CDCE Press Release "Federal Election: a Debate on Culture will be held on September 13"

Montreal, September 1, 2021 - The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) and the Department of Communication of the Université de Montréal are organizing a debate on September 13 at noon on cultural issues in the context of the federal election. Spokespersons from the main federal political parties will be invited to present their commitments to culture and to debate solutions to urgent challenges in the cultural sector. 

The debate will be moderated by Catherine Perrin and broadcast on CPAC's website and television channel. Candidates Pascale St-Onge (Liberal Party), Steve Shanahan (Conservative Party), Martin Champoux (Bloc Québécois) and Alexandre Boulerice (NDP) have confirmed their attendance. The Green Party has been invited but has not yet designated a representative.

The cultural sector has been among the hardest hit by COVID. All cultural sectors have experienced significant declines in operating revenues and labour expenditures. In fact, one in four people working in the sector lost their jobs in 2020

This crisis will continue to have a significant impact on the sector in the years ahead and will require a commensurate policy response. Recall that the culture GDP exceeded $57 billion in 2019, or 2.7% of Canada's GDP, and employed more than 655,000 people in 2018, far ahead of the agriculture, resource extraction, oil and gas, utilities or automotive sectors. The health crisis has accelerated the digital transition, which has certainly allowed several activities to be maintained, but without allowing for profitability.

The topics of the debate are varied and will allow the different political parties to share with the public their commitments to adapting funding and support measures, as well as modernizing cultural policies (broadcasting, copyright), which were already largely unsuited to the context of digital broadcasting before the pandemic. 

Over the past year and a half, there has been an increased awareness of how fundamental access to culture is to the well-being of individuals and the community. The organizers hope that this debate will bring the attention that this important sector deserves to the election campaign.

CDCE link and press release: Elections 2021: a debate on culture – CDCE (

Debate on culture 2021

September 13, 2021 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm

CPAC (television and web)

Moderator: Catherine Perrin

With:   Pascale St-Onge (Liberal Party)

Steve Shanahan (Conservative Party)

Martin Champoux (Bloc Québécois)  

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)


Hélène Messier, Co-Chair of the CDCE    

Fanny Tan, Research and Communications Officer  


Alain Saulnier, Visiting Professor, Department of Communication, Université de Montréal



About the CDCE  

The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDEC) brings together the main French and English professional organizations in the cultural sector in Canada. It is composed of 40 organizations that collectively represent the interests of more than 200,000 professionals and 2,000 businesses in the book, film, television, new media, music, performing arts and visual arts sectors. The CEDC's main focus is to ensure that cultural goods and services are excluded from trade negotiations and that the diversity of cultural expressions is present in the digital environment.  

About the Department of Communication at the Université de Montréal

The Department of Communication at the University of Montreal has organized several colloquia and debates on culture and media in recent years. During the 2019 federal election, the Department organized, with other partners, the Great Debate on Culture and Media, moderated by Catherine Perrin at the Monument national. The Department also organized the extraordinary Montreal conference on Francophone broadcasting, distribution, creation and production in the digital age (CEMAD) in January 2019. The QS University rankings ranked UdeM's Department of Communication as the best Francophone communication department in the world.


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