Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Bill C-11: An opportunity to correct a ‘historic injustice’, according to PKP

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
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Bill C-11 to regulate digital streaming platforms like Netflix presents an opportunity to correct injustices between these foreign companies and Canadian broadcasters.

That’s at least what Quebec’s president and chief executive officer, Pierre-Carl Bellado, called during an intervention before the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee on Tuesday night, while examining the bill in Ottawa.

According to him, the Bell C-11 will correct “a historically increasingly tragic disparity between foreign online streaming platforms and Canadian companies.”

Currently, Canadian companies, subject to CRTC regulations, must meet many requirements, for example in terms of content, that digital platforms do not.

“The unbridled competition from online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney+, free from all of the strict CRTC restrictions and regulations, I repeat, threatens the sustainability of our local business, and therefore our sovereignty. Our culture and our culture’s ability to accurately inform Canadians,” Mr. Pelado lamented. before the committee.

There is a very simple solution. Rather than asking the CRTC for sprawling new regulations full of mind-boggling requirements, the legislature should instead go to the basics by favoring a light regulatory regime where foreign online broadcast platforms contribute financially to our media system. In favor of relaxing the rules imposed by the CRTC.

In the eyes of Kibecor’s CEO, action is necessary. “71% of adults in Quebec subscribe to a paid online streaming service, while 66% subscribe to cable,” he said, citing data from a study by Laval University.

“Netflix invested in Canada”

Also present during the hearings, Netflix Canada’s director of public policy, Stephane Cardin, stated that the online streaming giant is already investing in Canadian content.

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“In fact, since 2017, we have invested $3.5 billion in Canada for movies and series launched on Netflix,” Mr. Cardin said, specifying that this amount is a mix of filming and acquisitions.

“We are concerned about a drastic approach that would simply move regulation from broadcast groups to online streaming services. It wouldn’t be fair or just. […] Netflix will not be able to meet its requirements in certain categories, such as news or sports programmes,” Mr. Cardin said.

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