June 24th, 2024

Songwriters want an apology from Harder

By Letter to the Editor on June 17, 2021.

On June 9, The Lethbridge Herald published remarks by Lethbridge MP and Official Opposition Critic for Digital Government, Rachael Harder. Ms. Harder’s comments have rightly received widespread condemnation from the Canadian creator community.
The Songwriters Association of Canada shares this outrage and demands that Ms. Harder publicly apologize in the House of Commons and specifically to the creator community.
Ms. Harder states in the article:
“That arts fund actually goes toward a very niche group of artists that are stuck in the early 1990s because they haven’t managed to be competitive on new platforms. So they are very reliant on government grants in order to continue to exist. And, quite frankly, they are producing material that Canadians just don’t want. Because, at the end of the day, if Canadians did want it then there would be a market for it. And if there was a market for it then these artists would get paid based on the market.”
If one were to follow Ms. Harder’s preposterous logic, it stands to reason that Canadians would rather not listen to Jann Arden, Corb Lund, Paul Brandt, K.D. Lang, Terri Clark, Brett Kissel, Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, Drake, The Weeknd, Daniel Caesar, Metric, Feist, Broken Social Scene, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jessie Reyez, Jully Black, Marie-Mai, Dumas, Kaytranada, or Tanya Tagaq to name only a small few. Obviously, this is hardly a “niche group.”
Without exception, Canadian content regulations have fostered, promoted, and supported the incredible creative contribution that these and so many others have given towards our cultural identity as Canadians, not to mention our economy and to the world.
The article goes on with:
“The Liberals decided back in April they were going to remove that (4.1) clause,” says Harder. ”
When they removed that clause, they then made Canadians, their individual content they are posting online, they made that content susceptible to regulations of the bill. Which means their content will be censored. What you post on YouTube, what you post on Facebook, what you post on TikTok, will be measured according to its degree of ‘Canadianess.’ And then it will either be allowed to stand or not allowed to stand, or it will be promoted or demoted, within the network or framework of the platform on which it is posted.”
This is patently false as well as a gross mischaracterization of the spirit and intent of the legislation. Apparatuses are already in place to determine what is Canadian Content.
For the music sector it is the MAPL logo. For audio/visual works there is an existing CRTC definition as well. Identifying what is Canadian Content simply enhances discoverability of professional Canadian content. No one individual or agency will be measuring user-generated content for its “Canadianess”.
Additionally, no legal content from any territory will be blocked, demoted, or not allowed to stand – rather, content from Canadian creators will be made more discoverable exactly like it is with traditional radio and television broadcasters currently – a regulatory framework that has served Canadian creators and audiences successfully since the 1970s; all within the parameters of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
And additionally, from the article:
“She [Ms. Harder] feels this special interest group, many of whom originate in Quebec in her opinion, are the real drivers behind Bill C10, and that’s why the Liberals, Bloc and NDP, which are all trying to gain votes in that province, are flirting with passing a bill, likely by this fall, which will certainly face a constitutional challenge as soon as it is given Royal Assent.”
That Quebec creators were the drivers behind Bill C-10 is simply false. The Songwriters Association of Canada and countless others who advocate on behalf of the creative sector have all worked and encouraged the government to draft legislation like C-10. In fact, the S.A.C. posted on June 7, 2021 a statement supporting Bill C-10 along with 30 other sectoral organizations from all parts of the country. Instead of “opinions” Ms. Harder should be sharing facts with the public regarding Bill C-10. Her deeply uninformed positions only serve to confuse the substantive issues at hand and threaten to further imperil the creator community – a community who has suffered profoundly from the pandemic.
Considering that the entertainment industry is larger than mining, lumber and tourism combined, one would hope Ms. Harder would speak on these issues with a modicum of seriousness and informed by facts – rather than with strident electioneering.
We as small business owners and entrepreneurs share certain values – values that espouse hard work, independence, innovation, creativity, fair and accessible markets, and a regulatory framework that keeps markets competitive.
However, Ms. Harder’s position only serves to strengthen false-narratives from foreign-owned tech companies who continue to rake in fortunes, unregulated by our laws, dismissive of our Parliament, reckless with our citizen’s data, and trampling creators’ copyright protections.
Considering Ms. Harder’s public derogation of the Canadian creative sector, The Songwriters Association of Canada must ask the Canadian Conservative Party for clarity. Are Ms. Harder’s views endorsed by party leadership? And if not Bill C-10, what is the CPC’s vision for a fair, transparent, and manoeuvrable regulatory system where Canadian creators can continue to contribute – both economically and culturally?
We also ask the Liberal government, the Bloc Québécois, and the NDP for public assurances that Big Tech’s disruptive tactics will not be prioritized over the economic and cultural sovereignty of creators, the creative sector, or Canadian citizens.
Arun Chaturvedi

Share this story:

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Southern Albertan

More fallout for foot-in-mouth Harder.

Fedup Conservative

These phony conservatives, Reformers, just can’t get it right, and the stupid people just keep electing them. You certainly didn’t see this happening under the Lougheed and Getty true conservative governments. They treated everyone with dignity and respect.
These ones have to attack some group or they aren’t happy. Unions ,Teachers, doctors, nurses, and anything Lougheed stood for like provincial parks, proper rural health care system, or protection of our water supply
As former MLAs from the Lougheed era pointed out to me that while these Reformers try to pretend they are conservatives they are in fact our enemy and it wasn’t surprising that all these reformers have been defeated in elections when the people finally woke up and realized what they were about. Jason Kenney will be next.
But as my seniors friends and I will tell you they still have a lot of our fellow seniors who are dumb enough to support them, and as the retired police officers in our circle of friends point out.
These are the seniors who are easy to fool like the ones the con-artists target to steal their life savings. The only difference is these phony conservatives are helping their rich friends do it.

Seth Anthony


Please explain exactly what she said that wasn’t accurate.

You Tube has been around for 15 years. It costs nothing to post a song or video to You Tube. If the public really likes it, then it goes viral. At that point, the artist will be flooded with record contracts and money.

Prior to You Tube, you could cheaply record a song and present it to radio stations. Again, if the public really liked it then the artist would be presented with contracts and money.

What the president of The Songwriters Association of Canada is actually saying, is that the public should pay for musicians that produce music that the public doesn’t want…and Harder rightly disagrees. Then again, no surprise on Mr. Chaturvedi’s position, because his livelihood depends on it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony
Southern Albertan

The impression given by Harder was more, probably, and more, in general, to funding to the arts by the federal government, which appears to be $181 million in government funding to the Canadian arts and live entertainment sectors in 2021-2022. There is much employment to be had in these sectors. Again, these sectors are more valuable, financially, to the Canadian economy than, mining, tourism and lumber, combined. Perhaps, again, in comparison, praise, then, needs to be made by the Conservatives re: $18 billion/year in grants/subsides, etc. to the fading oil and gas sector by the federal Liberals, and this being, even after Trudeau promised in his 2015 federal election campaign to stop subsidizing this sector, and then, has not. And, too bad for Harder, et al, that the Conservatives have a useless leader like O’Toole for all the good it does to cater to the right wing base that believes that the ‘arts’ are useless.

Seth Anthony

You didn’t answer my question, and your “impressions” are irrelevant.

Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony
Southern Albertan



Hope Rachel sees this bro.


You’re an idiot. Rachel is doing an awesome job trying to defeat a bill that will rob us of our free speech! Really listen to her sometime! You and some others here, are totally depressing.

Southern Albertan

Perhaps the Lethbridge Herald moderators could consider deleting toxic name-calling.


just another example of another smarmy face echoing the neo-con/neo-lib rubbish agenda. great pay, great benefits, and all you have to do is what you are told. as we should all know by now, it is little different no matter which of the tweedle-dum/tweedle-dees suckers sign off on with their illiterate “x”. you will wind up with a monkey on strings that is pulled by a centralised power that is either neo-lib/neo-con, or neo-con/neo-lib. what a choice! and, the ones most served are always the corporate beasts, and the utterly most wealthy individuals.


Unbelievable! Alan Chaturvedi has NO IDEA about the serious ramifications Bill C10 can have on this industry. Not only can this have a detrimental effect on who is considered “Canadian”, but the CRTC is also screwing up this law already, allowing American content and denying content like a Canadian film about Gretzky! Not only that, but Bill C10 will allow the government to censor the lyrics of songs, or ban the songwriter if they don’t like their politics!!! Rachel Harder should be applauded. Call and talk to Rachel before posting a harmful letter not based on reality!

[…] Songwriters want an apology from Harder […]