There’s so much wrong with Guilbeault’s plan that it can barely fit on this page.
His Streaming Tax – sometimes falsely peddled as a sales tax – will do more than just levy fees on streaming sites in Canada, raising the fees we pay for each service we subscribe to. It’ll also force these platforms to squeeze into a set of obsolete Canadian content rules designed for Canada’s largest cable TV conglomerates, like Bell Media. These rules are made for, and reward, rigidly-defined content produced by traditional media cartels, while doing nothing for the indie Canadian producers that dominate new media platforms. And if these rules are applied as-is to streaming platforms, they will mandate a set percentage of Canadian content for streaming libraries.3,4
If that happens, people in Canada can say goodbye to a huge number of foreign-made shows, films, and music. Instead of ramping up Canadian production, it’s way more likely Netflix and Spotify will just trim US and international content from their catalogue until the ratio of foreign-to-Canadian content meets the requirement.5
And it doesn’t stop with the streaming platforms you might expect.
As it stands, there’s no fair way to decide what is a streaming service and what is not. Meaning: platforms beloved by indie creators, like Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and even Twitch, could potentially be swept up in Guilbeault’s crusade against “streaming giants”, cutting into new media creator revenue and support on these platforms.6
Guilbeault’s plan to break streaming hurts everyone. But if speak out in full force, he’ll be forced to listen to us. Send a message to Guilbeault: stop the Streaming Tax NOW!