Connect with us


Online Broadcasting Services | The Senate approves Bill C-11



(OTTAWA) Big digital companies that offer online streaming services may soon be required to contribute Canadian content as a controversial Liberal bill moves closer to implementation.

The Senate passed the Online Broadcasting Act known as Bill C-11 with about ten amendments, after extensive study by senators.

The bill would update Canada’s streaming rules to reflect the market presence of online streaming giants such as YouTube, Netflix and Spotify. The law would require them to contribute Canadian content and make it available to users in the country — or face stiff penalties.


Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said he hopes the House of Commons will pass the bill next week after reviewing the Senate changes.

The senators made changes aimed at protecting user-generated content and promoting indigenous languages ​​and black content creators.

They also included an amendment that would prohibit CBC/Radio-Canada from producing sponsored content. Another change would require companies to verify the age of users before they access sexually explicit material.

The Liberal government does not intend to accept all the recommendations of the Senate, indicated Mr. Rodriguez, Thursday, but without specifying those with which he disagreed.

“We will see when the bill comes back. There are amendments that have no impact on the bill, and others that do. Those, we will not accept them, “said the minister during a panel of the Canadian Association of Media Producers.

The Senate also removed a clause from the bill that Senator Paula Simons described as giving “extraordinary new powers to the government to make policy decisions” on certain aspects.

Ian Scott, the former chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, told a Senate committee that certain provisions of the bill would bring the equilibrium point “a little closer to diminishing the independence” of the regulator — although he insisted he would remain independent.

The CRTC, now under Vicky Eatrides, will be responsible for enforcing the provisions of the bill.

If the Association of Music Publishing Professionals (APEM) welcomes the progress of the bill, it also calls on the House of Commons to reject some Senate amendments, including the one about social media.

According to the organization that represents French-language music publishers in Canada, “the amendment to section 4 was not necessary and is drafted in a problematic manner”.

“The text creates a loophole that would benefit multinationals when they broadcast music videos. This is highly problematic and would have repercussions for all undertakings in the Canadian broadcasting system. We must return to the text that the House of Commons adopted last June, it had been debated and thought out at length,” said APEM Director General Jérôme Payette in a press release sent Thursday evening.

This calls for “rapid adoption of the bill”.

The Senate gave its approval a year after the bill was introduced in the House of Commons.

In proceedings in the House of Commons and the Senate, there were approximately 218 witnesses, 43 meetings, 119 briefs and 73 proposed amendments, Rodriguez said.

The bill has come under scrutiny amid accusations from companies and critics who said the piece of legislation left too much room for government control over user-generated content and algorithms. social media.

According to Rodriguez, digital giants can get creative with promoting Canadian content, such as billboards, advertising or, if they choose, changing their algorithms.

The bill also caught the attention of the United States. Its embassy in Ottawa recently said it was consulting with American companies it said could face discrimination if the bill passes.

Last week, two US senators called for a trade crackdown on Canada over Bill C-11, saying future regulations flout trade agreements.

“I’m not worried, as we believe this is in line with trade obligations,” Minister Rodriguez said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *