1. Will you commit to strengthening CBC’s independence by updating the Broadcasting Act to categorically end political appointments to the CBC's Board of Directors?
The CBC is an autonomous Crown corporation responsible for managing its own operations, and the Liberal government firmly believes in the importance of our national public broadcaster, CBC/Radio Canada. That is why Liberals established a diverse and independent advisory committee composed of experts in broadcasting, digital technology and Canadian culture, to make recommendations for CBC’s Board of Directors based on open, transparent, independent and merit-based selection processes. We will always stand behind the need for a strong and independent CBC.
2. Will you commit to strengthening CBC's independence by updating the Broadcasting Act to give CBC's Board of Directors sole authority to hire and fire CBC's president? This power is currently granted to the Prime Minister.
Canada’s broadcasting framework predates the digital era, and needs to be modernized. Liberals have committed to making it fairer and generating more creative opportunities here in Canada, by Canadians. Liberals have committed to introducing legislation this year to modernize the Broadcasting Act and make it more reflective of our society.
3. Would you support measures to reduce CBC's dependence on advertising?
One of the first things the Liberal government did after taking office in 2015 was to reverse the cuts made under the decade of the Harper government by reinvesting $675 million dollars in the CBC/Radio-Canada.
Our government remains committed to supporting our newsrooms while respecting the core principle of journalistic independence. News organizations deserve fair compensation for the important work they do, and the government has stated that it is reviewing recommendations and looking at other jurisdictions to help develop a made-in-Canada solution to support newsrooms. This would be a part of our general commitment towards a comprehensive, more equitable digital regulatory framework in Canada.
4. Would you support measures to require large companies like Google and Facebook to pay Canadian content producers a fair fee for their content?
The government’s position on web giants has been clear-- those who benefit from our media landscape must contribute. No more free rides. In the recent Speech from the Throne, the Prime Minister noted that we will address corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.
In terms of ensuring that content producers are paid their share, the government is currently looking at models adopted in other jurisdictions regarding appropriate remuneration of content and will propose solutions to Parliament.
5. Would you support measures that would enforce existing laws to hold Big Tech liable for hosting and recommending illegal content like child sexual abuse imagery, hate speech and death threats?
Keeping Canadians safe is the highest priority for any government. At a time where we are seeing growing concerns about things like ideological extremism, dissemination of hate speech, and online radicalization, it is important to ensure that our law enforcement and security agencies have the tools and resources they need to respond to criminal activity and keep pace with evolving threats and technology.
6. Will you commit to ending Silicon's Valley tax-free status, by requiring them to charge sales taxes and pay corporate income taxes like every other company?
As said in the Throne Speech, Liberals will identify additional ways to tax extreme wealth inequality, including by addressing corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.
7. Will you commit to closing the loophole in Section 19 so that foreign digital advertising expenses are no longer tax deductible?
Liberals are committed to modernizing our broadcasting framework to ensure that everyone who benefits is also contributing; that the system is fair to all who participate; that it is competitive; and that everyone plays by the same rules.
8. Will you commit to the equal application of Canadian content obligations for foreign internet broadcasters, so that they will be required to invest in the financing of original Canadian content in the same measure as Canadian broadcasters – no more, no less?
Again, we expect all who benefit from Canadian content to contribute to its development, production, and promotion. Foreign and domestic players can benefit from our cultural sector as long as they also contribute to Canadian content creation and discoverability.
A more competitive broadcasting system, that is also more representative of who we are as Canadians, will better serve our communities, strengthen our sense of belonging and create more jobs in our economy.
9. Online hate is becoming a serious problem. One of the biggest impacts is the degree to which unfettered trolling and abuse deters people from seeking public office. Will you commit to publicly denouncing anybody who engages in illegal online speech against your opponent in this by-election, for example threats of violence, slander or intimidation?
As a vocal Jewish woman, I am unfortunately familiar with the extent of online hate, from open racism and misogyny to threats of violence and intimidation of marginalized voices. No one should be subject to this. I will always support and defend those facing this unacceptable hate regardless of party, and will always work across party lines to improve the level of discourse in our politics and the strength of our democracy.
10. Is there anything else you'd like our supporters to know about your views on public broadcasting, local news, Canadian content, or issues surrounding Big Tech?
I strongly believe in the importance of public broadcasting and local news for the civic health of our community, our discourse, and our democracy. The recent decline in local news presents issues that I'm proud the Liberal government is addressing through its support for independent journalism and public broadcasting.