In July, Meta—the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and Threads—announced that Canadian news will not be accessible on any of its platforms due to the Liberals’ Bill C-18.
Bill C-18 forces social media companies to pay news outlets whenever a link to their stories is shared on a social media platform.
There is no question that Canadian news outlets are struggling financially. Bill C-18 is the Liberal solution to this problem. But just like many Liberal initiatives, Bill C-18 is deeply flawed and completely counterproductive.
The Liberal government has absurdly argued that social media companies are siphoning advertising revenue from Canadian news outlets by distributing content for free on their platforms. Justin Trudeau wants to punish “big American tech companies” simply for allowing news to be shared.
Now that Meta has responded by removing Canadian news from their platforms, the exposure and discoverability of Canadian news has been significantly limited.
In addition to this, an October 2022 report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer showed that nearly three quarters of the funds generated by Bill C-18 would go to the CBC and other big corporations such as Rogers and Bell, while only a small portion would be distributed to small, independent news media outlets.
Canadians are concerned that Bill C-18 threatens the free flow of information online. A recent Angus Reid poll found that around half of respondents want the Liberals to repeal Bill C-18, and 63% are concerned that they will lose access to their primary source for news as a result of Bill C-18.
Senator Paula Simons—who was appointed by Justin Trudeau—spoke out against Bill C-18, stating that it is entirely “based on a false premise that somehow Google and Facebook have stolen the news.”
A Conservative government will repeal Bill C-18 and restore the free flow of news content on the Internet.