Online Streaming Act
The Broadcasting Act:
- Outlines Canada’s broadcasting policy;
- Gives the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the authority to regulate the Canadian broadcasting system; and
- Sets out the mandate of the CBC/Radio-Canada.
The Online Streaming Act modernizes the Broadcasting Act and helps ensure Canadian stories and music are widely available on streaming platforms to the benefit of future generations of artists and creators in Canada.
The Online Streaming Act received Royal Assent on April 27, 2023, and is the first major reform of the Broadcasting Act since 1991.
The law will give Canadians more opportunities to see themselves in what they watch and hear, under a new framework that better reflects our country today.
The Online Streaming Act is about more choice. What you watch and listen to will always be up to you.
Role of New Legislation
The legislation clarifies that online streaming services fall under the Broadcasting Act and ensures that the CRTC has the proper tools to put in place a modern and flexible regulatory framework for broadcasting. These tools include the ability to make rules, gather information, and assign penalties for non-compliance. These obligations will never extend to users—this is about the platforms that stream in Canada.
The Online Streaming Act:
- Creates more opportunities for Canadians to produce high quality audio and audiovisual content;
- Makes it easier for Canadian audiences to access stories and music in English, French, and Indigenous languages;
- Creates clear rules for all broadcasters requiring them to contribute to the creation, production, and distribution of Canadian stories and music in a way that is flexible and fair;
- Helps our diverse Canadian voices, music, and stories be heard across Canada and around the world through a variety of services;
- Creates a broadcasting system that is reflective of Canadian society and that serves the interest of all Canadians, including through stronger independent, community and public service media;
- Strengthens Indigenous broadcasters and supports the vitality of Indigenous languages and cultures;
- Provides greater support for original French-language programming; and
- Contributes to a broadcasting system that is more inclusive of persons with disabilities, ethno-cultural groups, racialized communities, and 2SLGBTQI+ communities.
Directions to the CRTC (Sustainable and Equitable Broadcasting Regulatory Framework)
Following Royal Assent, the Government of Canada has issued proposed policy directions to the CRTC, which will be responsible for the implementation of the Act.
The proposed directions give the CRTC instructions on how it will implement the Online Streaming Act, including directions designed to:
- Ensure meaningful participation of Indigenous persons
- Exclude social media creators;
- Support diversity and inclusion;
- Support Canadian creators;
- Strengthen independent, local, community and other media that are of exceptional importance;
- Implement discoverability and showcasing requirements;
- Redefine Canadian programs; and
- Create an equitable, flexible, and adaptable regulatory framework.
Department of Canadian Heritage Consultations on the Policy Directions to the CRTC
The Department of Canadian Heritage held consultations on the proposed directions and on the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement that describes the directions and how they were developed. Consultations launched on June 10 and closed on July 25, 2023.
- Comments will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
- Following the public consultation, finalized policy directions will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.
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