When Bill C-10 was first announced, we called it a bad Bill and spoke out against it. By awkwardly applying 20th-century broadcasting regulation to the Internet, it threatened to drive major online platforms out of Canada, while doing nothing to reform our broken system for determining and supporting official Canadian content, or support the homegrown Canadian creators already flourishing on the social web.2
Then our government made C-10 much, much worse. In a surprise move, they pulled section 4.1 from the Bill, a crucial exemption for user-generated content. Now all our audio-visual content on platforms — all the memes, Youtube and Tiktok videos, podcasts we make and love — are subject to full broadcasting regulation by the CRTC.
Don’t get confused - the CRTC is STILL getting this power under C-10. While recent amendments have somewhat narrowed the scope of the CRTC’s power, Heritage policy staff confirmed on June 9th that the Bill will still give the CRTC the power to instruct platforms to modify their algorithms to guarantee that a set percentage of our feeds and search results show officially recognized Canadian content, not the material from our friends and follows most relevant to our search.3
The government has lied to us again and again about this Bill. They told us that user content would never be regulated — but it is. They told us that removing section 4.1 didn’t matter, as we’d be exempt as legal individuals from CRTC regulation — but our speech as users, the most important part of the Internet, very clearly was and is regulated. Now that they’ve seen they aren’t going to get the wide support they want for their disastrous Bill, they’re cutting off ALL further debate — including considering their own amendments that could strengthen the Bill!
This is not how you make good legislation, and not how democracy should work. We need to send our leaders a strong message that we demand better policy and better process from them.4
If you haven’t already, tell your MP to vote NO on Bill C-10, and demand Broadcasting reform that is actually about supporting Canadian arts and culture – not taking control of the Internet.