Canada Feds try to avoid Australian pitfalls in online news bill
Feds signal room for tweaking online streaming bill in committee
OTTAWA — The federal government has signalled it is open to MPs tweaking a bill that would subject streaming companies, such as Netflix, to the same rules as traditional Canadian broadcasters. Chris Bittle, parliamentary secretary to the heritage minister, said in the House of Commons on Tuesday there is "room" for MPs to amend the bill after it goes to committee for scrutiny. On Tuesday during Commons debate, Tory MPs indicated they planned to table amendments to the bill, which they say is flawed.
OTTAWA — The Canadian government says it is learning from Australia's experience when it comes to requiring online giants to pay news outlets to use their content.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez on Tuesday introduced a bill modelled on an Australian law making digital platforms such as Google compensate Canadian media outlets for reusing their news content.
Australia's law prompted Facebook to introduce a temporary ban on Australians viewing and sharing news.
Federal officials say they have studied Australia's version of the law and are taking a more hands-off approach with less power for ministers and more decisions handed to an independent regulator.
Celebrities pay tribute to cricketer Shane Warne at service
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An eclectic array of celebrities including singer Elton John, golfing legend Greg Norman and champion surfer Kelly Slater paid tribute on Wednesday to their friend, former Australian cricketer Shane Warne, at a star-studded state memorial service. More than 50,000 mourners chanted their hero’s nickname “Warnie” at the outset of the service at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as they used to do when he took to the pitch for a match. It was his hometown pitch where he cemented his sporting legend in 2006 by becoming the first bowler in the world to take 700 test wickets.
They say Canada's bill is more transparent too and will give digital companies freedom to strike private deals with papers and other media outlets.
But experts say Canada's bill is more heavy-handed than Australia's in some respects and covers audiovisual news content, unlike in Australia.
Michael Geist, the University of Ottawa's Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce law, predicts Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, and Google will fiercely resist efforts to make them pay for links to news sites posted on their platforms.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2022.
Meta funds a fellowship that supports journalism positions at The Canadian Press.
The Canadian Press
B.C. mayors dealing with flooding and wildfire damage call on feds to deliver funds .
VANCOUVER — British Columbia mayors whose communities were devastated by last year's flooding and wildfires want the federal government to deliver billions of dollars in promised funding as soon as possible. Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said he was among 28 mayors and members of regional districts who met with federal and provincial public safety ministers Monday to ask about the delivery of $5 billion from Ottawa. He said the estimated cost of bringing three dikes up to provincial standards following unprecedented flooding on the Sumas Prairie is as high as $2.9 billion, with most of the funds expected to come from the federal government.