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ACTRA National

Dear fellow ACTRA Maritimes’ Members,

I am recently returned from Vancouver where I attended my first ACTRA National Executive meeting as your National Councillor for ACTRA Maritimes. I was warmly welcomed by staff and other councillors, and was once again inspired by their dedication. We discussed many items over the two days – all with the goal of improving working opportunities and working conditions for our members country-wide.

The one subject that dominated much of our time was the recognition of ongoing sexual discrimination, misconduct, and harassment within our industry, and what we plan to do to put an end to it.

On November 23rd, 2017, ACTRA National hosted an industry round table on sexual harassment within our industry, welcoming decision makers from the following organizations:

  • Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
  • Writers Guild of Canada (WGC)
  • Directors Guild of Canada (DGC)
  • Academy of Canadian Cinema &Television.
  • Talent Agents & Managers Association of Canada (TAMAC)
  • Canadian Media Guild (CMG)
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)
  • NABET Unifor and other members of Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen (CUES)

This is the joint statement sent out to members as a result of that meeting:

As representatives of the Canadian creative industry, we gathered together today to collaborate on an industry-wide response to sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, and violence.

We agree to zero tolerance for such behaviour. We recognize that increasing gender equality and diversity across our industry is an important part of the solution.

The first steps we are committed to include:

 1) Enacting an industry-wide code of conduct, clearly defining expectations of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour, enforcement and consequences.

 2) Creating more effective reporting mechanisms and supports, which ensure all individuals can report allegations without fear of judgement or retribution.

3) Ensuring more effective enforcement of existing industry policies.

 4) Launching a multi-level education and training program, including an industry-wide awareness campaign designed to establish and strengthen a culture of safe workplaces.

This moment presents us all with an opportunity to focus a spotlight on the prevention of sexual harassment. We are committed to working in partnership to build solutions and will continue to provide updates as they become available.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Your ACTRA Maritimes’ Council and Women’s Committee are in full support of these first steps, and will be active in implementing and enforcing all policy and procedures. We are devoted to creating a safe space for victims to speak out without fear of retribution or being stigmatized. Let’s work together to shine a bright light on this systemic problem that has lurked in the shadows of our industry for far too long.

As always, we will keep you updated as plans progress. In the meantime, if you would like more information on sexual harassment services available in Nova Scotia, here are some very informative web-sites:

https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20171110005

https://novascotia.ca/sexualassaultlegaladvice/

https://breakthesilencens.ca/types-of-support

In Solidarity,

Francine Deschepper
Branch President and National Councillor
ACTRA Maritimes

 
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