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Government introduces amendments to Broadcasting Act

The Government of Canada has introduced a number of amendments to the Broadcasting Act intended to ensure that online broadcasters contribute to the creation, production and distribution of Canadian content. According Heritage Canada, the changes reflect the increasing tendency of Canadians to consume music, television shows and films via online services, which are not currently subject to the Broadcasting Act. The bill could result in online broadcasters being required to invest approximately $800 million in Canadian content creation by 2023.

The amendments will require online broadcasters to contribute to the Canadian broadcasting system and will provide the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission with the authority to address with technological changes. The changes also mandate that the Canadian broadcasting system reflect the needs and interests of all Canadians, including “Francophones and Anglophones, Indigenous Peoples, Canadians from racialized communities, and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and ages.”

“Canadians have a right to recognize themselves in the music they listen to and the television they watch,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “We are proposing major changes to the Broadcasting Act in order to ensure online broadcasting services that operate in Canada contribute to the creation, production and distribution of Canadian stories.”

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