Everyone wants Canadian culture to flourish online — but Minister Guilbeault is leveraging that desire to take from new streaming media and prop up legacy broadcast industries. Bill C-10 builds on his earlier proposals for a Streaming Tax, but goes further, proposing to make online streaming subject to the same regulations as offline broadcasting.
Despite Guilbeault’s mad rush, traditional CanCon is not in crisis; its funding is at a 10-year high, by the CRTC’s own estimates from last year.4 Small & indie creators, however, are struggling for funding and exposure — and our outdated definition of CanCon does nothing to help them. Taking funds from streaming platforms to give to traditional broadcasters and imposing a still-to-be-defined set of broadcast-based rules on online platforms will only tilt the scales towards the biggest players in the market, like Bell Media.
The only acceptable regulatory approach is one that starts with explicitly recognizing and supporting the unique nature of new online media, like podcasts and user-generated content channels, that people in Canada are increasingly adopting. It must also center the full diversity of Canadian identities — including multicultural identities — and recognize their equal roles in the future of Canadian content.
By rushing C-10 under broadcast act amendments, rather than taking the time to consider the uniqueness of the Internet, Guilbeault is demonstrating that his top priority is making a cash grab for legacy broadcasters — not uplifting Canadian stories and creators over the long term. If the goal is supporting Canadian cultural production, we have the time to talk this out as citizens and parliamentarians, and do this right.
We need to send a clear message to the government: replace Bill C-10 and its Streaming Tax with a plan that works for Canada’s future. Add your signature NOW!