Canadians using Facebook or Instagram could continue to be blocked from accessing news until after the next federal election – which could be anytime between now and October 2025.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released an update on Friday.
The CRTC will hold a public consultation on the controversial Online News Act this fall, as the organization gets ready to “set up a framework for fair negotiations between news organizations in Canada and the largest online platforms that distribute their news content.”
Next, in 2024, the CRTC will publish the framework and code of conduct.
“The CRTC will also recruit qualified independent arbitrators, consider applications for eligibility from news organizations, and begin information gathering,” it stated.
Finally, in either late 2024 or early 2025, “Once eligible news organizations and arbitrators are in place, mandatory bargaining can begin.”
It’s thus possible that Canadians will be blocked from accessing Canadian news content on Facebook and Instagram until after the next federal election.
In June, the Trudeau Liberals passed the Online News Act (Bill C-18), which dictated that tech giants would have to pay news outlets for clicks that direct people to their platforms.
In turn, Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – announced they would block Canadians’ access to news on their sites, even though the passed legislation hasn’t yet come into effect. The big tech giant preemptively said “no” to the law.
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The Liberals’ new Minister of Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, said that her government will not “roll back” on Bill C-18. Given that PM Trudeau is capable of calling an election anytime until October 2025, it appears the stalemate could continue until past the next federal election.
Meta’s continued blocking of news from Canadians until after the next federal election would be hugely advantageous to the federal Liberals. Facebook is a platform through which, even passively, Canadians get exposed to independent media outlets such as The Counter Signal, Rebel News, True North and the Western Standard.
Many Canadians would be left to receive news from far-left television channels such as CBC and CTV.
CTV was recently caught admitting they wanted Alberta’s Conservative Premier Danielle Smith to lose the provincial election. And last year, the CBC claimed that Justin Trudeau received a standing ovation for his speech in the EU, failing to mention that over nine-tenths of the parliament left in protest before he began.