Active Liberal Party Facebook ads,

Active Liberal Party Facebook ads,


Trudeau Likens Bill C-18 Battle To World War Two Fight for Democracy as Government Suspends Meta Advertising (But Not Liberal Party Ads)

The government escalated the battle over Bill C-18 yesterday, announcing that it was suspending advertising on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms due the company’s decision to comply with the bill by blocking news sharing and its reluctance to engage in further negotiations on the issue. While the ad ban applies to federal government advertising, Liberal party officials confirmed they plan to continue political advertising on the social networks, suggesting that principled opposition ends when there might be a political cost involved. At issue is roughly $11 million in annual advertising by the federal government, a sum that pales in comparison to the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s estimate of at least $100 million in payments in Canada for news links from Meta alone.

In addition to raising the economic cost to Meta for stopping news sharing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau increased the rhetoric, describing Canada as having been “attacked” by Meta and likening the government’s fight over the bill to defending democracy in Ukraine or during the Second World War [at 13:30]:

Facebook decided that Canada was a small country, small enough that they could reject our asks. They made the wrong choice by deciding to attack Canada. We want to defend democracy. This is what we’re doing across the world, such as supporting Ukraine. This is what we did during the Second World War. This is what we’re doing every single day in the United Nations.

There are strongly held views on both sides of the Bill C-18 debate, but the suggestion that stopping sharing news links on a social network is in any way comparable to World War 2 is embarrassingly hyperbolic and gives the sense of a government that has lost perspective on the issue. Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has repeatedly described the manner of compliance with Bill C-18 as a business choice for the Internet companies, yet the Prime Minister now calls that choice an attack on the country.

If it were truly comparable to a world war, then surely the Liberal Party (joined by the NDP) would not continue to advertise on the platform. Yet since the 2021 election call, the party alone has run approximately 11,000 ads on Facebook and Instagram. That is separate from individual MPs, who have also run hundreds of ads. The Meta Ad Library provides ample evidence of how reliant the party has been on social media. For example, since the start of the year, Anna Gainey ran over 500 ads as part of her by-election campaign in Quebec. David Hilderley, who was a candidate in the Oxford by-election, ran approximately 180 ads on Facebook during the same timeframe. 

Ultimately, if this is the government’s Plan B to the unfolding mess that is Bill C-18, it is unlikely to make much difference. Government advertising is supposed to be about department communication not subsidy and the suspension may make it harder to reach younger demographics on issues such as summer co-op programs or Canadian Armed Forces recruitment. Regardless, the ad boycott does not alter the foundation of the legislation of mandated payments for links with uncapped liability. Moreover, the costs extend beyond just Canada, as the companies are surely looking to the global market and the potential for billions in liability for linking if others adopt the Bill C-18 approach as their model. Viewed with that prism, a federal government ban that does not even include the governing political party pales in comparison to the risks of the dangerous Bill C-18 precedent.

As I have said for weeks, everyone loses with Bill C-18 and that includes Meta. But it is readily apparent that the Canadian media sector will take the biggest hit with lost links, cancelled deals, and a bill that may not generate any new revenues. The recent experience of the CBC’s Brodie Fenlon provides a vivid illustration of the harm to Canadian media outlets that awaits under Bill C-18. In fact, even if Google finds a compromise position – the government is clearly holding out hope it can strike a deal – the lost revenues from even one platform means this legislation may prove to be a net-negative for the media sector. That suggests that it will soon be time for Plan C, starting with a de-escalation of Prime Minister’s absurd rhetoric of a country under attack.


  1. It’s almost like a few MPs – or maybe more than a few – need to go read the bill.

    Nowhere in the obligations is there an obligation or requirement to facilitate access to news. Choosing not to carry it has always been an option.

    A bill that required the carrying of news (akin to cable TV’s ‘must carry’ rules) would be a very different bill.

    • Pablo repeatedly called it “a business decision”. At least until those businesses exercised their rights to terminate a facet of their business that would be a massive liability for them.

      Will the government start going to other businesses in Canada forcing them to carry on business models that are a loss to the business? How is this a democracy?

    • Google paid $95 a hour on the close relative has been without labor for nine months and the earlier month her compensation check was $51005 by working at home for 10 hours a day….. E­v­e­r­y­b­o­d­y m­u­s­t t­r­y t­h­i­s j­o­b n­o­w b­y j­u­s­t u­s­e ­t­h­i­s


    • Nah. They are just voting as they are told to by the various “fearless leaders” within each party. Failure to follow the party line can result in being tossed, just like Judy Wilson-Raybould, Jane Philpott and John Nunziata. This goes for all of the parties, not just the Liberals. They don’t need to read the bill since they are there to represent the party, not their constituents.

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  2. The decision to keep Liberal Party ads on Facebook does seem incongruopus. Until you realise – and who would want it any other way? – that the Liberal Party is not the Government of Canada. More disingenuous arguments from Geist. It is the Government of Canada, logically, tactically, ethically, which cannot keep spending taxpayer money on a platform which flouts Canadian law. One would hope every group in the broader civil society – corporations, charities, political parties – would join in the boycott, including the Liberal Party, but it is demagoguery to suggest that there is “hypocrisy” involved in the Liberal Party advertising where the Government will not.

    • If the Liberal Party *did* cease advertising the same day as the Government of Canada, people would complain – and perhaps rightly so – of a “l’état c’est moi” attitude, but more seriously, that the Government identifies the society-as-a-whole ethical and governance issues involved in this dispute as identical with Liberal Party interests. It is precisely by *not* having the Liberal Party pull its advertising the same day as the Government that the Government, and the Party, maintains the essential difference between them. More simplistic sloganeering by Geist, in each case shilling for Facebook.

    • Note Geist’s language:

      Government Suspends Meta Advertising (But Not Liberal Party Ads)

      It would be a sad day when a government could suspend a political party’s advertisements. Geist sees the Government and the Party as one and the same. They are not. And the proof is that the Party’s ads were not suspended. If they are suspended tomorrow, well, good, I hope the other paries do too. Then the decision would not be tied to the Government’s.

      • In an ideal world, and if you were referring only to the public service, you would be correct. However in normal usage, even by the news media you are advocating for, Prof Geist’s interpretation is correct. In fact since this was a unilateral decision by the PMO and/or Cabinet rather than by Parliament, it reinforces the idea that the governing party is the government.

        Although I would add that with the current minority government and the supply and confidence agreement between the LPC and the federal NDP, the NDP is practically a part of the government.

        Don’t expect the party ads to be suspended unless the news media points it out, and the media is unlikely to do so since it doesn’t support their position.

    • David Grant says:

      You lost me at “cannot keep spending taxpayer money on a platform which flouts Canadian law”.

      Facebook is breaking no laws by blocking Canadian news links. There is no law requiring them to post links, only to pay news orgs *if* they do post those links.

      • It has stated it will not comply with the law. This is not the simple “business decision” its supporters claim, for one reason because there is no way they will just walk away from the revenue. It’s a hostage taking. So why pay your kidnapper?

        • David Grant says:

          That’s untrue, Google has not said it won’t comply with the law.

        • Neither have stated they will not comply with the law.

          Both have said they will comply with the law by not posting links. The law allows them to do this.

          Pablo and Trudeau are now whining that they are complying with the law in a way that they didn’t want them to.

  3. The idea that the mewling, hyperbolic spew of disinformation coming out of the LPC government “leadership” is somehow comparable to the honorable sacrifice made by Canadians in WWII is execrable.

    1) The middle class is being eviscerated by the ongoing housing crisis and inflation resulting in an ever-wider gap between rich and poor. See:

    2) There are serious questions that need to be discussed about the level of immigration to Canada. See:

    THESE are issues that should be discussed and considered by our leadership.

    Instead we have “leadership” that thinks it’s important to:
    1) Make sure that lots of money flows to friendly and subservient media.
    2) Beg an American musical artist to send her tour to Canada.

    We are ill-served by our incompetent and venal “Leadership” and the leftist so-called “Media”.

    • More than a little off-topic, but yes, the housing crisis is a scandal, and a global one. No place is exempt it seems. An illness of the capitalist system exacerbated by demographics – the half-century of boomer wealth accumulation is coming home to roost. In some quartes, but definitely not others, there is simply too much money, and the Liberal Party (a party I have never voted for), shamefully, has allowed “property” (homes) to become speculative investments.

      Inflation is global and we know its causes. Too facile to blame it on the government of the day, and transitory.

      Immigration. But of course. One has to bring immigration into it. Your slip is showing. If you really wanted to discuss “serious questions” around immigration, you’d know that we need immigration, that there is a labour shortage, and all sorts of other things besides, but I imagine your concern is more with the colour of people’s skin, and the possibility they might move in next door to you, or already have.

      What a motely crew the Facebook and Geist supporters are.

        • The latter part of your claim is true. The former part is false. In each case the fault lies with the capitalist economic system, not, primarily, with the governing party. It would be the same, or worse, under Polly and the truckers – a classic case of the working class not knowing what is not in their interests and being swayed by demagoguery. The question is wages and the quality of the jobs on offer. Talk to the itans of the economic system about that, not the government. The bommers created a system of wealth accumulation for themselves through well-paying jobs and pverty for those coming up behind them through poorly-paid jobs to keep the boomer wealth accumulation system humming.


          The most recent figures from Statistics Canada show 372,000 job vacancies in Ontario during the third quarter of 2022. That’s nearly double the average number of vacancies (195,000) reported during the three years leading up to 2020.

          But how good are these jobs? For a fuller picture of what’s really going on in the labour market, take a deeper look into what Statistics Canada found about the current vacancies:

          60 per cent of the job vacancies in Ontario required no more than high school education, paying on average less than $20 an hour.

          Nearly 200,000 jobs required less than one year of experience.

          More than one-third of the job vacancies were in sales and service.

  4. Geist’s message consistently is: you will lose when you take these Tech giants on. So don’t take them on. Keep paying them protection money, be happy with the crumbs they give you, because the alternative is worse. Ask anyone who has stopped paying protection money to the local mafia. It’s not worth it.

    • Who is first for being insulted as a “Tech Bro”, “MAGA Yahoo” or are you just going to pull the “Grammer Police” card?

    • David Grant says:

      I don’t think that’s his message. He’s acknowledged there’s a real problem with the journalism industry and advocated an alternative model which involves Big Tech paying (just not uncapped amounts).

  5. Personally I see the battle against Big Tech, against the way Facebook spreads election disinformation, Covid disinformation, Ukraine disinformation, and is quite happy to because it is profitable, leading people along by the nose from post to post and link to link, generating income with every click, to be one of the battles of our age (along with the battle, most notably, against Big Oil) which will decide our future as thinking human beings. Already we see in some of the comments on Geist’s blog, as seen also in the hilarious and terrifying stand-up interviews in the street with Trump supporters, that in many quarters this battle has clearly been lost. Companies like Facebook have turned a natural tendency to stupidity and multiplied it a thousand-fold through their technology and the mesmerising powers of the illuminated screen.

    • You always take the “MAGA Yahoo” mantle with your complaints.

    • Facebook is bad for us, true. We can see which side the government is on in the battle against the evils of “big tech” not only by their continued official use of Facebook and Twitter, but also by their reaction to Facebook’s threat to discontinue this part of the vital service it provides for our democracy.

      • Whether Facebook is good or “bad for us” is completely irrelevant and orthogonal to the issue(s) at hand here.

        And Facebook does not provide any vital service to our democracy. Don’t inflate it’s value to such a level. Democracy existed before Facebook came along and will continue on (perhaps even better) without it when it dies.

  6. That Trudeau would liken this “battle” (it’s really just a rejection of a business model by businesses that don’t see the business as profitable — it’s not a “battle”) to the issues that were being fought for in WWII is reprehensible.

    It thoroughly disgusts me that he is trying to compare this issue to the issues that 45,000 Canadians died for.

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  7. So Trudeau feels that Meta legally blocking news links is equivalent to the Nazis murdering and enslaving tens of millions. Unbelievable!

    • No, he believes that enforcing and abiding by the rule of law in a democracy is the fundamental principle, or one of them, on which Canada’s entry into the war was predicated, because of Germany’s threat to that principle.Not every manifestation of upholding the principle thereafter has to involve concentration camps. Arbitrary detention, racial profiling, sexist or homophobic hiring or business practices, and many more things besides, were being protected (even when specific cases or issues could not always be foreseen at the time in 1940) when Canada went to war. (This is what makes WWII different from WWI, but that’s another story.) So when a huge, powerful foreign corporation with annual revenues five times – yes – that of the Government of Canada, theatens the social fabric of our country by refusing to abde by the law, well, that is what the country fought against also, even though no one could have foreseen such a scenario 80 years ago. It’s no different from you standing up in court and saying “I have rights under the Charter, I wish to have those rights enforced because I have a grievance against this other party”. Your Charter rights were enabled by Germany not winning the war. And those rights can be used in various ways, few involving genocide.

      • Geist, a lawyer, by mocking Trudeau’s comments, does not see this of course.

      • But Meta (and soon Google) ARE abiding by the law by not linking. That is one of the options provided by the law.

        So again/still, the correlation to WWII is entirely disgusting and reprehensible.

        • No, that is not their final position, becaus eit woul dmean th eloss of lots of money. That position is bullying and blackmail in the hope the government simply withdraws the bill. Why? Because, Facebook hopes, the government will decide it cannot afford the political cost of its citizens losing their news links and taking it out on the government in next year’s elections. In other words, showing the government who’s boss: a legally passed law o right an obvious wrong by which these companies profit enormously, or the companies and their private interests?

          • It’s only a loss of “lots of money” for the Canadian news market.

            Meta and Google are not making any money on news links. Removing news links from their users posts and/or search results will not harm them or cost them any money.

            People will still use Facebook and Instragram. People will still use Google for search.

            Canadians will have to find other ways to find news, but that won’t hurt Meta and Google. It will be business as usual for them.

            How much of their ad revenue do you think gives a rat’s ass whether the search results or users posts will have Canadian news story links in it? None of it will. None. At. All.

            Oh wait. Correction. The Canadian Government’s (tiny tiny tiny — on the order of a rounding error for them) advertising revenue will be lost. But that’s the only real retaliatory bullying that is going on in this whole shit-show that Pablo created.

            But the loss of that (tiny tiny tiny) revenue is worth it a hundred-fold to prevent the kind of damage to the Internet and to Meta and Google if they start paying uncapped liability for (news for now — many other kinds in the future) links on a global basis.

            They are fighting back a shakedown, just as they should be.

          • “Meta and Google are not making any money on news links.”

            Sheer nonsense. Shameless.

          • How do you think Meta and Google are making money on news links exactly?

            You must be attributing some amount of advertising dollars (on Meta and Google’s platforms) to those news links.

            Do you really think any of that advertising is because of news links? Of course it’s not. It’s due to the number of eyeballs those platforms have and those eyeballs are not there for news links.

            None of those eyeballs will be lost when news links go away, which means the links are worthless.

            Even if some number of eyeballs are lost, it would be a tiny tiny insignificant number making the news links worthless for all practical purposes.

            However much you might want to think they are worth, they are nowhere near worth the global cost that uncapped liability for paying for links would be.

            That is ultimately the business decision that leads them to COMPLY WITH THE LAW by opting out of posting Canadian news links.

            It is a business decision for them, so clearly the links are not worth whatever you might think they are going to lose.

      • Meta should be prosecuted if they’re breaking the law, but they won’t be because they are not breaking the law. End of story.

        And as far as defending democracy, that’s rather rich coming from a government that has stonewalled on the China election interference case, hidden behind Cabinet confidentiality to block the SNC investigation, and given over $600,000 to an organization headed by a racist.

        You can now go back to denying facts, attacking straw men, gish-galloping, and hurling insults.

        • sorry, this comment appears twice (with an addition here) because I posted it to the wrong spot below —

          As I’ve said, I’ve never voted for the Liberal Party in its federal or provincial incarnations, for precisely the reasons you mention and others like them over the past many years. That does not mean they are in the wrong here and Facebook is in the right. And, by the way, every single Liberal government we have had, federally and in every province whose politics I follow, was vastly superior and preferable to the Conservative alternative. If you think re-electing Harper would have been better than electing Trudeau, or electing Plly would be better than re-electing Trudeau, then you have no business talking about integrity.

          • So you think that the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923 was better than the apology for it? The latter by Stephen Harper, the former by the Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King. And the there was the invocation of the War Measures Act by Trudeau Sr which was deemed completely unnecessary by the followup Royal. Commission.

  8. Indeed, this continues to boggle my mind.

    The Government created legislation that gives (two) businesses options to comply with the legislation:

    1. Pay an unlimited amount of money to continue to provide the service of free referrals to news organizations.
    2. Don’t make referrals.

    They made their choice with which to comply. It was a perfectly valid choice.

    Now the Government cries (no, whines) foul because they didn’t make the choice the Government wanted them to make?

    If you don’t want a party to choose an option, don’t put that option on the table!

    Oh, but in this case, that would have been an even more clear shakedown of these two companies. Not much different than a mafia protection racket.

    That’s all of the analysis anyone should need to understand how fatally flawed this entire “solution” is. I’m talking about you Pablo.

  9. Michael Wood says:

    Godwin’s Law is invoked: Trudeau automatically loses this debate. Thread over.

  10. Chris C. says:

    The narrow-mindedness of the boy wonder and his tantrums never cease to amaze me.

    When are we going to have an adult for a prime minister?

  11. As I’ve said, I’ve never voted for the Liberal Party in its federal or provincial incarnations, for precisely the reasons you mention and others like them over the past many years. That does not mean they are in the wrong here and Facebook is in the right. And, by the way, every single Liberal government we have had, federally and in every province whose politics I follow, was vastly superior and preferable to the Conservative alternative.

  12. David Chura says:

    Anything Trudeau does or say
    Is worse than anything that happened during the second world war
    He s a narcist and is only interest is to destroy Canada and to line his pockets
    While make fools of the rest of Canada
    He is devaluing the dollar
    Causing inflation and silencing what people can say and do

    He needs to go
    But the man does not know where it is
    So he craps on all Canadians
    Giving them grief and sorrow anxiety and fear
    As for fear
    He put a big bullseye on the back of Canadians from Putin, when he provided military support for Ukraine
    When he had the chance of a life time to have stopped the war the moment it started,
    He could have put a bounty on Putin’s head,
    And that would have ended the war before it got started

    Ad that goes for the rest of these so called useless world leaders,
    Why have they not done so
    When Chins can put out a bounty on anyone it desires and no one ays or does a damn thing to stop this war except to add fuel to the fire

    Your all brain dead idiots and you don’t know it !
    Trudeau is incompetent .

    • So now the anti-Trudeau basement dweller, so prevalent in the comments section of the Globe and Mail, for example, who will see every news article on any topic as a chance to whine incoherently about “Junior”, have arrived. Isn’t your favourite soap opera about to start on TV? Don’t you have anything better to do?

      • You are on a roll today … a little fired up, are we?

        • He’s just mad that Geist and fellow critics were right the whole time. The whining from the bills supports is going to be dialled up to 11 for a while as their beliefs that Bill C-18 is “standing up to big tech” continues to crumble.

  13. Google and Meta made business decisions. They don’t see the need to continually pay millions to a foreign government for what.
    It’s nothing new that American businesses look

  14. I think I know why Trudeau doesn’t understand the implications of this law. He’s been too busy figuring out how to get Taylor Swift to tour Canada. Do you think he could get Meta to sponsor it?

  15. Google: We have created a free service to send news traffic your way.
    News companies: But you’re making more money than us!
    Google: Yes, we are able to monetize it. So can you.
    News companies: Not good enough. Give us some of your money.
    Google: Wait what? No you need to figure out how to monetize your own business
    News companies: Fine, if you won’t give us money voluntarily, we will change the laws.
    Google: Ok, you have changed your laws and we will comply with the law.
    News companies: How dare you follow our new law! We want your money! You are attacking us!

    • Google: we have figured out a way to pimp your content and hijack your advertising revenue.
      News companies: We need that revenue to survive. You’re going to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
      Google: We’re all about short-term profit. We don’t have the attention span to think ahead.
      Government: Healthy media are important to a democracy. Canadian readers are reading Canadian media and the revenue from advertising by Canadian advertisers is being shipped offshore to mega-companies. We’re going to regulate, like we do with all sorts of other industries, in the public interest. We’ll make sure you get a fair price for your service and minimal involvement in the process. What you’re doing is profiteering.
      Google: if you do that we will first try to bully you not to and then, if that doesn’t work, pull out of your market, maybe.
      Government: We’ll see.
      U.S. lawmakers: Go Canada Go. We’re right behind you in line.

      • News companies: what are we going to do? Sportsnet, TSN, and sports sites have taken our sports readers. Kijiji and eBay have devastated our classified ad business. BNN and online trading sites have cut into our business readers. People don’t care about our movie, music or car reviews, they use Rotten Tomatoes and other sites instead. No one reads the whole paper online, instead they read only select articles.

        What are we going to do? I know. We will blame Meta and Google because our fickle advertisers like them more than us.

      • David Grant says:

        How does Google “pimp” their content and hijack their ad revenue?

        The only news content I’ve seen on Google’s servers are the news headline and headline photo – click on that and you are on the news org’s website with the content and ads that the news org gets revenue from. There’s no mechanism there for Google to make money from people navigating this way.

        • And don’t forget most news sites are behind a paywall. Fed Up’s argument is nonsensical.

        • Wrong. Most of the ad revenue from that click goes to Google, not the news organisation. Get your basic facts straight.

          But since you see your misinformation as the reason it’s OK, knowing as you do now that that is not how it works, it’s not OK now, right?

          • Huh? You are saying that the ad revenue generated by the ad on the news media website is redirected to Google. Speaking of misinformation…

          • If a “click” earns money, it’s because the link was “sponsored”. Who do you think is sponsoring a link to a news organizations website? If a news organization sponsors their own site on a link on Google, then sure, Google gets revenue, but (a) not as much as the news site that sponsored the link and (b) it was the news site that sponsored the link so they can hardly complain.

            Un-sponsored (i.e. regular old links) DO NOT generate any revenue for anyone when they are simply clicked on.

            HOWEVER, once the user clicks the link and is taken to the destination of the link (a news org’s website in this case) all of the opportunity in the world exists for that news organization to monetize the eyeballs now looking at their site. If they fail to do so, that is the fault of the news site. None of any of that monetization goes back to Google (even though it probably should as a referral, or “finder’s fee” — but it doesn’t. Google makes that referral free-of-charge).

          • “Huh? You are saying that the ad revenue generated by the ad on the news media website is redirected to Google. Speaking of misinformation…”

            I said nothing of the sort.”Huh” is right. You didn’t read it right.

  16. If Google were worried about short term profit they’d be out of business. Doing stupid things like forking over millions is not good business.
    As far as pimping content goes, there’s no better example than Bell & Rogers hijacking American content for advertising revenue.

  17. Who gets rich on the Canadian side? Oh yes the the providers. Must be a good business.

    • you really lack a basic understanding of how things work. I make a TV show. In the USA, Bulgaria, wherever. I sell the national rights to a broadcaster in my home country. Then a Canadian TV network knocks on my door and asks to buy the Canadain rights. We agree on a price and various other conditions. Then the Canadian broadcaster is free to show the program in Canada, and to *cover the investment* by taking adveryisements from Canadian companies who advertise on their network. Everyone is happy. If the producer isn’t happy with the price offered by the Canadian network, they don’t sell. If the Canadian network is not happy with the price asked by the producer, they don’t buy, they buy a Brazilian show instead. The Canadian network sets its advertising rates If advertisers don’t like the rates, they don’t advertise.

      All that is normal business. What Google and Facebook are doing is not normal. There’s a reason Facebook – a web platform, nothing more! – brings in $120 Billion USD a year and the Canadian government, from all its combined tax revenues, $20 Billion CAD.

  18. Charging Google and Meta for posting ilnks to news sites is akin to charging newstands for every headline people read as they walk by.

    I use Google News daily. There are no ads on their website and the only ads I see are on when I click through to whatever media source is carrying the story. I presume they are getting paid for displaying those ads as I imagine so is Google. I don’t get the problem.

    But JT is right, it is like the battle for democracy, only he has chosen the Evil Side.

    • Google gets 4/5ths. The newspaper that makes the content gets 1/5/ That’s the problem. Sound like agood deal to you? Would you make widgets and let Google sell them for $10 and give you $2?

  19. David Grant says:

    What’s your source for this 4/5ths vs 1/5ths split? That doesn’t sound right at all.

    If your website gets loaded in someone’s browser and your ads are displayed/clicked-on then the advertiser registers a view/click associated with your website and pays you for that. The news orgs get the ad revenue from ads posted on their website, not Google.

    Google does run AdSense which is an advertising platform that news organizations may use (but don’t have to), so news orgs may be collecting ad money from Google, and Google will be making some profit on providing that service.

    “Would you make widgets and let Google sell them for $10 and give you $2?”

    Almost every product on earth gets marked up as it goes from manufacturer to distributor to retailer. 5x is on the higher end but not unheard of. Each layer adds their fee for adding a valuable service: distributing, advertising, providing technical support for, and selling the product. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a high markup.

    • David Grant says:

      “Would you make widgets and let Google sell them for $10 and give you $2?”

      Yes, if the following conditions are both true:

      A) It costs me less than $2 to make the widget
      B) I tried to sell directly to the public without Google and had to charge more than $10 to turn a profit

      That’s the free market / capitalism, and if you have a problem with that fundamentally I think your beef is way upstream of this issue and there’s probably a better discussion forum for you out there.

      • Please learn the facts before mouthing off. It doesn’t matter what you think “doesn’t sound right”. You’re embarrassing yourself.

        • Do you always have to abuse people that have a different opinion than yours?

          I am not sure if you have a couple of cocktails and then rage on people but it’s NOT a good look.

        • David Grant says:

          You failed to provide a source to your claim about 1/5th. So just as I suspected you are making this stuff up.


            The Chair: Thank you very much. We will now go to Mr. Pedigo.

            Chris Pedigo, Senior Vice-President, Government Affairs, Digital Content Next: Thank you and good morning. Thank you for inviting me to testify.

            Digital Content Next, or DCN, is the only trade association dedicated to serving high-quality original digital content companies that manage direct and trusted relationships with consumers and marketers. Our members include more than 60 media companies from every segment of the market, from large to mid-sized companies to newer entrants that are carving out niche markets in the delivery of original content over the web. Some of our members include The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Dow Jones, The Guardian, The Philadelphia Inquirer and even Major League Baseball.

            DCN is pleased to reiterate our support for Bill C-18. As some of you know, we have supported similar legislation, including in Australia, which enacted its version back in 2021. At a time when parliaments around the globe are investigating how the duopoly of Google and Facebook has captured nearly all of the growth in digital advertising, thereby draining the lifeblood of the local news press, we must learn and then build upon each other’s work, as you would be doing in passing Bill C-18.

            In my testimony today, I want to briefly outline what we see as the most important elements, and then I’ll be happy to take any questions about the broader digital advertising marketplace.

            For background, I’ve been with DCN for over a decade and I bring more than 20 years of experience representing companies, non-profits and trade associations around the world.

            Regarding Bill C-18, first, the law would help rebalance bargaining power. Publishers’ brands are proxies for trust and value. The inclusion of news content from premium publishers has played a large part in developing the daily search and social media habits of Canadians, allowing Google and Facebook to become dominant gatekeepers. For reference, over the last decade, we’ve seen that these two companies sometimes capture 80% to 90% of the incremental growth in digital advertising. That means that for every $5 billion the market grows, $4 billion goes directly to Google and Facebook.

            The lack of protection and negotiation rights for that content, coupled with nearly unlimited access to the data of the web for micro-targeted advertising, has led to a marketplace where publishers and their content have become interchangeable commodities. Bill C-18 would protect publishers’ intellectual property rights and provide balance in negotiations with online platforms so they can receive fair compensation and, thus, promote a free and plural press.

            Second, the bill under consideration relies primarily on the market to determine how and how much publishers should be compensated for their content. This flexible approach allows a diverse set of publishers to seek deal terms specifically tailored to their business needs. Some start-up publishers may want to forgo revenue in favour of audience reach, while established publishers may want to ensure maximum return for their high‑value brands.

            We believe that government should not set rates; thus, the bill’s “final offer arbitration” provision is an elegant solution to accelerate negotiation toward a fair deal.

            Third, the bill only applies to a situation in which there’s a significant power imbalance between the news publisher and the intermediary platform. Importantly, the news publisher retains the option as to whether it wants to participate. The dominant platform does not.

            Fourth, in no way, shape or form does it change the structure of the web or in any way demand payment for links. This is misinformation. We spent many a late hour rebutting this argument in Australia, as Google’s and Facebook’s advocates suggested the law would “break the internet.” Not surprisingly, the internet in Australia is working just fine.

            Fifth, the bill permits publishers to bargain as a group or individually. We believe it’s important to provide flexibility for publishers to choose whether they want to negotiate collectively or individually. As I mentioned earlier, some publishers might want to retain the ability to negotiate individually for terms that are specific to their high-value brands. Small and medium-sized publishers, however, may find it more effective to pool their resources and negotiate as a group. This bill provides a flexible framework that will help bring new resources to a variety of news publishers.

            In summary, we support Bill C-18, the online news act. It’s a reasonable and necessary reform. It would enhance market-driven negotiations to enable news publishers to receive fair compensation for the content they create and that dominant platforms attain, share and use to sell advertising. The ability for trusted and valued premium publishers to have an equal playing field is critical to the permanence of Canada’s news marketplace, and we urge you to advance the bill.

            Thank you again for inviting me to participate. I look forward to your questions.

            The Chair: Thank you very much. We will begin questions.

          • He is. His item from the Senate hearings simply says that Google and Meta have 80% of the global digital ad market by revenue. That may be true, but it doesn’t therefore equate to Google and Meta getting 80% of the ad revenue generated by clicking a link. What he is unwittingly implying is that the news media should hold a monopoly on providing digital advertising.

          • They should reap the rewards of advertisers advertising with their product, not some pimp in their place. It’s like cheque-cashing shops for poor people with no bank accounts, which take 20% to cash a cheque. Legal, but exploitative and unethical.

          • Yep, Fed Up has a history of making stuff up and then providing sources that, when actually read, don’t back up their lies (oops, “claims”).

  20. Justin, your old man Pierre did 10 months officers training in ‘43 and was discharged as “unsuitable candidate”! What do you or your family know about defending a nation. Nothing! In fact your old man was instrumental in promoting your nation of quebec to vote against conscription. A dismal 32% in favour of conscription as opposed all other provinces voting 74%. You and your family are the problem to Canadian democracy my friend.

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  22. So tell me, Facebook fans, if Canada brings in by law new emissioons standards for automobiles which are entorely feasible and fair and Honda and Toyota say “meh, we’re not complying, we’re ceasing operations in Canada”, you’re totally fine with that, right? And when an American beer or food company refuses to comply with Canada’s nutritional labelling requirements, because it’s a nuisance, Iknow, it adds costs, you have to design and print a bilingual label and do a separate “Canadian label” production at your factory, and this company says “meh, we’re just not going to ship our food into Canada aymore”, you think that is perfectly acceptable, right?

    • Yes. Those are all business decisions made by those companies.

      You don’t even have to make up pretend stories about this stuff. There is a massive number of products available globally and particularly in the USA that we simply don’t have up here in Canada. Every one of those products not in the Canadian market has a business decision behind not being here.

      There is nothing illegal about them not being here. There is nothing undemocratic about not being here.

      Just like, not providing links to news stories is not illegal in C-18. C-18 allows for that choice. So not providing them is a business decision based on the unworkable business model (uncapped liability, globally, not just Canada) that C-18 has created.

      • They’re already here dodo and making money.

        • “Dodo”. I guess when you are losing the debate and don’t have any cogent arguments, you have nothing left but to stoop down to ad hominem attacks.

          In case it was not clear, the above was a response to your strawman argument regarding products not being available in Canada, with your made up arguments about Honda and Toyota.

          This website mis-attributed which comment I was replying to.

          But since you have decided that ad hominem attacks are the only way to debate here, I am done with you. I only debate with adults, not 5 year old children who use name-calling to try to win their arguments.

          I suggest everyone else here take the same approach. There is no point in trying to debate with a 5 year old that has degraded themselves to name-calling.

    • And what if you knew Toyota and Honda were bluffing, because they’ve built factories here, Canada is a huge market, they aren’t really about to walk away from the Canadian market because of an emissions requirment, similar, let’s say, to one they agreed on in Australia two years earlier (!!!).

      You’d think they were trying to strong arm the government into dropping a measure important for the enviornment and backed by most Canadians.

      What if, as a next step, these commapnies closed down their Canadian car plants for two weeks and sent all their employees home without pay as they said they would take the time to plan the mothballing of their plants. What would you call that?

      It’s what Facebook just did. They don’t have car plants here, but it’s the same tactic with the same goal.

      They didn’t “simply make abusiness decision to get out of abusiness which would no longer be profitable under the new rules”. Just stop saying that. It would be profitable, just less profitable. And they have no intention of getting out of their own business in Canada for good. They’re bullying and blackmailing a sovereign nation.

  23. Not some peanut butter manufacturer in Louisana who thinks about and for lots of reasons including the labelling decides against getting into the Canadian market. A huge agri-business giant shipping millions and millions of sollars with of food into Canada every year who says we can’t be bothered with new labels, we’re getting out. First of all, that’s implausible. Any sane company would swallow the cost and keep doing business. They can pass the cost on to the buyer. Of the stop shipping food into Canada though, what is that?

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  25. NormaAnderson says:

    Google paid $95 a hour on the close relative has been without labor for nine months and the earlier month her compensation check was $51005 by working at home for 10 hours a day….. E­v­e­r­y­b­o­d­y m­u­s­t t­r­y t­h­i­s j­o­b n­o­w b­y j­u­s­t u­s­e ­t­h­i­s

    HERE——➤ W­w­w.RichCash1­.­C­o­m

  26. Watching F’d Up get owned by others for the crying and disinformation he spews was excellent to see. Good job everyone!

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  28. The CEO of Metroland had an op-ed on the National Post yesterday about this. He got torn to shreds in the comments. The best one, in my view, was the one where the commenter noted that the media was accusing Meta and Alphabet of “stealing” their material. When Meta and Alphabet said they would stop providing the links (or stealing the material), the news media started claiming they were being censored.

  29. well

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  32. What implications does the suspension of Meta advertising have on the ongoing political discourse surrounding Bill C-18?

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  34. Pingback: Australia’s own media law isn’t helping news consumers either - Consumer Choice Center

  35. Pingback: Australia’s own media law isn’t helping news consumers either

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  37. Pingback: Why the Online News Act has been a total policy disaster - The Hub

  38. Pingback: La legislazione canadese sui media online colpisce i respingenti: Peter Menzies sulla National Review Infwrld notizie oggi - Notizie oggi