Former Minister of Culture and International Relations Louise Beaudoin will be part of a group of four experts mandated by Quebec’s Minister of Culture and Communications, Mathieu Lacombe, to advise him on the development of tools aimed at ensure a prominent place for Québec content on digital platforms.

The former delegate general of Quebec in Paris Clément Duhaime, who was administrator of the International Organization of La Francophonie, will also be part of the group, as well as Véronique Guèvremont (full professor at the Faculty of Law of Laval University and holder of the UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions) and Patrick Taillon (full professor at the Faculty of Law of Laval University and co-director of the Center for Studies in Administrative and Constitutional Law).

“In an increasingly digital world, it is now or never to give ourselves all the means to protect our language, our identity and our culture”, declared Mr. Lacombe Friday, during a conference in front of the Council of International Relations of Montreal (CORIM).

In his opinion, the digitization of culture diverts the Quebec public from its own culture by putting it in direct competition with cultural products from elsewhere, in particular through platforms such as YouTube, Spotify or Netflix. he says. According to him, the challenge rests, among other things, on the ability to reach young people – which explains, among many other measures recently adopted by the government, the investment of $101 million intended for the production of youth content at Télé-Québec, as well as the increase in the budget for cultural outings.

The group will therefore be responsible for proposing actions to the Minister of Culture that will then allow him to establish a legislative plan aimed at improving the positioning of Quebec content on digital platforms and promoting it. The Minister will also join his counterparts from other nations to participate in a UNESCO meeting in Paris in June on the place of national content online.

“Our government is not dogmatic; we don’t want a world where we just consume Quebec culture, we also want to have access to content from elsewhere. Say the YouTube and Netflix generation spend their entire teenage years watching more English content, where will we be in 2040? Even cultures are deadly, even the most beautiful languages. […] If we give ourselves a plan, we can transform what appears today as a threat into a tool for promoting [our culture],” he said.

Mathieu Lacombe also welcomed the adoption in Ottawa, Thursday evening, of the Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11), which creates a legal framework forcing digital platforms to contribute financially to the creation, production, distribution and promotion of Canadian content, in music and television, in particular.

“Ottawa did a great job with C-11; we are lucky to have Pablo Rodriguez as Minister of Heritage. We do not want to oppose, but to improve [this legal framework] with Quebec glasses, for the benefit of our language and our culture. We cannot afford to be mere spectators. […] No one will ever be better placed than Quebec to know what Quebec needs to defend its culture,” he said.

According to a study conducted last fall by the Academy of Digital Transformation at Laval University, 72% of Quebec Internet users subscribe to a paid service to watch movies and series online – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney. topped the most popular platforms and outpaced local services like Crave, Club illico and ICI’s Extra.