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Federal government reaches agreement with Google on C-18

by | Nov 30, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Google will pay Canadian news outlets $100-million a year to publish news on its platform

The Canadian government has come to an agreement with Google regarding the implementation of Bill C-18. Google will be allowed to host Canadian news content on its platform with the condition that the company pay $100-million each year to publishers.

In June, the federal government passed the bill which aimed to level the playing field for Canadian news publishers. Tech companies would be expected to compensate news companies like the Globe and Mail or the Toronto Star. By providing publishers the power to negotiate with large tech industries like Meta and Google, news outlets were expected to earn more revenue.

Bill C-18 drew inspiration from the Australian government’s own attempt to develop a law that would elicit compensation from Google. As it had with the federal government, Google threatened to cut off Australia’s access to its platform. The law proved successful, which encouraged Canada to develop similar legislation. 

Google and Meta expressed their displeasure with the bill’s regulations by blocking Canadian content on their platforms. Meta blocked smaller Canadian news organizations such as the Griff and the Gateway from publishing content on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. 

Unlike Meta, Google was willing to participate in negotiations about the bill. However, Google was transparent about the possibility of eliminating links to Canadian news publishers, and providing Google users access to other international outlets. 

Google initially intended to remove all links on Dec. 19 which would coincide with when the bill and its regulations would come into effect.

According to the Canadian Heritage Minister, Pascale St-Onge, the federal government and Google have come to an agreement regarding the amount of money Google would be paying publishers annually. St-Onge stated that the government retains its right to renegotiate if other countries receive better conditions. 

While Google has accepted an offer, Meta maintains its position on blocking Canadian news content. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed Meta’s stance and acknowledged the government’s plans to sway the tech company. News outlets will be able to promote links to their content through Google, but Meta-owned social media outlets will continue to publish the same message: “People in Canada can’t see see this content.”

Trudeau said, “Unfortunately, Meta continues to complete abdicate any responsibility towards democratic institutions and even stability, but we’re going to continue to work positively in those areas.” 

Graphic by Shelby Mandin

Joelle Fagan

The Griff


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