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Streaming sites to be brought into broadcasting regulation with introduction of Bill C-11

March 18, 2022

Previous version caused a lot of consternation when debated in last Parliament

The new Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, tabled Bill C-11, entitled “the Online Streaming Act” in Parliament on February 2, 2022. The purpose of the Bill is stated to be to bring the Broadcasting Act up to date by including online streaming platforms such as Netflix into broadcasting regulation. It’s predecessor, Bill C-10, died on the order paper when the 2021 election was called. That previous Bill had attracted a lot of controversy when it became apparent that it also could lead to the regulation of video and audio content on social media sites and podcasting platforms. The new Bill has a mechanism by which the CRTC can determine that certain social media content is a program subject to its regulation. Once so designated, online broadcasters and “programs” can be subject to Canadian content requirement, discoverability requirements and the platforms that carry them are subject to significant reporting obligations to the CRTC, along with financial contributions to support the generation of Canadian content.

The Bill has not yet been referred to committee.

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