Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Stay
informed
On the Proposed Amendments to the Broadcasting Act

On the Proposed Amendments to the Broadcasting Act

on
November 4th, 2020

After a long wait, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has tabled a bill to amend the Broadcasting Act. Here's what we think of it.

On the Proposed Amendments to the Broadcasting Act

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and his predecessor, Pablo Rodriguez.

The Broadcasting Act was last amended in 1991, but even though the internet was not front of mind back then, the law was written in a very flexible way that accommodates technological change.

The 1991 Act allowed the CRTC to govern streaming services like Netflix but the CRTC declined to do so. As a result, streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Spotify have been allowed to make billions of dollars in Canada without having to contribute to the creation of Canadian stories.

This new Act was supposed to eliminate ambiguity and bring foreign internet broadcasters into our system once and for all, but it doesn't. Here's our take.

The amendments to the Broadcasting Act

Online publishers can keep pushing hate

A race to the bottom for Canadian content

"Canada" is much diminished

The bill has nothing for the CBC

Key Players

Steven Guilbeault

Minister of Canadian Heritage

Steven Guilbeault succeeded Pablo Rodriguez as Minister of Canadian Heritage in 2019. Minister Guilbeault's mandate includes the CBC and other critical cultural institutions.

Big Tech

Also known as FANG (an acronym for Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google), these foreign billionaire companies are amongst the most profitable in the world. Ottawa has given them a free pass on several obligations for years, allowing them not to collect taxes or to contribute to our cultural landscape.

Social Media Platforms

Online platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter profit immensely from content created by Canadian media contribute nothing back. Further, they are perhaps now more well known for spreading hateful and illegal content with disastrous consequences for our democracies.

Streaming Platforms

Unlike their Canadian competitors, foreign Big Tech streaming firms like Netflix, Disney+ and Spotify have been allowed to do business in Canada with no obligation of contributing to Canadian content or programming.

Stand with us in the defense of Canada's cultural and economic interests.