Ottawa, ON (WNews Breaking)- The Senate passed in the third reading on Thursday, the controversial Bill C-11 that gives the CRTC broad new power to regulate internet content in the country. The amended bill known as the Online Streaming Act, would change Canada’s broadcasting policy and give new capabilities to the country’s broadcasting regulator, among many other things.
The Senate has passed the online streaming act known as Bill C-11 with a dozen amendments following a lengthy study by senators.
The bill would update Canada’s broadcasting rules to reflect online streaming giants such as YouTube, Netflix and Spotify, and require them to contribute to Canadian content and make it accessible to users in Canada — or face steep penalties. Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says he hopes the House of Commons will pass the bill next week after it reviews the Senate’s changes.
Senators made amendments intended to protect user-generated content and highlight the promotion of Indigenous languages and Black content creators.
They also included a change that would prohibit CBC from producing sponsored content and another that would require companies to verify users’ ages before they access sexually-explicit material. Rodriguez said Thursday that the Liberal government would not accept all of the Senate’s recommendations, but he didn’t say which ones he disagrees with.
“We’ll see when the bill comes back. There are amendments that have zero impact on the bill. And others that do, and those, we will not accept them,” the minister said Thursday during a Canadian Media Producers Association panel.
The Senate also removed a clause in the bill that Sen. Paula Simons described as giving “extraordinary new powers to the government to make political decisions about things.”
Ian Scott, the former chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, had told a Senate committee that some provisions in the bill did move the balance point “slightly closer to lessening the independence” of the regulator — though he insisted that it would remain independent.
The CRTC, now under the leadership of Vicky Eatrides, will be tasked with enforcing the bill’s provisions.
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