The Online News Act

News outlets play a vital role in maintaining a healthy democracy. News and journalism serve to inform communities, drive civic engagement, and counter the rise of disinformation. Our news industry fosters an informed citizenry by providing them with critical information that helps them fully benefit and participate in democratic society.

Most Canadians now get their news online. In 2022, online advertising revenues in Canada were $14 billion, with two platforms receiving roughly 80 percent of these revenues. While digital platforms earn billions in online advertising, more news outlets shutter each year, due in large part to a loss of advertising revenue.

The Online News Act aims to ensure that dominant platforms compensate news businesses when their content is made available on their services.

The Act creates a bargaining framework to ensure that platforms compensate news businesses fairly. It encourages platforms to reach voluntary commercial agreements with a range of news businesses.

If parties are not able to come to fair agreements independently, they would have to proceed to a mediated mandatory bargaining process. If, after mediation, the parties are still unable to reach an agreement, each party would submit a final offer, and an arbitral panel would choose one of the two offers.

The Act received Royal Assent on June 22, 2023. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is responsible for overseeing the bargaining framework under the Act.

Open Call Process

As required under the Online News Act Application and Exemption Regulations, Google has posted an open call on its website. Interested news businesses can submit an application through the Google site before April 30, 2024. More details are available on this page.

Digital Agenda

The Online News Act and the Online Streaming Act are two pieces of the government’s digital agenda. They are separate pieces of legislation with different implementation processes.


The Government has published the final regulations for the Online News Act in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

The regulations outline which platforms are subject to the Act and the timeframe for platforms to self-notify to the CRTC. They also provide additional direction to the CRTC about how platforms can obtain an exemption from the mandatory bargaining and final offer arbitration provisions of the Act.

The intent of the regulations is to provide platforms the opportunity to reach fair commercial agreements with news businesses, including the possibility of a single agreement with a group of news businesses, and thereby contribute to the overall sustainability of the Canadian news marketplace.

Google Search is expected 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.

Among other things, the regulations:

The CRTC will, separately, make its own regulations to administer the Act. These CRTC regulations will further define:

The effective date of the Online News Act is December 19, 2023, 180 days after the Act received royal assent.

Department of Canadian Heritage Consultations on the proposed regulations

Before issuing the final regulations, the Department of Canadian Heritage held a public consultation on the proposed regulations and the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement that describes the draft regulations and how they were developed.

The consultation ran from September 2 to October 2, 2023.

The comments received during the consultation are available on the Canada Gazette Part I.

Learn more

Learn more about the CRTC’s Consultation Processes

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