Canadian government agency seeks to regulate “all content”, including online videos

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, a Canadian government public agency, said it will regulate “all programming”, including videos shared on the internet.

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Ian Scott, the CRTC’s CEO said the agency would regulate “all programming”, including videos on the internet, in testimony before the Commons heritage committee. 

Heritage minister Steven Guilbeault has been working on the C-10 Bill for some time now. The Bill is intended to add additional regulation on content distributors such as social media platforms. 

Bill C-10’s description reads: “The Act sets out the broadcasting policy for Canada, the role and powers of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the Commission) in regulating and supervising the broadcasting system, and the mandate for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The Act plays an important role in supporting Canada’s cultural industries and ensuring Canadian content is available and accessible.”

Scott, the CRTC’s CEO said: “We have regulation over all programming and programming is very widely defined. […] The Commission has looked, three times in total dating back twenty years, at whether or not it would be desirable or necessary to regulate content delivered over the internet. […] In the past the Commission has concluded regulating it would not meaningfully contribute to the broadcasting system. […] Now the world has changed.”

The final draft of the C-10 Bill will likely include similar provisions to the recent Australian legislation which forces social media companies to pay content providers (news outlets) for their content. 

Despite a majority of Canadians opposing online censorship, the Bill is also likely to include censorship provisions for what is deemed “hateful” by the government, or “misinformation”. 

The CRTC’s recent comments imply that C-10 will likely hand them regulatory oversight over online content like videos posted on social media and websites. 

The CRTC has been a source of dissatisfaction for years now, heavily regulating FM-Radio content in the country among other things.

In Quebec, for instance, the CRTC renders it illegal for most radio stations to play more English music than French music. 

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