One Media Law's Keith Mahar Alleges to US Trade Representative That Canada Has Unfairly Exploited the Cultural Industries Exemption in NAFTA

Former Canadian broadcasting insider Keith Mahar has provided information to the U.S. Trade representative alleging that Canada has taken unfair advantage of the cultural industries exemption in the North American Free Trade Agreement for more than two decades. A copy of the submission is available at One Media Law's website,

The submission by Mahar to Robert Lighthizer addresses a company subsidy scheme that is presently embedded in the Canada Media Fund, a government-industry partnership that will distribute C$352 million in subsidies to Canadian television and digital media companies during the current program year.

As background, Mahar’s campaign for an investigation into the scheme and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has resulted in debate in the House of Commons of Canada, and he was formerly designated as a public interest litigant in a precedent-setting legal case related to the case (Mahar v. Rogers Cablesystems Ltd.).

Mahar states in his submission that the company subsidy scheme “has served to disadvantage American workers and companies, while violating the financial, legal and democratic rights of millions of Canadian citizens.”

“Canadians have been required — without their knowledge — to subsidize private companies to produce television programming, including television programs without any cultural benefit to Canada that have competed unfairly against American companies in the U.S. and international markets,” alleges Mahar.

Two years ago, Mahar requested that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau investigate the CRTC in relation to the scheme and he identifies the failure of the prime minister to act on the issue as the catalyst for his submission to Ambassador Lighthizer.

A document archive pertaining to the scheme is available on

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Keith Maher

Source: One Media Law

Categories: Trade, Trade and Commerce, Media and News

Tags: CRTC, NAFTA, Trudeau

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A social worker, mental health advocate and political activist whose campaign against a wealth redistribution scheme in Canada has resulted in questions in the House of Commons and a precedent-setting legal case (Mahar v Rogers Cablesystems Ltd.).

Keith Mahar
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