CRTC head confident in managing online news bill despite upcoming ‘challenges’

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez stands during questioning before the House of Commons on Capitol Hill in Ottawa, October 20, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

The chairman of Canada’s Broadcasting Regulatory Commission says there are challenges along the way, but he is well positioned to work out the details of a bill that seeks to regulate online news.

Ian Scott, head of Canada’s Radio and Television Communications Commission, told a House committee that he is seeking input from other jurisdictions, such as Australia, where similar laws are already in place. .

Bill C-18 would require tech giants to negotiate contracts to pay media outlets to make their news content available on major online platforms.

The CRTC can make rules on how the framework is set up, investigate complaints, and impose administrative penalties when parties violate the law.

While the press has largely supported the bill, Google Canada said this week that the bill was too vague and could unintentionally open the door to misinformation and propaganda.

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez is scheduled to testify before the commission later today.

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