Catching up on C-18 barbs fly, Libs tell CRTC they want still lower Internet and Wireless prices

Australian Competition Commissioner Rod Sims

May 29, 2022

Bill C-11 has dominated the media news lately at Heritage Committee hearings, but the Online News Act C-18 (the “pay-for-news” Bill) has also passed second reading in the House of Commons and is waiting patiently to pull into the station once C-11 leaves.

Even though C-18 is a copycat of last year’s legislation in Australia, the early signs are that Facebook and Google are going to be far from passive. William Turvill of Press Gazette has written an excellent backgrounder on what is a global issue for FaceGoogle.

The architect of the pathbreaking Australian legislation Rod Sims —-in his role as the former head of Australia’s Competition Bureau—– has his eye on C-18 and has published an insider’s account of the Australian story. He wrote an abridged version published in two consecutive op eds by the Toronto Star.

Some of the things that Google has been saying in Canada about the Bill are getting under the skin of the Bill’s supporters. This prompted a rare foray into Op Ed writing by Bell Media CTV defending C-18 and lambasting Google.

Lastly, federal Innovation, Science & Development Minister François-Phillipe Champagne announced a new Policy Directive from cabinet to the CRTC tweaking previous Policy Directives and proclaiming expectations the regulator will find a way to drive down Internet and Wireless prices.

Published by

Howard Law

I am retired staff of Unifor, the union representing 300,000 Canadians in twenty different sectors of the economy, including 10,000 journalists and media workers. As the former Director of the Media Sector and as an unapologetic cultural nationalist, I have an abiding passion for public policy in Canadian media.

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