gender gaps and reaching parity in the Canadian communications industry. We can all applaud our fellow colleagues whose great achievements contribute, each of them, and in their own way, to reach parity.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that people across the country are actively working to promote gender parity and diversity in the communications industry.

Last year, along with Ian Scott, Chairman of the CRTC, on this very stage, we mentioned that the initiative Women in production was launched to ensure that more women play leading roles in Canadian productions.

Since then, we have worked with public and private sector partners and representatives of the production industry to determine how we can create real change in this industry.
Last December, the CRTC brought together the CEOs of the largest public and private-sector broadcasters in Canada to discuss possible solutions. Those discussions were indeed solution-oriented because we all agreed upfront that the lack of gender parity in key creative and decision-making positions exists and needs to be addressed.

In fact, I would like to take a moment to thank each of the participants in the Women in Production Summit for their commitment, which greatly contributed to the success of this event. Thank you Rick! Thank you Catherine, Doug, France, Jamie, Josh, Randy and all the members of the Steering Committee.

At the Summit, participants agreed that the time had come to make real progress. And, progress on this front is not only good for women and society in general, but it also makes good business sense.

Those broadcasters have committed, on a voluntary basis, to design plans tailored to their businesses and markets to address this issue. We look forward to seeing their plans in the near future.

It is time for the women's perspective to further shape the stories Canadians watch and for audiovisual companies to reach their full potential by taking advantage of women's contributions!

Their commitment, I’m sure, will lead to concrete improvements and make a sustainable difference for their businesses, the industry and our society.

The work will continue for us. Our next step is to discuss this matter with independent and smaller broadcasters so they can tell us how they envision their contribution in delivering real change to the industry.

With everyone’s effort, we’re hopeful that we are on the right track.

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Meegwetch –Thank you.


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