Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet wants Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act, to be reintroduced in Parliament when the House returns this fall.

The bill had been passed by the House of Commons in June and sent to the Senate, but had not yet been sent to committee for further study and possible amendments before the Upper House took its recess. summer. It therefore did not receive royal assent until the September 20 election.

The government should again prioritize the bill and the Senate should not change it because it has already been passed by the House, Blanchet told reporters on Wednesday in Ottawa.

First introduced in November 2020, Bill C-10 contains provisions aimed at making the web giants pay. The bill became controversial in the spring when the Liberals amended it at committee stage and the opposition accused them of trying to censor social media.

READ MORE: Conservatives still want social media exempt from broadcasting reform bill

One of the Liberals’ election promises was to overhaul the Broadcasting Act.

“In the first 100 days, (we will) reintroduce legislation to reform the Broadcasting Act to ensure that foreign web giants contribute to the creation and promotion of Canadian stories and music,” perhaps we read on the platform’s promise.

The Liberals also promised more money for Canadian content producers and the modernization of institutions such as the Canada Media Fund (CMF), to give more opportunities to “under-represented storytellers.”

In its current form, Bill C-10 must be scrapped, and the government must be cautious with the new legislation due to Canada’s trade deal with the United States and Mexico, says Konrad von Finckenstein , former President of Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission and former Advisor to the Trade Negotiations Office.

Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), any reform of the Broadcasting Act that requires contributions from tech giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime means they are entitled to the same benefits and access. at the CMF than Canadian producers, Finckenstein said. .

“Unless you change the whole funding mechanism, you are out of the game,” he said, adding that the current subsidy regime only applies to Canadian productions, “that would lead to retaliation by the part of the Americans ”.

In future legislation, streaming services must have access to the same benefits as licensed broadcasters, so that the obligations and licenses of the former are the same as those of the latter, he said.

“Indeed, we treat streamers like national broadcasters and go from there.”

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