Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, gives the CRTC breathtakingly broad authority to regulate ALL audiovisual content on online platforms as broadcasting content.1 Your Netflix favourites, the TikToks you make, and the podcasts you listen to are all at risk under the current version of the Bill of being regulated as ‘broadcasting’, subject to the full scope of CRTC broadcasting control. Your favourite content, and even your own uploads could be automatically downranked in search results and feeds in favour of content that the CRTC deems “Canadian enough,” according to their 1980s era CanCon criteria for what’s Canadian.2
While the government has introduced amendments in-between Bill C-11 and last year’s disastrous Bill C-10 to try to limit these harms, the reality is that the job is still not done; our user content and feeds are still squarely under CRTC control, with huge areas left open for them to interpret as they see fit.3.4
That’s the same CRTC that has been siding more and more in recent years with big business against Canadians and small businesses, given tremendous discretionary power to pick winners and losers on Canada’s Internet.5 Their legacy media buddies who have profited from our broken CanCon for YEARS will remain at the top, but the interests of Canadians and digital-first creators? Not so much.
Passing this legislation as it stands would have an irreversible negative impact on the everyday content we share and view online.
The clock is ticking, and we’ve got just days left to be heard. Speak out now: tell your MP #HandsOff our content and our feeds!