For someone that’s hell bent on trying to censor so-called “misinformation” in the name of “protecting” Canadian content, the Canadian heritage minister Pablo Rodriguez sure spreads a lot of misleading claims.
The other day Rodriguez posted a tweet in support of Bill C-11 the “Online Streaming Act”, widely known as Trudeau’s censorship law.
Rodriguez made a long list of claims that can be easily debunked. There is a lot here but each claim will be covered in order as it appears on his list.
For starters, the heritage minister has neglected to define what is “Canadian content.” If the plan is to use Cancon to define “Canadian content”, there’s 36 million Canadians in Canada that are able to produce content in their home or out on the street but unfortunately the majority do not count as “Canadian content” while non Canadians can may qualify as “Canadian content.”
What Pablo Rodriguez claims “C-11 will do”:
Rodriguez claims “C-11 will” Have platforms pay their share in support of Canadian culture
The reality it appears platforms are already “pay their share”. According to Ontario’s Film and Television industry Film and Television Production Statistics for 2022 it contributed a record amount of money to the Ontario economy. Currently without Bill C-11, Ontario Film and Television production is thriving while creating tens of thousands of jobs as domestic productions continue to increase.
An example that Ontario’s Animation sector is thriving is the works produced by independent animation studio Mercury Filmworks which are widely celebrated on Netflix, Disney, Peacock, and others.
“Many communities have reported record-breaking location shoot days and production spending including Ottawa, Hamilton and North Bay.” it says in the report.
2022 FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTION STATISTICS
- Ontario’s Film and Television industry contributed a record-breaking $3.15 billion to Ontario’s economy in 2022, creating 45,891 high-value full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs for Ontarians.
- Domestic production now drives 38% of total Film and Television spending in Ontario, up from 34%in 2021.
- Domestic Film and Television production held strong in 2022, contributing $1.20 billion, an increase of 25% from 2021.
- Domestic Television Series production was particularly robust in 2022, with 155 productions
contributing over $891 million in expenditures.
Rodriguez claims “C-11 will” Support the next generation of Canadian artists.
The reality: New and upcoming digital first Canadian artists will be captured by the bill and regulated by the CRTC if they generate money online. There is no threshold in the amount of money a creator can make before they are hit with content regulations.
The government claims it is only going after “commercial stuff” but is unable to explain what that means. The government has also left the term “Commercial stuff” vague and open to interpretation.
At one point Rodriguez described “commercial stuff” as content that is posted in two or more places on the internet for example a user posts the same song they created on Youtube and Spotify, weather they earn $1 or a billion dollars, it will fall under “commercial stuff” and be subject to CRTC regulation before a creator has a chance to get started.
Rodriguez “claims C-11 will” Create good jobs for Canadians in the culture sector
Facts spoken about by The largest entertainment workers union IATSE Canada told the committee on Bill C-11 that without Bill C-11 the industry has seen massive success in recent years and streamers and studios are the largest employer’s working in film
Rodriguez “claims C-11 will” Lift up Indigenous and diverse voices to tell their stories.
In reality digital first Indigenous creators left a meeting about Bill C-11 with the Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez saying they felt disrespected and gaslit by the federal government.
Rodriguez “claims C-11 will” Results in more options for Canadians to watch or listen to
When you think about the logic behind this it makes no sense. The reality is with higher regulatory costs nd the demands imposed by Cancon, many niche streaming services and foreign content may just block access for Canada which in turn reduces the choice for consumers.
What Pablo claims “C-11 will not do”
Now moving on to the misleading information of what Pablo claims the bill will not do.
Pablo claims Bill C-11 “will not” tell Canadians what to watch.
In reality it has already been confirmed by the former CRTC Chair Ian Scott that Bill C-11 allows the CRTC to force streaming platforms to manipulate their algorithms to display the content the CRTC wants put in front of Canadians and which content to derank and push out of sight.
Rodriguez claims Bill C-11 “will not” Infringe on free speech.
The reality: With Bill C-11 the government wrote a blank cheque of power to the CRTC giving it the powers to regulate user generated content while advising the CRTC to not abuse the powers by breaching the charter, which means the Bill is left wide open to breach the charter with no safeguards except for “just trust me”.
Rodriguez claims Bill C-11 “will not” Regulate users or creators on social media platforms.
In reality the fact is the Liberal government rejected amendments to Bill C-11 that would have provided some protections for user generated content by clearly scoping it out written within the law. Without specifically scoping out user generated content there is no safeguards to prevent the government from regulating user generated content.
Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez admitted the government wants to apply regulations to user content by disagreeing with the amendment “because this would affect the Governor in Council’s ability to publicly consult on, and issue, a policy direction to the CRTC to” regulate user generated content.
Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, has been a fierce opponent of the proposed law, stating that the government’s refusal to scope out user content reveals “the true intent of Bill C-11” and the power to control what Canadians post online.
Rodriguez claims Bill C-11 “will not” Create censorship on the internet.
In reality deranking certain content and pushing it down the list out of sight of things to discover is a form of censorship. Like we already covered, the government refuses to accept an amendment to specifically scope out user content to protect Canadians from CRTC regulations/censorship.
Rodriguez claims Bill C-11 “will not” do Any other ridiculous thing the Conservatives come up with to scare Canadians.
Checking back in to reality, the Conservative party is only using their platform to speak up for Canadians based on the analysis and feedback provided by law experts, Canada’s Senate, creators, indigenous creators, and Canadians as a whole. So technically the Minister of Canadian Heritage called Canadians concerns “ridiculous”.