Certified Artist Status Reform

Skeptics confused: The reform of laws relating to the status of the artist introduced by Minister Nathalie Roy at the end of April was adopted by the National Assembly on Friday after speeding up the study process.

Posted at 11:13 a.m.
Updated at 12:48 PM.

Alexandre Vinault

Alexandre Vinault

The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) had made amending laws on artist status an electoral promise and it has been maintained since the adoption of its reform (Bill 35) on Friday. Unwinnable: The bill was only introduced at the end of April and made its way by taking advantage of an accelerated study process with the support of opposition parties. Several amendments have emerged, some of which the Minister of Culture and Communications, Natalie Roy, has described as “big”.

Someone closes a huge loophole that will pull the rug out from under the producers who start and close their businesses without paying the artists involved. In the middle, we call them “empty shells”. Thus Bill 35 was improved by adding a provision that was present in Commercial Companies Law Aims to provide remedies to affected workers.

Minister Roy explains: “Artists will be allowed to claim the amounts owed to them, and the fees owed to them, directly from the directors of the company.” Before, they couldn’t, they could just sue the company and if they were closed down, they lose their recourse and their money. »


Sophie Prijen, President of the Artists Union

Sophie Pregent, president of the Artists’ Union (UDA), who talks about the new law as a “historic step forward for artists,” considers the amendment a “major” one that will make corporate directors accountable. “It’s not that everyone acts like this in the industry, but those who do it a lot and we’ve never had legal accountability. With this article, we’re going to have some,” she said. [qui aurait fait ça] He wouldn’t be able to get significant state funding to produce a second movie if he still had to provide accounts. »

The minister expressed his happiness with the support of the opposition parties and the cooperation of other departments, which allowed the speedy adoption of this new law. “We no longer have two classes of artists, but only one class of professional artists in Quebec, they all have the same safeguards, the same powers, the same resources when it comes to negotiating teamwork,” she says enthusiastically.

“We knew the parties would work together,” said Laurent Dubois, director general of the Union of Writers and Writers of Quebec (UNEQ). I think that’s what needs to be emphasized: First, the ability to listen to the Secretary and her teams and the nonpartisan approach. This makes this law very powerful. »

Bell 35, officially titled A law to harmonize and update the rules relating to the professional status of artists, integrates the two laws that have hitherto defined artist status and provides a framework for working conditions, which will now allow all artists to negotiate collective agreements. In particular, it expands the powers of the Administrative Labor Court – thus avoiding aggrieved people going through a lengthy and costly legal process – and includes provisions on psychological harassment.

Photo by Alain Roberge, Press Archives

Arnaud Fullon, President of the National Association of Book Publishers

Reforms imposed by law will bring about important changes in the cultural environment. “It’s a complete paradigm shift,” said Arnaud Fullon, president of the National Association of Book Publishers (ANEL), who expressed concern about the bill, while welcoming it enthusiastically toward UNEQ.

“Our first concern is that we are in a cultural industry, and books, where there are many small players: 40% of ANEL members have sales of less than $300,000, Mr. Fullon points out. Yet it is a fact that is not a fact of television or other cultural circles and must be taken into consideration. to take into account when we come to potential collective agreements. However, ANEL would like to move forward “in tandem” with the authors, he explains.

“We have just taken a step towards social progress, and social dialogue, assures Laurent Dubois, of UNEQ. We don’t want to impose our model, we want to discuss the prevailing methods in our environment. UNEQ says it is open to discussion in good faith, but intends to use the tools at its disposal now in the face of A producer who seeks to evade his obligation to negotiate.

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