Ottawa has proposed a new bill that would change policies and add regulation to streamers like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Spotify. Bill C-10 was proposed Tuesday, Nov. 4, and would potentially lead to streaming services investing more than $800 million in Canadian content by 2023, reports Canada’s National Observer.
The bill aims to modernize Canada’s Federal Broadcasting Act which was created before streaming platforms were applicable. The policy change would create a new “online company” category that streamers would fall under, forcing them to comply with Canadian broadcasting regulations.
“We haven’t reformed the Broadcasting Act since 1991, so it takes time to do it properly, but we don’t want to take too much time because we know that there’s an emergency to act quickly,” said Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Heritage Minister.
The Federal Broadcasting act says broadcasters “should make maximum use of Canadian creative and other resources in the creation and presentation of programming” and make Canadian content more discoverable, among other regulations. This would apply to streaming platforms as well which would boost revenue for Canada who has seen a decline in traditional broadcast and cable TV revenue.
The new bill would also give more power to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which is a third-party regulator. The CRTC would have the power to impose fines on streaming platforms for non-compliance.
“Online broadcasters, web giants if you prefer — the Netflix, the Spotify, the Apple Music, the Amazon Prime of this world — need to be brought under Canadian regulation, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Guilbeault said.
“We’re asking these large and wealthy companies to invest in Canadian stories, in Canadian music, in Canadian artists,” Guilbeault said.