New law will bring more than $300 million in profits to major Canadian media outlets, according to PBO


If the new law is passed, Canada’s major media outlets and publishers will receive more than $329 million in government grants, according to Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) Yves Giroux.

“News companies expect to receive approximately $329.2 million in annual compensation from digital platforms and spend approximately $20.8 million in transaction and compliance costs negotiating the first deal under the bill,” said the PBO. was first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter in his “Bill C Cost Estimate 18: Online News Act.”

Building C-18 Entitled “Act on Online Communications Platforms to Make News Content Available to Residents of Canada,” the law states, “In order to promote fairness in and contribute to Canada’s digital news market, It plans to regulate “digital news intermediaries” such as Google and Facebook. sustainability. ”

In short, the C-18 will force the internet and social media giant to make a deal with Canada’s online news outlets to share advertising revenue.

The bill is sponsored by Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and is currently under consideration by a House committee.

If passed, the PBO says it expects the total cost of developing and implementing the bill to be “$5.6 million annually over five years” for the Canadian Heritage Agency and the CRTC.

“The new regulations will create regulatory compliance costs for companies as well as the costs of negotiating and enforcing contracts,” he said. PBO“This will have financial implications for the federal government.”

‘More mistrust’

Independent publishers, who testified before the House of Commons Canadian Heritage Committee on September 23, criticized Bill C-18 as a remedy for “struggling media companies.”

“What we see here is rent-seeking, where struggling media companies are using every last iota of their dwindling financial and social capital to lobby for subsidies and regulation. It seems to be a kind of act,” Jen said. Gersonco-founder of an online newsletter called “The Line”.

Gerson added, “The more the federal government tries to help the media, the more it risks damaging our credibility.”

“When the federal government tries to save the media, it becomes a legitimate target for partisan attacks that undermine the role and function of our basic democracy,” she said.

In testimony before the committee on Sept. 27, former CRTC Commissioner Peter Menzies said Canadians’ trust in the media “has never been lower.”

Menzies said of the C-18, “It’s going to create more distrust and it won’t end well.”

When Rodriguez introduced the bill in April, he said Canada’s press sector was “in crisis, which has fueled public mistrust and contributed to an increase in harmful disinformation in our society.” there is,” he said.

But “the more that relationship breaks down, the more subsidies we need,” he added.

Noe Chartier contributed to this report.

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Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.