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March 14, 2018 10:01 am  #1

Will The Gov’t. Try To Force CanCon On Canadian Internet Users?

Uh oh. Whenever I hear a government minister talk about regulating the Internet – especially when it comes to trying to force Canadian Content down our collective pipes – I get nervous.
Which is why it was so unwelcome to see a story in the Toronto Star quoting Heritage Minister Melanie Joly openly musing about doing just that. She apparently believes giants like Google and Facebook “have a clear responsibility” to both promote and fund content from the countries they serve.

Internet giants should support local news, culture, Melanie Joly says
The CRTC is currently on a “fact finding” mission to research how Canadians consume content, where they get it from and what it means to the future. So far, officials have resisted endless calls by Rogers and Bell, among others, for a so-called “Netflix tax.” That would see the streaming company and others like it being forced to contribute money to fund CanCon projects. But they know it would be so unpopular, no politico’s been willing to go anywhere near it.
While there are certain times I wouldn’t personally object to making some rules governing the web – like the spread of so-called “Fake News” that can do real harm or policing child porn online - when any government starts talking about trying to control more regular content, my radar goes up.
I admit that CanCon has worked to bolster the music industry. But it didn’t do Canadian radio any favours. Just ask the people at CKLW in the 70s. And while I don’t have any figures in front of me, I’m willing to bet the house that more people are watching “This Is Us” than “Kim’s Convenience.”
At least they haven’t found any way to force us to make that choice. And given the nature of the web, it’s unlikely they can do the same thing as they did to radio – although it’s probably going to cost us lots of money in any event.

So here’s my suggestion if they feel they just HAVE to get their grubby mitts on the Internet: create a Canadian Content search engine that seeks out only this stuff and displays it for all to see. Anyone who wants to use it will have it available to them 24 hours a day, anywhere in the world. As for the rest of us, we’ll figure out what we want to see on our own.

I realize there's a crisis in local news these days, but controlling the Internet isn't the way to solve it. 
And while I don’t endorse any party, given the track record of a current federal government that can’t manage a trip to India, can’t get a Belgian flag right and issues a feel good budget that does nothing to address the real threat from biz-friendly measures taken across the border, I’m not optimistic they won’t try something stupid.
At least that’s something they’re good at.



March 14, 2018 10:13 am  #2

Re: Will The Gov’t. Try To Force CanCon On Canadian Internet Users?

i get the feeling that anytime joly makes a comment about netflix and the like.... her "suggestions" are intended to be threats.  If you don't provide more cancon, i'll tax you.  how silly.