A government memo reveals that the amendments to the broadcasting act—which Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has tried so vehemently to defend and paint as a bill that will only make web giants do their fair share—would have much more control over Canada's internet than the Liberals would like you to think.
The bill, which would give the CRTC sweeping new powers (the likes of which have no comparison in other first world democracies) has been condemned by the likes of former CRTC vice-president Peter Menzies, who rightly described the bill as an "assault" on internet freedom and democracy.
That description now seems more apt with a new memo—originally reported on by Anja Karadeglija for the Ottawa Citizen—as it describes the exact lengths that this bill intends to go.
Websites that are mentioned in the government memo include (as listed by Michael Geist):
- Amazon Prime
- Apple TV+
- Club Illico
- CBC Gem/ICI Tou.TV
- CBS All Access
- Facebook Watch
- Licensed/original content on Snapchat
- YouTube Originals
Online broadcasters from traditional services
- Illico TV
- Bell Fibe TV App
- Shaw BlueCurve
- Rogers AnyplaceTV
- Cogeco TiVO
- Some broadcaster websites (Global, BBC, TVO, CPAC)
Sports streaming services:
- Sportsnet Now
- TSN/RDS Direct
- TVA Sports Direct
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
- Google Play Music
- QUB Radio/Musique
- YouTube Music
- CBC/Radio Canada Music and Podcasts
- Pocket Casts
This goes so far beyond the Trudeau Liberals' description of a means to make web giants do their part, that it is of even more concern that only one major party plans to vote the bill down in its entirety.
While the Conservatives have argued that Guilbeault's bill is beyond repair, some members of the NDP have argued that some legislation would help.
New Democrat MP Heather McPherson took Guilbeault to task over this, noting that even experts felt as though Guilbeault's bill was concerning.
McPherson criticized Guilbeault for attacking those criticizing the bill, to which she said that it felt that Guilbeault was attempting to "divide Canadians" on the issue.
She also criticized the bill for being too difficult to implement, which could potentially harm Canada's content creators.
Even Canada's third-largest party, the Bloc Quebecois, intend to side with the Liberals on the matter.