Questions & Answers on the Online News Act

Q1 - Why is this bill needed? Why is it important to “level the playing field” between digital platforms and Canadian news businesses?

Q2 - Will this regime resolve all the problems Canadian news media face?

Q3 - How does Canada’s proposed model compare to other international regimes?

Q4 - What are the differences between the Australian regime and the proposed Canadian regime?

Q5 - Why choose the CRTC as regulator? How much time will Bill C-18 take to implement and how much will implementation cost?

Q6 - Who will be included in the regime: which news organizations and which digital platforms?

Q7 - Why must news businesses “regularly [employ] two or more journalists in Canada” to be eligible for the process in Bill C-18?

Q8 - Will all commercial agreements between news businesses and DNIs be made publicly available? How will the regime ensure transparency related to commercial agreements?

Q9 - What is the rationale to allow platform exemptions from the regime? Is it a loophole?

Q10 - Isn’t this just a link tax? What benefit can be derived from including hyperlinks as a basis of negotiation under the regime? Won’t it break the Internet?

Q11 - Will there be any news media left aside by this proposed regime, particularly the collective bargaining aspect? If so, what will the Government do to support these news media?

Q12 - What will be the impact of the regime on the general public? For example, will Canadians be able to see or read more public interest Canadian news?

Q13 – Why doesn’t the regime include a funding formula?


Q14 - Why is CBC/Radio-Canada eligible to participate in the regime?

Q15 - Why did the Governor in Council refer back for reconsideration CBC/Radio-Canada’s licence renewal decision?

Q16 – What will happen next?

Q17 - Why didn’t the decision to refer CBC/Radio-Canada’s licence back to the CRTC address the Corporation’s reliance on advertising and branded content (i.e., Tandem)?

Q18 - What are your views on CBC/Radio-Canada’s reliance on advertising and branded content (i.e. Tandem)?

Q19 - Your mandate letter includes a commitment to provide CBC/Radio-Canada with additional funding to make it less reliant on private advertising. What steps have you taken to address its competitive impacts on other media?

Support measures for journalism

Q20 - How does the existing suite of support measures for written news media complement C-18?

Q21 - Have these measures been successful?

Q22 - What support is available to smaller and more diverse publications?

As of 2021-22, all Administrator Organizations are receiving an envelope of funding that must be allocated to journalists serving underrepresented communities, including Indigenous, ethnocultural, OLM and LGBTQ2+ communities. This envelope will total at least $3 million annually.

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