Mr. Rodriguez, please act NOW to save Canadian news!
The need for truthful, credible, timely information has never been so important. Over the course of the pandemic, accurate news of the spread of COVID, vaccine information and the failures and successes of our government saved lives. And over the past few weeks, with Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine, a truthful accounting of the violence is key not only to finding a path to peace, but also to ensuring we do not get caught up in a global surge of misinformation and disinformation spread by Moscow’s strongman and his allies.
But Canadian news media is under threat. Over the past ten years, 20,000 Canadian journalists have lost their jobs thanks to companies like Google and Facebook who have been raking in record profits, in part, by stealing news content. Their business model is simple: publish other people’s content without paying for it, and sell ads next to that stolen content.
This predatory business model has led to the destruction of Canadian journalism, the loss of thousands of jobs, and a weakening of our democracy. FRIENDS has been pushing for legislation for years on this issue. The concept is simple: if you make money from selling ads next to someone’s content, you should pay them for it. That’s just common sense, and countries like Australia and France have already adopted legislation to this effect.
Thanks to the extraordinary work of our movement, we managed to extract a promise from Justin Trudeau’s liberals in the last federal election: a clear commitment to table a Pay for News bill in the first 100 days of the new mandate. It now looks like they’re dragging their feet.
We need to ramp up the pressure now and make sure that the Minister in charge of the file, Pablo Rodriguez, knows that Canadians are watching, and are asking him, in one voice: