Minister St-Onge releases final regulations for the Online News Act
OTTAWA, December 15, 2023
A free, strong and independent press is essential in informing communities, driving civic engagement and countering the rise of disinformation. However, for many years, the dominance of large digital platforms in the advertising market has been eroding the health of our news sector.
The Online News Act affirms the importance of journalism in our democracy and will help newsrooms across Canada receive fair compensation from dominant digital platforms in the years ahead. This compensation is critical in helping newsrooms continue to serve their local communities.
Today, the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, released the final regulations to support the implementation of the Online News Act. These final regulations provide clarity on which platforms are subject to the Act.
Google Search is expected to meet the regulatory thresholds and to be subject to the Act. Its contribution will be $100 million in financial support annually, indexed to inflation, for a wide range of news businesses across the country, including independent news businesses and those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities.
Under the regulations, Google will have the option to work with a single collective to distribute its financial contribution to all interested eligible news businesses based on the number of full-time equivalent journalists employed by those businesses. The regulations account for the dynamics of the Canadian news industry and the total amount that can be received by broadcasters as a group is capped in this scenario.
Proposed regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for public consultation from September 2 to October 2, 2023.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will soon start consultations on its own regulations under the Online News Act. Information about how to take part will be available on the CRTC website.
“The Online News Act recognizes the vital work of journalists and is bringing tangible results for the sustainability of news for years to come. We are talking over $100 million dollars every year to support journalists and the production of news in communities all across Canada, including media serving small communities, like Indigenous communities and official language minority communities. This is an important, historic step forward that will enhance Canadians’ access to reliable, fact-based information and news.”
—The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage
On November 29, 2023, the Minister of Canadian Heritage announced that Google will contribute $100 million in financial support annually, indexed to inflation, for a wide range of news businesses across the country, including independent news businesses and those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities.
After intensive consultations with news sector stakeholders, platforms and the general public, the Government has revised the draft regulations for the Online News Act to reflect the comments received. Constructive dialogue with Google was crucial to developing a solution that would both offer clarity to platforms and provide support to Canadian news businesses.
The CRTC is responsible for administering the Online News Act, including the exemption process, the eligibility of news businesses, the Code of Conduct, and the prohibitions on discrimination and undue preference. The CRTC will also be responsible for making regulations about how groups of news businesses are structured and how they carry out their obligations under the Act.
To reflect the dynamics of the Canadian news industry, the total amount that broadcasters and CBC/Radio-Canada can receive is capped. Broadcasters cannot receive more than 30 per cent of remuneration and CBC/Radio-Canada cannot receive more than seven percent of its remuneration.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
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