Jun 30, 2023
By Jane Brown
Canada’s heritage minister does not appear to be all that phased by yesterday’s announcement from Google, as the search engine prepares to block all Canadian news content from Google’s platforms.
Google joins Meta in retaliation for Ottawa’s recently passed online news bill, known as C-18.
Pablo Rodriguez is offering no solutions in response to Google’s expected announcement, repeating the Trudeau Liberal’s line that the law levels the playing field by putting the power of big tech in check.
But the minister is reassuring Canadians the threatened change would not take effect for some six months.
“The law is not in force so it doesn’t touch anyone for now, so there’s no impact,” Rodriguez explained, “Second, because we’re still having those conversations with Google and again I think they’re productive, and third, because what Google is asking is exactly the things we plan to do anyway. It’s part of the regulatory process. The same thing were doing with C-11 we’re doing with C-18.”
He goes on to say big tech would rather spend money to change their platforms to block Canadians from accessing good quality and local news instead of paying their fair share to news organizations.
A number of news publishers have lobbied the governing Liberals in favour of the legislation and already have deals in place with Google and Meta for the sharing and repurposing of their content.