Stop broadcasting giants’ online media takeover!

Canada’s biggest media conglomerates are making a power grab to force the Internet into the restrictive model of broadcast television — and with Bill C-10, our government is backing them up.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault claims he’s supporting Canadian creators by imposing 20th century broadcast regulations and levies onto Internet streaming services.1 But in reality, C-10 will only further line the pockets of current broadcasting giants like Bell Media, while leaving vast numbers of Canada’s new media Internet creators out in the cold.2

Canada needs rules that uplift small creators excluded from the broadcast status quo, not a grab for even larger subsidies for the content of massive legacy media companies. But with the likes of Bell Media using Guilbeault to get what they want, we’re going to need all the help we can get to win this fight. Email your MP to send C-10 back to the drawing board NOW!

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Should our government build support for Canadian culture on our 21st century Internet, or drag our creators backwards with outmoded 1980s era broadcast regulation? 

Right now, they’re choosing to take us back to the past. C-10 takes funds from streaming platforms to give to traditional broadcasters, and imposes a still-to-be-defined set of broadcast-based rules on online platforms, tilting the scales towards the biggest players in the Canadian media market: legacy broadcasters.3 These companies have come out as C-10’s biggest cheerleaders because they know it could help kick the legs out from under new streaming media that Canadians increasingly prefer.4

The clear financial reality is that huge media corporations, and the traditional CanCon they largely produce, are not in crisis - the funding provided to them by the government’s Canadian Media Fund has never been higher.5 Meanwhile, small & indie Canadian creators that rely on new media platforms are actually struggling for funding and exposure in the global marketplace — and Bill C-10 does nothing to help them.6

We could do this so much better. Instead of rushing through this monopoly-reinforcing giveaway bill, Canada should start with updating our definition of what counts as ‘Canadian’ content — a definition system that was last updated in 1984! We need to make sure that our government’s cultural support is explicitly designed for our diverse multicultural identities, and explicitly recognizes and supports the huge variety of popular new online media, including podcasts and user-generated content channels, before further subsidizing legacy traditional media.

By rushing C-10 through, the only thing Guilbeault will accomplish is entrenching the power of Canada’s biggest media conglomerates — not uplifting Canadian stories and creators over the long term. But it doesn’t have to go that way. If we engage all of our representatives to turn against this bill, Minister Guilbeault will be forced to reconsider his approach, and take supporting new content creators more seriously. Email your MP: drop C-10, and design a solution that works for our creators and our Internet!

Sources

  1. Broadcasting bill targets online streaming services - The Globe and Mail
  2. Online creators left on the outside of broadcasting act reforms - Policy Options
  3. The Government’s Internet Regulation Bill: Why Bill C-10 Will Mean a CRTC-Approved Netflix Service, Reduced Consumer Choice, and Less Investment in Canadian Culture - Michael Geist
  4. @s_guilbeault on Twitter
  5. Communications Monitoring Report 2019: Figure 4.6 - CRTC
  6. See 2

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Press: Matthew Hatfield | Phone: +1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 1 | matt@openmedia.org