FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto – The watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting has issued the following statement on today’s federal Cabinet shuffle:
“FRIENDS is hopeful. Today’s appointment of Pablo Rodriguez as Minister of Canadian Heritage could signal that Ottawa is reconsidering its policy of giving preferential treatment to foreign internet giants like Facebook, Google and Netflix, who currently operate by their own rules,” said FRIENDS’ Executive Director and Spokesperson, Daniel Bernhard.
“Canadian journalism is starving; media outlets are going belly up at an alarming rate. Instead of acting to defend Canadian journalism and democracy, for too long Ottawa has chosen to subsidize the price of advertising sold by Google and Facebook.
“Canadian tax law creates financial disincentives for Canadian companies that place ads in foreign newspapers, magazines, and television, but Ottawa does not apply these rules to internet advertising. Businesses buying ad space from foreign media like Google and Facebook can therefore skip the penalties, claim a tax deduction, and reduce their tax bills by $1.3 billion.
“Our message to Minister Rodriguez is this: the government must stop choosing California over Canada. We are encouraged that the government has recognized the need for change, and sincerely hope you will deliver.
“It’s not just news. The previous Minister let Netflix off the hook for Canadian content creation, signing sweetheart deals that save Netflix hundreds of millions each year that would otherwise be spent on Canadian programming.
“Action is long overdue. We wish Minister Rodriguez well in addressing these pressing concerns.”
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming. FRIENDS enjoys the support of 364,000 Canadians and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.
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Jim Thompson: 613-447-9592 • [email protected]